USAID/Nepal has joined the quest of the Government of Nepal to conserve the Bengal Tigers by launching new conservation program (s) in Nepal. The “Nepal Tiger Genome Project” (NTGP), a two year research project, aims to develop genomics based tools to introduce the latest technology in addressing many challenges of tiger conservation in Nepal. It is employing a scientific and conservation friendly method of extracting DNA of tigers from non-invasively collected scat samples. The information obtained through a genetics approach is much more detailed and compliments well to conventionally gathered data. Findings of this research work are expected to facilitate a better understanding of landscape level genetics of tiger species and aid in designing effective conservation policies and strategies at local, national, and international levels.
The Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) is implementing this NTGP in the Terai Arc Landscape- one of the few tiger habitats remaining on the earth. This project will help to build laboratory and bioinformatics capability to adapt to this new technology, train local experts in the technology and techniques, and educate policy makers, academicians, government officials, and wildlife and conservation biologists on the ways to utilize and implement the genomic based tools in Nepal.
Building wildlife genetics capacity for wild Bengal Tiger conservation in Nepal
- To enhance capacity to apply molecular tools and provide DNA forensic evidence for policy processes;
- To customize spatial genetic data-based wildlife tracker to for tigers; and
- To transfer DNA Genomic based technology to Nepal.
Life of Project: June, 2011 – June, 2013
Geographic Focus: Terai Arc Landscape in Nepal