Tigers found in Thai World Natural Heritage Site

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Bangkok (NNT) – Authorities in the Dong Phaya Yen-Khao Yai World Natural Heritage Site have reported the first sighting of wild tigers in 15 years, highlighting the discovery as an indication the area’s eco-system is improving.

This CCTV image shows wild tigers in the Dong Phaya Yen-Khao Yai Forest Complex area of Thailand. (Photo/Freeland Foundation)
This CCTV image shows wild tigers in the Dong Phaya Yen-Khao Yai Forest Complex area of Thailand. (Photo/Freeland Foundation)

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment officials, alongside partner organizations have announced the discovery of 18 tigers living and breeding in the area.  They were discovered by surveillance cameras and seen on several occasions between June 2016 and February 2017.  Of the 18, five are male and seven are female with the remaining six being cubs.

The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex spans 230km between Ta Phraya National Park on the Cambodian border in the east, and Khao Yai National Park in the west. The site is internationally important for the conservation of globally threatened and endangered mammal, bird and reptile species. Officials pointed out that the discovery of the tigers indicates the state of the region’s eco-system is on the up as tigers can only exist in a healthy natural environment.

Worldwide it is estimated only 4,000 tigers are still in existence in the wild, from a previous tally of over 100,000.

The Freeland Foundation has donated technology and training to Department of National Parks staff so that they may further preserve the region and protect its wildlife.