Thailand's forests could support 2,000 tigers
December 19, 2007
Thailand's network of parks could support 2,000 tigers, reports a new study by Thailand's Department of National Park, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation and the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.
The research, published in the journal Oryx, is based on surveys of tiger habitat in Thailand's Western Forest Complex a 6,900 square mile (18,000 square kilometers) network of parks and wildlife reserves. Presently about 720 tigers are found in the region, but the authors say better enforcement to safeguard both tigers and their prey from poachers could nearly triple tiger density.
"Thailand has the potential to be a global centerpiece for tiger conservation," said Dr. Anak Pattanavibool of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Thailand Program and a coauthor of the study. "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."
"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."
Tiger populations have plummeted from 100,000 to around 5,000 in the past century due to habitat loss and poaching. The trade in tiger parts and skins still takes a toll on the great cats
For The Tiger
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