Happy International Tiger Day! Thailand is celebrating it by declaring that, after over a decade of conservation, Thailand now has the most tigers in the wild of any nation in Southeast Asia. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-archa announced that this is due in large part to the National Strategy for Tiger Conservation, a programme that has been in effect since 2010.
In the last decade, the wild tiger population in the Huai Kha Khaeng and Thungyai wildlife sanctuaries grew from 42 up to 100, thanks in part to a smart patrol system in place. This patrol system has now been set up in 213 protected forest parks. The director of the Wildlife Conservation Office stressed the importance of preserving the forests that are the natural habitat of tigers to keep the population stable.
“To conserve tigers means to conserve the forests where animals live. The biodiversity of an area always correlates with its tiger population. We have seen tiger footprints from the cameras installed in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, and it is estimated there are 148-149 tigers in the forests, the highest number in Southeast Asia.”
The minister attended a special Tiger Day event at Bueng Chawak Chalermphrakiat in Suphan Buri where he recounted that, in late January in Malaysia at the 4th Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation, other countries praised Thailand’s efforts. He credited the government for its continuous efforts to support the preservation of tigers within the kingdom.
“Thailand’s tiger conservation and population recovery plans are certified by international standards. We have successfully improved their habitation areas by using the latest technology and the smart patrol system.”
India is currently the country with the largest number of tigers in the world but the Thai government is hoping to remain the country with the most tigers in Southeast Asia and grow the population further with a long-term plan continuing until 2034.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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