Community-based conservation of Tigers and its habitat outside the Protected areas in Zhemgang
Community-based conservation of Tigers and its habitat outside the Protected areas in Zhemgang
Project Summary
The national tiger survey in 2015 reported 103 individuals in the country. This was increase from 75 individuals in 1998. This has made Bhutan the first country among 13 tiger range countries to progress towards achieving Tx2 by 2022.
The distribution of tigers based on the evidence from the camera trap in 2015 survey shows that 50% of the tigers occur outside the protected area system of Bhutan. Zhemgang Forest Division recorded 17 individuals of tiger becoming home for highest tiger number both inside and outside the protected areas. The tiger density in the division is recorded 3 tigers/100 sq.km against the national average of 0.40 tigers/100 sq.km. Thus, Zhemgang division has become heart of tiger landscape (see map below)
The land use and land cover map of Bhutan 2016 reported 94.17% of forest cover in Zhemgang from the total area of 2416.58 km2. Broadleaf forest comprise of 88.80% of the total forest cover forming dominant land use types. The elevation ranges from 100 m to 3600 m above sea level with rainfall ranging from 1000 mm to 5000 mm. Kamzhing (Dry land) is dominant agriculture land use types.

While the occurrences of tiger in the division are high, there are equal number of conflicts and depredation cases. In 2018, a single tiger depredated on 20 numbers of livestock in Tshaidang, Nyakhar, Zhobling, Kikhar, Tali and Buli under Nangkor geog, of which 15 were killed on the spot and five left injured. The livestock depredated include 5 cows including 2 calves, 6 Oxen, 2 horses and 2 jersey breeds. As an immediate measure, Zhemgang Forest Division in collaboration with the Global Tiger Centre, Gelephu has captured and collard the same tiger. This has coincidently stopped the tiger from depredating on livestock. However, we suspect that local people are likely to lose their resilience given the numbers of livestock lost and affected their household income. Department of Forests and Park Services have projected to increase tiger number by 20% from the 2015 baseline by end of 12th Five year plan (2018 – 2023). All these require both local and national level effort to protect the tiger and conserve its habitat. On the above context, the project is proposed to solve immediate local issues and contribute to achieving 12th five year plan target as well as global mission of Tx2 by 2022.
The project will be implemented by Community Forest Management Network within the project area with technical support from Zhemgang Forest Division. The project beneficiary includes Tshaidang, Nyakhar, Zhobling, Kikhar, Tali, and Buli villages under Nangkor Geog which are affected by the depredation of tiger and other predators like common leopard, wild dog and Himalayan Black bear. In 2018 there were about 5 bear mauling cases reported from Khomshar, Tali, Buli and Tshanglajong in Zhemgang.

Project Objectives and Expected Results
The primary objective of the project is to support Community Forest Networking Group (CFNG) with focus to upper region of Zhemgang district in protecting tiger habitat by way of providing alternatives resource management to reduce conflicts.

The broad objectives of the project are:
? To understand the cause of human-tiger conflict in the project area
? To enhance community-based tiger conservation
? To improve resource management capacity and initiate innovative resource management program.
? To promote ecotourism as an economic opportunity to enhance livelihood income for CFMG members

Expected results
The major outcome of the project is to harmonize coexistence of people and the tiger through effective management of natural resources. The expected results of the project are:
1. Clear understanding of Human-tiger conflict documented – the documentation of this root cause of conflict will be helpful in designing mitigation measures during and after implementation of the project as well as formulating overall management plan for the division.
2. Tiger habitat maintained and conflict minimized – with the good health of the habitat there will be sufficient prey base and depredation are expected to reduce. On the other hand people will improve fodder base for their livestock and avoid free ranging in the forest.
3. Local people’s capacity enhanced for better governance of CF – The proper management of CF with application of scientific knowledge will increase productivity and reduce pressure on adjoining forest areas that are potential tiger habitats.
4. Ecotourism initiated in CFMGs and operational – The ecotourism initiatives will promote intangible value of CF and provoke CFMG members to conserve aesthetic values.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Community Forest Networking Group
Country:
Bhutan
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 7,900.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 4,000.00
Project Number:
BHU/SGP/OP5/Y8/CORE/BCCP/2019/32
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Mr. Sonam Phuntsho
Phone: 17933849
Email: sonamphuntsho1@moaf.gov.bt
 

Address

Upper Zhemgang
Zhemgang , 00975
 

Website

http://Zhemgang Forest Division

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Tenzin Wangchuk
Phone:
009752322424
Email:
Mr. Tshering Phuntsho
Phone:
009752322424 (ext:330)
Email:

Address

UN House, Peling Lam (Street), Kawajangsa, Thimphu, P.O. Box No. 162
Thimphu, Bhutan, 11001