Conservationists recently reported that they have discovered a breeding population of Indochinese Tigers, an extremely endangered animal. The tigers were found in a Thailand national park.
The small group, or streak, were recorded by camera traps that are set around the park. The streak consists of a few adults and six cubs.
Conservationists believe this new finding is due, in part, to increased anti-poaching efforts. Loss of habitat and poaching are the two main reasons these beautiful animals became endangered. Thailand’s forests were once so depleted that, by 1980, logging was banned. Although Thailand was one of the first countries in southeast Asia to create a national park system to protect the tigers, illegal hunting and logging persisted. Right now, the population of Indochinese Tigers is estimated to be around 250 world-wide.
The number of tigers is increasing
Conservation group, Panthera, along with an anti-trafficking organization called Freeland, were responsible for the discovery of this streak of tigers. Panthera program director, John Goodrich, said, “The extraordinary rebound of eastern Thailand’s tigers is nothing short of miraculous.” Prior to the discovery of this breeding group, there was only one other known group of Indochinese Tigers. They also live in a national park in Thailand.
In a joint statement, the groups reported that the number of tigers has decreased dramatically in the last century – from 100,000 to less than 3,900. Due to the improvement in conservation efforts, Indochinese tigers in Thailand are starting to increase in numbers in some areas, but they have still disappeared in other areas.
Stopping tiger trafficking in Thailand
Songtam Suksawang, director of national parks in Thailand, states, “The stepping up of anti-poaching patrols and law enforcement efforts in this area have played a pivotal role in conserving the tiger population by ensuring a safe environment for them to breed. However, we must remain vigilant and continue these efforts, because well-armed poachers still pose a major threat.”
It is believed that Indochinese Tigers are extinct in Cambodia; their numbers have decreased to just a few in Vietnam and Laos; while in Myanmar, the numbers have also dramatically decreased – all due to poaching and loss of habitat. Right now, Thailand is the last stronghold for the Indochinese Tiger. Their efforts to protect these beautiful creatures stand as a great example for other countries.