28 Apr 2022
Compiled by WWF-Nepal’s Maya Yogi of the Khata Corridor project in 2022.
Catch up with Kalika and her cubs, and discover why 2022 was a very special year for all wild tigers.
Kalika’s cubs are growing fast, but the latest camera trap images show she’s still having problems with her left front paw.
Life can be tough in the wild, and our precious tigress is still limping following a mysterious injury she sustained – most likely while defending her cubs. We’ll probably never know what happened, but the good news is that she otherwise seems healthy, and her youngsters appear to be thriving.
Kalika’s cubs are around 18 months old now, so they should have grown their permanent canine teeth and be able to catch prey, having learned how to hunt from their mother. At around two years old, they’ll leave Kalika to establish their own territories, perhaps here in Khata Corridor or in the two protected areas it connects – Bardia National Park in Nepal and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in India.
With as few as 5,600 left in the wild, every big cat counts. Take action now to help protect tigers and save them from extinction.
Having disappeared for almost 12 months, tigress Khairi Pothi was recently recorded again on camera, and we think she may be pregnant. The images are quite blurry, but from what we can see, her stomach appears swollen, suggesting cubs are on the way. This extremely able mother has only just said goodbye to her previous brood, so she’s doing a great job of boosting tiger numbers.
2022 was the Lunar Year of the Tiger and marked 12 years since all 13 tiger range countries committed to doubling their wild tiger numbers. This bold mission of WWF’s, known as TX2, commenced when tiger numbers had dropped to an all-time low of around 3,200, and their historical range was reduced to about 5%. TX2 remains one of the most ambitious conservation goals ever for a single species.
Thanks to effective conservation measures to tackle threats such as poaching, habitat loss and human-tiger conflict, tiger numbers are increasing here in Nepal as well as in Bhutan, China, India and Russia. In some parts of India, TX2 has already been achieved. For example, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in the Terai Arc has managed to more than double its wild tiger population within a decade to an estimated 65 individuals. There have been similar success stories in the transboundary area of Manas Tiger Reserve in India and Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.
We’ve made significant progress, but there is still much to be done, particularly in some Southeast Asian countries, where tiger numbers have been decreasing. Over the next few years, there are promising plans to expand tiger ranges and reintroduce the big cats to some of their former territories in places such as Kazakhstan, where tigers have been extinct for over 70 years.
Lighting the way
Imagine finding a wild tiger in your village or losing valuable livestock you rely on for your family’s food and income. These are everyday realities for people living in Khata Corridor, but they are also co-creating some very practical solutions.
Recently, WWF has worked with communities to install 99 village streetlights aimed at keeping tigers at bay. Plus, 22 households now have predator-proof enclosures where they can keep their livestock safe at night. And on top of these efficient, practical measures, WWF has supported efforts to train another 225 local people as rapid response team members, who harmlessly deter tigers and other wildlife from entering villages and damaging crop fields.
These are just some of the strong community-run actions reducing the risks of night-time tiger encounters to help people and tigers coexist.
Tigers are losing their homes and their lives. But together, we can help these majestic big cats thrive. There are many ways you can support our tiger conservation work.