A tigress and two cubs have been filmed by remote camera trap in a forest under threat by a $400 million dam in Thailand. To be built on the Mae Wong River, the dam imperils two Thai protected areas, Mae Wong National Park and Huay Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
“The good news is that the footage tells us our tiger conservation efforts are on the right track and that this area is succeeding in helping wild tigers reproduce,” Rebecca Ng with WWF’s Greater Mekong program said in a statement adding, however that, “if the dam is built, it will literally wash away years of conservation efforts and risks the future of tigers in Thailand.”
The dam will flood around 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares) of forest in Mae Wong National Park, as well as bring new roads into the region, which is expected to worsen deforestation and poaching. Mae Wong National Park is a part of the Western Forest Complex, which includes 18 protected areas in Thailand and one in Myanmar, or Burma.
Home to the Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), one of five surviving subspecies of tiger, Thailand is a signatory of a 2010 international agreement that promised to double tiger populations worldwide by 2022. Currently, the tiger is listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Around 3,000 tigers are believed to survive in the wild today, about 10 percent of these in Thailand.
The camera trap video has been released by the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), and WWF.