New tiger discovery in Chumphon province’s forests sparks transboundary patrol theory

Picture courtesy of Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation

Three tigers, believed to traverse between Thailand and Myanmar, have been discovered in Chumphon province’s forests. The big cats were detected last Friday in the Tanao Sri Mountain Range, which forms the border between the two countries.

The tigers are suspected of patrolling the forests of Duang Charoen, Nern Thong, and Chong Kamew in the Ta Sae district’s Song Pee Noing subdistrict. According to Attapon Charoenchansa, head of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP), continuous monitoring suggests that these tigers regularly cross between Thailand and Myanmar.

The revelation is a result of a collaborative investigation by the DNP and the Bangkok-based Freeland Foundation, a renowned anti-trafficking organisation. The survey focused on tiger populations within the Tanao Sri Mountain Range, which encompasses areas along the Thai border and Lenya National Park on the Myanmar side.

Twenty-four trap cameras are strategically placed in these locations. Throughout 2020 to 2022, these cameras have recorded numerous tigers. However, only footprints were discovered in the previous year. Officials have now confirmed that the latest footage features three distinct tigers, identifiable by their unique stripe patterns, reported Bangkok Post.

Attapon revealed that the Wildlife Conservation Office plans to conduct a comprehensive study on these three tigers. The investigation aims to determine how long these tigers have been hunting across the Thailand-Myanmar border and if they have been included in previous surveys of Thailand’s tiger population.

As per the DNP’s 2020 data, the wild tiger population is estimated to be between 148 and 189. The Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary is identified as the largest habitat in the country, hosting between 103 and 131 tigers.

In related news, hidden cameras deep within Kanchanaburi‘s Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary have snapped jaw-dropping photos of two tiger cubs.

Trail cameras, strategically placed by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, recently struck gold, capturing never-before-seen snapshots of the tiger cubs on August 3. These heart-melting images reveal the untamed beauty of nature’s fiercest felines.

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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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