Thailand has potential to be global centrepiece for tiger conservation

December 21st, 2007 - 5:48 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Dec 21 (ANI): According to a new study, Thailands Western Forest Complex can potentially support 2,000 tigers, making it one of the worlds strongholds for these emblematic big cats.

Thailands Western Forest Complex is a 6,900 square mile network of parks and wildlife reserves.

The study, conducted by Thailands Department of National Park, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation and the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, has stated that in order to make the numbers a reality, better enforcement to safeguard both tigers and their prey from poachers is critical.

As per the study, the entire Western Forest Complex currently supports an estimated 720 tigers.

The researchers conducted intensive surveys of tigers in Huai Kha Khaeng, using camera traps to estimate a population size of 113 individual animals living in the 1,084 square-mile protected area.

Despite the lower densities, plenty of good tiger habitat remains in Thailand, with 25 percent of the nation still forested, and 15 percent of it managed under wildlife protection legislation.

Thailand has the potential to be a global centrepiece for tiger conservation, said Dr. Anak Pattanavibool of the Wildlife Conservation Societys Thailand Program and a co-researcher.

This study underscores that there is an opportunity for tigers to thrive in Thailand provided tigers and their major prey species are protected from poachers, Pattanavibool added.

Working together with WCS scientists helps set a standard for tiger monitoring and conservation here in Thailand, said Saksit Simcharoen, a tiger specialist working for the Thai government.

The tiger and prey population monitoring and patrol improvement systems have given people hope and direction to do better for tigers and other wildlife, Simcharoen said.

The study appears in latest issue of the journal Oryx. (ANI)

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