Help for the Indochinese Tiger
The most important expansion area for tigers, living wild in Thailand, is located in the so-called Western Forest Complex. This forest region is a mosaic composed of connected wildlife preserves in western Thailand along the border to Myanmar. With its 7,230 square miles, the complex’s twelve national parks and seven wildlife preserves represent one of the largest connected forest preserves in Southeast Asia. About 130 of the still remaining 196 Indochinese tigers live in this area. The two national parks Mae Wong and Khlong Lan provide tigers a suitable habitat and promise good chances to reestablish the Thai tiger population there. Together with the responsible national authorities, the Department of National parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), the WWF started a project here in order to increase the number of tigers in the wild by 50% by 2022. The following three components are prerequisites to accomplishing this ambitious goal.
1. Investigation of the population growth of tigers and their prey
To provide a scientific basis to examining habitat and behavior of tigers and their prey, workers in the wildlife preserves must be appropriately trained. Special attention must be paid to working with camera traps because they increasingly help to document the expansion of the animals. In the two preserves, Mae Wong and Khlong Lan 164 camera traps have been installed until now which are checked regularly. The photographs provided so far evidence for 32 different mammals, including classic tiger prey: sambar deer and muntjak (also a type of deer), gaur (wild beef), and wild boar. Additionally, among other big cats (various leopard) at least ten adult tigers could be identified.
2. Improvement of species protection methods in order to prevent tiger poaching
In order to protect tigers more effectively against poachers and to better control preserve areas, Thai game rangers must be trained and employed. They need to be trained up in various disciplines, for example in survey methods, patrol techniques, and map reading. So far more than 100 rangers have been trained, who are now employed in small teams of 5 to 6 people surveying and guarding the two national parks.
3. Stronger inclusion of the local populace in protection efforts in order to make wildlife conservation sustainable
Local rangers are regularly active in schools to inform the students about tiger protection efforts. In this way, already several thousand students could be reached in the past months. Additionally the rangers are also responsible for supporting a comprehensive information campaign in the villages about the impact of illegal trade in wild animals and to make the local community part of their wildlife conservation efforts.
How we are helping...
As a strong presence of field rangers in the national parks is key to increase the number of tigers, the "A World for Tigers" Foundation focuses on the construction of ranger stations and training of new rangers in Mae Wong, Khlong Lan and in Myanmar.
With over 100 rangers, and 164 installed camera traps, a solid basis for the success in this area has already been established. To provide for a successful and sustainable protection of the animals, we require more rangers who directly combat poachers, rescue injured animals from wire traps and who can engage in the villages in comprehensive information campaigns about impacts of illegal wild animal trade.
To this end, all donations provided to the foundation "A World for Tigers", will be used in their entirety to employing park rangers, their training and equipment as well as the construction of ranger stations.
The suitable habitat in Thailand and Myanmar, historically strong results in engaging local populace in protective measures as well as the readiness of Thailand’s government to cooperate in these efforts, all suggest success prospects to increase the Thai tiger population by 50% by 2022!
Help us reach this ambitious goal – it is not too late!