An Amazing 103 Wild Tigers Counted in Bhutan

Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) male drinking from lake, Bandhavgarh NP, Madhya Pradesh, India. © Rouse/WWF

‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ Completes First Wild Tiger Survey

Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) male drinking from lake, Bandhavgarh NP, Madhya Pradesh, India. The Bengal tiger is found primarily in India with smaller populations in Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar. It is the most numerous of all tiger subspecies with more than 2,500 left in the wild, according to the WWF. Photo © Rouse/WWF

By the World Wildlife Fund

Bhutan is home to an amazing 103 wild tigers—an increase from a previous estimate of 75 that was not based on actual field surveys—according to the country’s first-ever tiger survey released on Global Tiger Day [July 29].

Conducted entirely by Bhutanese scientists, the survey spanned habitats ranging from snowy, cold mountains in the north—where both tigers and snow leopards roam wild—down to dense, subtropical forests in the south. Tigers are identified by the pattern of their stripes, which are much like human fingerprints in being unique to each individual. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) worked closely with the government of Bhutan to provide technical support and funds for the count.

Counting on conservation

Bhutan is the most recent country to conduct a survey of its wild tigers. India, Russia and Nepal have all conducted national tiger surveys and reported encouraging increases in tiger numbers on previous estimates. Bhutan’s results come days after Bangladesh released the results from its first national tiger survey. While Bangladesh announced a lower figure than its previous estimate, tiger experts believe earlier numbers were over-estimated and applaud the country’s first systematic tiger survey.

“This is a critical milestone in the global effort to save tigers,” said WWF’s Barney Long, director of species conservation. “Bhutan is one of only 13 tiger range countries, and knowing how many tigers exist is the first step towards effectively protecting them. We applaud Bhutan’s —> Read More