The grant will help fund efforts by WWF, in partnership with the government of Nepal, to strengthen anti-poaching patrols, protect core tiger breeding areas, restore critical corridors for the dispersal and expansion of tiger populations, and monitor tiger numbers in the 9,000-square-mile Terai Arc Landscape. The area, which includes protected tiger, rhino, and elephant habitats, also is a densely populated region that is home to nearly seven million people who depend on its natural resources for their livelihoods.
WWF and its partners also will use the grant to help local communities benefit from conservation through income-generating activities such as tourism, handicrafts, and organic vegetable production and to underwrite insurance funds that compensate families for the loss of livestock to predators. Leonardo DiCaprio, the star of such films as Titanic, Inception, and The Great Gatsby, has worked with WWF since 2010 on the Save Tigers Now initiative, a global campaign to raise political, financial, and public support to save tigers in the wild.
"Time is running out for the world’s remaining thirty-two hundred tigers ... the result [largely] of habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching,"said DiCaprio, a WWF board member. "WWF, the government of Nepal, and local communities are on the front lines of this battle, and I am hopeful this grant will help them exceed the goal of doubling the number of these noble creatures in the wild."