Tiger babies have been discovered in a natural park in eastern Thailand, which is a “miracle” for this subspecies decimated by deforestation and generalized poaching, according to animal welfare groups.
Thailand, considered a hub of wildlife trafficking in Asia, is one of thirteen countries where tigers still live in the wild, but their numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years. The last time a family of Indochinese tigers had been spotted was 15 years old.
Deforestation, the advance of villages and poaching explain the decline in the number of tigers in Asia.
“The extraordinary rebound of the tigers of eastern Thailand is a miracle,” said John Goodrich, director of the tiger program at Panthera, a conservation group for these wildlife. According to the organization, Thailand is the only country in the world to have new families of Indochinese tigers.
On images taken in full jungle throughout 2016, we see a dozen tigers, females and their cubs.
“As the illegal trade in tigers continues, they will need protection,” said Kraisak Choonhavan, chairman of Freeland’s board of environmental NGOs.
“It is crucial to continue the great strides made by the Thai government to strengthen the protection of tigers,” he added.
Indochinese tigers, which are generally smaller than their counterparts in Bengal and Siberia, were once present in much of Asia. But today it is estimated that only Thailand and Burma remain. They would be about 200.
In 2010, the 13 countries hosting tigers, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam , Had launched a program to double their number by 2022.
Around the world, WWF and the Global Tiger Forum have counted some 3890 tigers in 2016, down from a historic low of 3200 in 2010. This is the first increase since 1900, when 100 000 tigers were recorded.
Some parts of tiger – teeth, meat – are trafficked in Asia, where they are used as talismans or to manufacture medicines for traditional Chinese medicine.