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January 2012
2011 - not a single rhino was killed in Nepal
The year 2011 was a landmark year for conservation in Nepal as not a single rhino was killed in the country across the year.

To mark this achievement the Government of Nepal, WWF and various conservation organizations celebrated Zero Poaching Year amidst a special program organized on 7 January 2012 at Chitwan National Park in Nepal's Terai Arc Landscape.

The program was organized to felicitate the key institutions whose unrelenting efforts in conservation helped bring about this success.

"This success is attributed to the coordination among the Government of Nepal, conservation partners, local communities and most importantly security forces," said Krishna Acharya, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC).

"To combat poaching more effectively a separate body has been formed under DNPWC to deal specifically with wildlife and security inside the parks has been stepped up with the number of range posts gone up from 7 to 51," Acharya added.

In October, Nepal arrested a complete chain of criminals involved in poaching and trading of the one-horned rhinoceros. In that case alone, 17 people were held on the charge of poaching the endangered species and smuggling their derivatives.

The arrests is were a significant achievement leading to the complete breakdown of a network of poachers and smugglers right from the grassroots to the international level.

At the same function, the Enforcement Awards established by WWF's Tigers Alive Initiative were handed over to six different institutions for best site-based intelligence work. These included Chitwan National Park; Bardia National Park; Nanda Box Battalion, Chitwan; Ranadal Company, Nawalparasi; Narsinghdal Battalion, Bardia; Chandiprasad Batallion, Kanchanpur and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve whose individual and collectives roles were instrumental in protecting tigers in Nepal.

"The achievement of zero poaching status of rhinos will need to be further complemented by zero poaching of tigers as well," stated Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF-Nepal. "If we can lift the scale, intensity and professionalism of the effort against poaching, we will be able to take sure steps to achieve the goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022," he added.

In order to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade effectively and to bring culprits to book, WWF also made a formal announcement at the event to support the establishment of an interrogation centre in Chitwan National Park Headquarters through the Tigers Alive Initiative.

WWF Nepal, January 2012
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