Rare Tiger Sighting Raises Conservation Hopes in Southeast Asia | Thailand News

Trap cameras in a forest in western Thailand have captured images of tigers In an area where endangered animals have not been seen for four years, the conservation group Panthera said on Wednesday, raising hopes for the species’ survival in Southeast Asia.

Video and photos show three men tigers wandering around at night, with one walking directly towards the camera and sniffing the lens.

“We are excited about this discovery,” Kritsana Kaewplang, country director for Panthera in Thailand, said of the images that were released on World Tiger Day.

Describing the footage as “very exciting,” John Goodrich, chief scientist at Panthera, said: “It is a good indicator that what we are doing is working. We are beginning to see the recovery of tiger numbers in the area.”

There are an estimated 160 Indochinese tigers left in the wild in Thailand which has intensified your conservation efforts in the last 10 years. Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia have already lost their tigers while Myanmar is believed to have only 23 left.

Southeast Asia is a major focus in the fight to save the world’s big cats, whose numbers globally have plummeted from approximately 100,000 a century ago to about 3,900 today.

Tiger of thailand

An undated photo from the Thailand Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, London Panthera Zoological Society, RCU, released on July 29, shows a tiger in a remote region of western Thailand [Handout/DNP-Panthera-ZSL-RCU/AFP]

Kritsana, who has been working with the Department of National Parks of Thailand, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and other organizations, said the sightings mean that Thailand is on the right track trying to preserve tigers and its prey

“The next important step for us is that we have to try to make the connection routes of each forest area adapt to them, so that tigers wander safely, “said Kritsana.

Poaching threat

A database of the Thai tiger population showed two of the tigers it had come from the northern part of the forest to the south, while the third had not been documented before, he said.

“In over 20 years of fieldwork, it is one of the best (footage) I have seen,” said Eileen Larney, country manager for the London Zoological Society for Thailand.

“Witnessing apex predators such as tigers, going back to forests means the ecosystem is recovering, which is good for all wildlife.”

The recent success is due in part to specially designed “PoacherCams”, Goodrich said. The cameras automatically distinguish between people and animals, sending images of potential poachers to the local police in real time.

Poachers, who kill animals for their fur and elsewhere, have also brought in the Malayan tiger, which roams the forested central column of the Malay peninsula, on the brink of extinction. AAbout 150 are believed to be left in the wild.

“When we lose our tigers, we will lose our heritage and we will lose our symbol of courage to move on,” Balu Perumal of the Malaysian Nature Society said in a webinar on the Malaysian tiger on Wednesday as he urged people to do more to save the big cat. .

“More importantly, we would lose a fellow Malaysian citizen.”

Malaysian Tigers

An image of a poacher caught in a camera trap created by conservation researchers. Poaching is one of the biggest threats to tigers in Southeast Asia [File: WWF Malaysia/Al Jazeera]

Conservationists have been calling on the government to deploy soldiers to the forest to combat the theft of the country’s unique wildlife, following the example of countries like India, where a “boots on the ground” response has helped recover the number of tigers.

Tigers in the region are also threatened by habitat loss and forest fragmentation, as roads, logging and other developments isolate small populations, leading to inbreeding and a lack of genetic diversity.

“Right now, the focus should be on Southeast Asia, where tigers are the most troublesome,” Goodrich told AFP news agency.

However, “if you don’t have government support, it doesn’t work.”