FedUni’s tiger project

CROWDFUNDING: Federation University academics are raising funds, and undertaking research, to save Nepal’s tiger population.
Nanjing Night Net

Federation University academics have launched a crowdfunding campaign to protect the Nepalese tiger population.

They will also undertake a new research project investigating how the economic benefits of tiger conservation and tourist dollars can be shared with local communities so people and tigers both benefit.

Associate Professor Wendy Wright from Federation Universitysaid Nepal has committed to doublingthe number of tigers in its national parks by 2022 as part of its international conservation obligations.

“Increased tiger numbers are likely to exacerbate human-tiger conflict in the agricultural areas immediately surrounding the parks,” Associate Professor Wright said.

She said student Babu Bhattari is on leave from the Nepalese Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation to do his PhD at Federation University.

Mr Bhattari is an experienced conservation biologist with a track record in successful conservation of large, carnivorous mammals.

“His project is focused on how to manage this challenge.”

Associate Professor Wright said Nepal plays a key role in conserving tigers, with most living in just a few national parks.

“Small rural communities live in a buffer zone around the park.

“The people farm and manage community forests in this buffer zone.

“They collect food, building materials and fuel from the jungle and graze their animals there.

“These farmers are amongst the poorest in the world.

“Yet they accept the responsibility at the front line of conservation, protecting an iconic species for all of us and our global heritage.”

Mr Bhattari has previously been a ranger for more than two years at the Bardia National Park, which not only hosts tigers but alsohas a large range of other rare and endangered species as well.

The crowdfunding campaign began on July 29, which is International Tiger Day.

It is hosted by the Chuffed Crowdfunding website at chuffed.org/project/nepal-tigers.

For more information on Federation University’s other wildlife conservation research, go to the websitefederation.edu419论坛/fost/wildresearch

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