Thailand's forests could support 2,000 tigers
December 19, 2007
The research, published in the journal Oryx, is based on surveys of tiger habitat in Thailand's Western Forest Complex — a 6,900 square mile (18,000 square kilometers) network of parks and wildlife reserves. Presently about 720 tigers are found in the region, but the authors say better enforcement to safeguard both tigers and their prey from poachers could nearly triple tiger density.
"Thailand has the potential to be a global centerpiece for tiger conservation," said Dr. Anak Pattanavibool of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Thailand Program and a coauthor of the study. "This study underscores that there is an opportunity for tigers to thrive in Thailand — provided tigers and their major prey species are protected from poachers."
Tiger populations have plummeted from 100,000 to around 5,000 in the past century due to habitat loss and poaching. The trade in tiger parts and skins still takes a toll on the great cats.
Saksit Simcharoen, Anak Pattanavibool, K. Ullas Karanth, James D. Nichols and N. Samba Kumar (2007). How many tigers Panthera tigris are there in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand? An estimate using photographic capture-recapture sampling. Oryx Vol 41 No 4 October 2007