Project information

Living with Tigers

Conservation efforts for tigers are jeopardised when local communities oppose tiger presence and kill tigers believed to pose a threat to people or livestock. We will work closely with communities living alongside tiger populations in Nepal’s Terai to reduce tigers’ impacts on communities.

August 2015 - August 2018

Charity information: Chester Zoo

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  • Need


    In the Terai, livelihoods are closely linked to forests with people dependant on natural resources for income. Entering the forests to collect resources or graze livestock risks tiger attack. Rising tiger numbers in Nepal have led to an increase in attacks on people and livestock. To prevent tiger conservation being undermined by human-tiger conflict, action to alleviate poverty by diversifying livelihoods is needed to improve human welfare and ensure long-term support for tiger conservation.


    We will work closely with communities affected by tiger presence, empowering them to pursue livelihood opportunities that can lift households out of poverty while also reducing their dependence on forest resources. In particular, we will work with women and minority ethnic groups to develop culturally appropriate viable alternative livelihoods (e.g. farm-based products), explore micro-finance opportunities and provide the training necessary to allow local people to take up these alternatives.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Reduce household dependence on forest resources for income.


    » Run focus groups with resource users from project villages to identify sustainable, acceptable non-forest based livelihoods
    » Run capacity building workshops to provide skills and knowledge required to be able to pursue alternative livelihoods and micro-finance opportunities
    » Support villagers in the set up of groups which boost earning potential from alternative livelihoods and facilitate access to micro-finance.
    » Support villagers with the sourcing of materials and with accessing markets necessary for alternative livelihoods  

    What success will look like

    The number of households from project villages adopting alternative livelihoods and their reduced dependence on natural resources from nearby forests (i.e. reduced resource use).

  • Impact


    The number of households from project villages adopting alternative livelihoods and their reduced dependence on natural resources from nearby forests (i.e. reduced resource use).


    Communities may be unwilling to participate at first. We will assess their attitudes towards the project and work with those who are most keen. We will then work closely with villagers to find solutions to human-tiger conflict that make sense for them. Resource use behaviours may be harder to change. We will use a social marketing approach to behaviour change that enables us to understand why people behave in a certain way and create the social conditions which encourage lasting behaviour change


    The project will produce half yearly and annual reports which will be sent to major donors. Chester Zoo’s website and the Act for Wildlife blog will also be updated with news of project activities and progress. Updates will feature on social media and in e-newsletters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,000 local staff salaries running focus gps, workshops etc
      £1,000 staff trainning data collection techniques
      £2,000 communities focvus groups and trainning workshops
      £2,500 local office costs x 2 sites one each in Chitwan and Bardia
      £1,500 local staff transport motorbike, fuel and Maintenance

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Individual Donors £150 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Terai’s population has increased by 81% in the last 20 years to over 7 million people, leading to progressive habitat loss and fragmentation. Despite this, the area is viewed as one of the world’s best remaining tiger habitats. Chitwan and Bardia National Parks are home to Nepal’s two largest tiger populations (120 and 50 ) We will work with communities located at the edges of these two Parks. The project is a collaboration between UK-based Chester Zoo and Nepal-based Green Governance Nepal


    Communities around Chitwan & Bardia National Parks suffering from the impacts of tiger attacks are the beneficiaries. Their lives will be dramatically improved as we empower them to pursue alternative livelihoods not reliant on forest resources and reduce the costs of living alongside tigers. As a result, communities will become more supportive of tiger conservation measures and less likely to kill tigers. Ultimately, the tigers of Chitwan and Bardia will be protected, safeguarding Nepal’s tiger

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our project team can draw upon their experience resolving some of the most serious human-elephant conflict in Assam and Sumatra, and can utilise their combined expertise in conflict mitigation, tiger research and community outreach in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. This will guide our approach in Nepal, and will work closely with communities at all stages of the project, using participatory approaches to achieve locally-appropriate improvements in livelihoods and to foster support for tiger

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alexandra Zimmermann: Head Of Conservation Science (Chester Zoo, UK)

    Alex co-founded the project and oversees the UK side of the project operations.

    Chloe Inskip: Project Coordinator (Chester Zoo, UK)

    Chloe co-founded the project and is responsible for overall management of the project and for coordinating the research and evaluation.

    Roshan Sherchan: Project Manager, Nepal (Green Governance Nepal, Nepal)

    Roshan is responsible for managing project implementation and field staff in Nepal.

    Susana Rostro Garcia: Research Assistant, (Chester Zoo, UK)

    Susy will assist with project implementation in Nepal and will lead research into conflict dynamics and tigers’ use of local forest areas.