Born in May 5, 1974 at Arghakhanchi District, Kerunga VDC (Village Development Committee), Nepal from Krishna Prasad Khanal and Mother Pushpa Khanal, Mr. Pradeep Khanal spent his childhood in Saniphokhari village where nature and human are co-existed from long time. During his childhood he used to go to collect grasses, firewoods, took his horse, cows and bulls to ranch like other village boy as a daily routine. During this time he was encountered with leopard, jackals, rabbits and other wildlife creatures. When anybody in village saw leopard around then all villagers were standing with their cattle’s for several nights to save them from leopard. He also spent countless nights with cattle’s to save them from leopard.
He was so close to nature and its impact in human society since his childhood. After the completion his third grade, he was sent to study in Kathmandu, far from home where he completed his SLC (School Leaving Certificate), from Bhanubhakta Memorial Secondary School, Panipokhari. During the vacation time he frequently used to visit his village and spent time with nature. He completed his research on wildlife conservation from Kathmandu University and chose his career as wildlife conservationist. Now the same village boy is a well renowned conservation expert in endangered species researcher and trainer of conservation tools in Nepal.
He has proven his extraordinary expertise in strengthening of buffer zone user committee, Blackbuck conservation and management research, SMART patrol, and human-wildlife conflict management mainly in Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) Nepal through the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Nepal (WWF) and National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) from 2003 to 2015. His approaches have resulted ground breaking world class conservation successes well known by wildlife conservation communities throughout the world. He is currently pursuing a PhD in conservation biology from University of North Texas, USA.
His findings and publications on blackbuck are milestone to declare new conservation area as well as translocation potential in Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Nepal. Furthermore, Mr. Khanal’s publications on tiger research ushered in a new era of tiger monitoring throughout the Nepalese landscape based on highly technical field work and survey, monitoring, and data collection & analysis technology. He was served as a national core member expert for Tiger, Blackbuck, one horned rhinoceros and other wild animal found in Terai Arc Landscape of Nepal through TAL Nepal.
His work has already made a significant impact on Tiger and Blackbuck conservation at national, regional and international level. His work have also lead to collateral positive economic impact on livelihood of people living around the national parks of Nepal through wildlife tourism which naturally reduces human-wildlife conflict as a new symbiotic relationship is created that is mutually beneficial and in harmony with nature. Nepalese national surveys from 2013 showed that there are 198 tigers in wild, a 63% rise from 2009 baseline; furthermore, blackbuck numbers increased to 300 individuals from 48 individual in 2000. Mr. Khanal trained more than 3000 government staff, law enforcement team in Protected Areas and community people in wildlife monitoring, SMART patrol and human wildlife conflict management during his tenure throughout the Terai Arc Landscape as a result now every protected areas can do their tiger survey, habitat management and SMART patrol themselves.
Mr. Khanal told us that if conservation effort for tiger continues like this Nepal will successfully double its number of tiger before target year of 2022. But he also warned that if we step back or take a rest from conservation effort within a year all our effort will be collapsed. He emphasized that conservation is very challenging work and every time you have to be with new strategies and you need to take confidence and trust of local people. He further emphasized that Nepal’s conservation success lies behind the positive contribution of local people who resides around the National park/conservation area.
Mr. Khanal has presented and published his work in different platforms. During his tenure at TAL Nepal, he was focal person to present TAL field research work to donors, communities, partners and visitors. He presented his work to non-other than Oscar prize winner actor Leonardo DiCaprio and aware him about tiger conservation challenges in Nepal. He has presented his work to then President of Nepal Dr. Ram Baran Yadav and other celebrities of world, ambassadors of the different countries etc.
Mr. Khanal’s contribution to wild animal research, transfer of skill and technology, strengthening BZUC in TAL area has been tremendously successful to obtain conservation goals of Nepal government. Therefore, Mr. Khanal was awarded with an award and letter of appreciation from the government of Nepal, Department of National Park & Wildlife Conservation, Bardia National Park, Banke National park, Chitwan national Park and WWF USA etc. Very selected people received this kind of appreciation in Nepal out of them he is the youngest one.
Mr. Pradeep Khanal helping to place camera for Environmentalist and Oscar winner Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio to capture wild animals at Bardia National Park
Photo By: © WWF Jan Vertefeuille
Mr. Khanal and team fitting the satellite color to Greater one horned Rhino at Khata Corridor, Bardia National Park. Photo by: Akash Shrestha, WWF Nepal.