Connect with us

Thailand

Thailand eyes genetics regional database for wild cats

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

Thailand eyes genetics regional database for wild cats | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Thailand the great hope in saving the tiger
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The planning for a genetics regional database for wild cats in Thailand has begun in hopes of rescuing wild breeding tiger populations in the region – but serious law enforcement is still necessary to save the endangered animals, says the project’s executive officer Panthera Alan Rabinowitz.

The genetics lab, if successful, could mark Thailand as a regional hub for tiger conservation – allowing for scientists to study and find ways in preserving the big cats.

Currently USAID, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the First Secretary from the US Embassy, and Chulalongkorn University have all expressed an interest in the project. Should everything run smoothly, lab setups and the training of personnel may begin early in 2015 and are expected to run 3-5 years in Thailand and 10 years in the entire region.

Tigers in Thailand are crucial because the Kingdom has the last known breeding population of the Indo-Chinese tigers in the region.

Only some 3,000 wild tigers are left in the world, of which around 200 are located in Thailand. Despite increased efforts to conserve these big cats by local governments, poachers who hunt the animals for Chinese medicinal purposes or for profit are still destroying the species faster than they can breed.

The lab will help Thailand understand its tiger population. This includes understanding both the genetics and the population structure so that related tigers aren’t released to breed together says Salisa Rabinowitz, associate director at the American Museum of Natural History.

“Thailand is ready [to become a regional hub while] other countries in Southeast Asia are not,” added Salisa Rabinowitz. According to the geneticist, what makes Thailand ready to become a regional hub compared to economically strong countries such as Singapore, Malaysia or even South Korea is that Thailand has both the wildlife and it is a non-commercial molecular lab, which means that data can be safeguarded.

But not only will a genetics regional database be essential for tiger conservation, harsher law enforcement by authorities is needed too. “We have come to realise [that]what needs the strongest focus [in order to conserve tigers],is more than good science, it is law enforcement – serious law enforcement,” Alan Rabinowitz said.

“True law enforcement people, [such as] the police and soldiers should be especially trained to enter forests and to take part in some of this locking up of these forests,” he said. “If governments would take this seriously, as serious as they take crime in the city, and these areas become better locked up, [there will be improvement.]” he said.

Reportedly, many people involved in killing these tigers can be traced back to larger rings of criminals also involved with child slavery, drugs and the selling of arms. The overlap has resulted in an increased cooperation between local authorities and the international wildlife community.

“Whatever is left here, is not just another tiger population, it’s a crucial tiger population. Right now, while there are still some tigers left in other countries, we’re not able to document any breeding population of tigers right now in Laos, in Cambodia, in Vietnam or in China,” Alan Rabinowitz said.

Despite the critical tiger situation, Rabinowtiz remains optimistic because the attitudes of people are changing and there are habitats still available for these tigers to return. “I’m really hoping that in the next decade Thailand becomes the shining star, a model for wildlife conservation in the entire Southeast Asian region and the regional hub for training, reintroduction, for genetic work for all of Southeast Asia,” he added.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Expert says Delta Plus could be up to 15% more transmissible than Delta Covid variant

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Dirty medical gloves, Thailand defends spending 100m on New year celebrations | Oct. 26

Thailand4 hours ago

Digital platforms to be subject to new regulations following draft decree

Sponsored6 hours ago

Don’t wait!! Book your berth or booth at the Thailand International Boat Show

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Bangkok5 hours ago

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport prepares for November reopening

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 7,706 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand6 hours ago

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha addresses Southeast Asia leaders at 38th ASEAN summit

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand9 hours ago

November reopening concerns majority of Thais, Department of Health survey shows

Thailand9 hours ago

British divers say they risked arrest for giving boys ketamine during cave rescue

World10 hours ago

US President Biden to join ASEAN summit as leaders poised to discuss key regional issues

Thailand11 hours ago

Prayut orders investigation into used medical gloves exported to the US

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Health officials play down concerns over Thailand’s first case of Delta Plus variant

Bangkok12 hours ago

Chulalongkorn students drop royal parade on grounds it promotes “authoritarianism”

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | TAT explains entry for travelers outside quarantine exemption list | October 26

Phuket12 hours ago

Thai PM defends plan to spend 100 million baht on New Year’s Eve celebrities

Tourism13 hours ago

Government’s domestic tour package subsidy receives lukewarm response

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending