Thailand investigates potential tiger migration between Thai and Myanmar forests

The Department of National Parks (DNP), Wildlife and Plant Conservation in Thailand is investigating the movements of tigers, potentially traversing between Thai and Myanmar forests. This follows the discovery of tiger footprints in Chumphon, reported by a local wildlife sanctuary.

Athapol Charoenshunsa, DNP director-general, confirmed the discovery of the footprints in the forest of Tambon Song Phi Nong, in Tha Sae district, brought to his attention yesterday. The footprints of the animals are yet to be confirmed as belonging to the three distinct tigers recently identified on camera in the Tanao Si mountain range, a region spanning both Thailand and Myanmar.

In the belief that these animals are migrating between Thai and Myanmar forests, the Wildlife Conservation Office has been tasked to study the frequency of these cross-boundary movements and whether they are already included in the country’s tiger population, Athapol stated.

The aforementioned camera survey was a joint project between the DNP and the Freeland Foundation, involving the installation of 24 cameras. The analysis identified three unique tigers, distinguished by distinctive stripe patterns.

Upon reporting the discovery to the Police General Phatcharavat Wongsuwan, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment the DNP was instructed to further survey the tiger population.

Utilising smart patrol technology and specialised analysis techniques, the current estimate of wild tigers in Thailand has increased from 130-160 in 2020, to approximately 148-189. Cameras have been installed at over 1,000 locations across 28 wildlife reserve areas.

The majority of tigers are predominantly found in the Thungyai Naresuan and Huai Kha Khaeng wildlife sanctuaries. These areas span the provinces of Uthai Thani, Kanchanaburi, and Tak, with the tiger population estimated at 103-131.

This population growth is a testament to the fertility and diversity of Thailand’s forests. It has spurred the Government of Thailand to approve a long-term plan for tiger conservation, extending until 2034, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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