It was first in JDNP that pictorial evidences confirmed the presence of tigers as high as 4,670 meters above sea level
Leaders, prominent local officials, non-governmental organizations, monk representatives from Tango and Cheri Monasteries, forest rangers, media and tiger supporters came together at the core tiger habitat ta the Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) for a one day Walk-Shop this week.
The walk was led by the agriculture minister, Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho, who said in order to have a successful conservation program, there must be participation and support from all sections of the society. “That is why this Walk-Shop was conceived so that different stakeholders can experience the sights and sounds of nature while discussing the challenges and opportunities for a successful program.”
The one-day Walk-Shop with the theme “Walk-Shop for Tigers in Bhutan- Getting down to Business,” was a 5 kilometer walk starting from Thimphu Dodena up to the base of Jakamja.
“JDNP is a recognized tiger habitat and offers the ideal ambience for constructive debate on the issue concerning tiger conservation in Bhutan,” said Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho.
The conservation director of World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Bhutan), Vijay Moktan, said Tiger Walk-Shop is a small reminder to all of us who are concerned and want to save this iconic animal from extinction.
“In many ways, since we humans have created the problem, it becomes our responsibility to find a solution,” said Vijay Moktan.
The walk organized by the WWF-Bhutan in collaboration with Information and Communications Services and JDNP is also a show of support to all the implementers who work tirelessly for conservation despite harsh conditions and difficult times.
The walk also reiterates Bhutan’s commitment made during the Tiger Summit held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2010 and encourages other range countries to follow suit before the 2nd ministerial level conference on Conservation of Tigers.
During the summit, the leaders from 13 Tiger range countries (TRCs) came together and adopted ‘The Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP)’ compiled from individual country’s National Tiger Recovery Priorities.
Bhutan’s tiger recovery and conservation program has four priority components. These include habitat and species conservation, integrating tiger conservation and rural livelihoods, building institutional capacity, and sustainable financing.
Since the summit, Bhutan has been reworking on several areas to strengthen the protection of the tiger and its habitats across the country.
These include introduction of Protected Area and Wildlife Bill, initiation of dialogue for effective Indo-Bhutan trans-boundary cooperation in wildlife protection, national level monitoring of tiger population and its prey density, and numerous human-tiger conflict initiatives.
According to WWF, just within a span of a century, tiger numbers have plummeted from 100,000 to a mere 3,500 while it continues to drop. In the last decade alone, tiger numbers and habitat have declined by 40%, largely to habitat loss, poaching, illegal wildlife trade, and human-tiger conflict.