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Thailand conservation adds 17 rare Indochinese tigers this year

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: The Thai tiger population is up 17 tigers from last year (via publicdomainpictures)

In one of the great injustices of the animal kingdom, sharks get a whole week, while the majestic tigers of Thailand are afforded only International Tiger Day, recently celebrated on Thursday. But the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation used the occasion to announce that Thailand has at least 17 more wild Indochinese tigers roaming the country this year than last year.

At an event called “Thailand’s tigers forever: Moving forward to the future” the announcement was made that Thailand has at least 177 tigers in its borders, which the DNP attributed to the success of conservation programs in the country. The Hua Hin Declaration on Tiger Conservation was enacted in 2011 in order to protect the big cats, and the programme has shown success.

Thailand is one of 13 countries united under the declaration to work towards the goal of doubling the tiger population by the end of next year. The programme has seen forest reserves ramping up the number of patrols for poachers as well as bringing together support from the public and private sectors and local communities and raising awareness about conservation and protecting the tiger population in Asia.

The assistant chief of Kaeng Krachan National Park – a nature reserve about 75 kilometres from Hua Hin in Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces – said that within Thailand’s national park system the DNP caught and arrested 36 big game poachers attempting to hunt tigers.

With more modern surveillance technology keeping watch and better knowledge and understanding of the rare tigers, protection efforts have improved in recent years. Patrol inspection centres coordinate tiger protection actions.

But even with the successes over the years that have brought the very rare creatures back from the brink of extinction, the DNP calls for increased cooperation between other groups and agencies to aid in the protection. State and private agencies along with civil groups across Thailand will need to band together to preserve the natural habitats and resources the tigers need in order to allow their numbers to grow.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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