In several parts of Nepal, conflicts between local communities and the two largest cat species (i.e. tiger and leopard) that occur here have increased over the past few decades.
In areas surrounding protected areas, successful habitat restoration measures have provided additional habitat for predators. The community forests in the Mid Hills (Terai) of Nepal are a good example of additional forest habitat that has been created for tigers and leopards. Although forest cover has increased, prey density is still very low and tigers and leopards frequently attack livestock. Occasionally they also attack humans, and there are reports of leopards and tigers being persecuted and killed by local people in retaliation. In recent years, efforts have been undertaken to catch and rehabilitate such “problem animals”, but the rehabilitation facilities in Nepal are reaching their maximum capacity.
In close collaboration with the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Leo Foundation is supporting local research teams and management staff to: 1) monitor problem tigers and leopards that are released back into the wild (through e.g. GPS mapping and diet analyses), 2) identify suitable areas for such release efforts, far away from human habitation, 3) enhance and expand current rehabilitation facilities.