Thai wild tiger population increased this year

Tigers in the wild in Thailand have increased by at least 17 since last year for a total of 177, the government said last week, an evidence that the Kingdom is succeeding in its protection and conservation efforts for this endangered species.

Thailand has implemented a full menu of measures to safeguard its tigers in the wild since signing the Hua Hin Declaration on Tiger Conservation in 2011, which aims to double the number of wild tigers globally by 2022. Thirteen “tiger range countries” signed the agreement at the conference hosted by Thailand.

Just 3,900 tigers remain in the wild around the world. The species is close to extinction. The population of wild tigers has been increasing in only six countries, thanks to conservation efforts of Thailand, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Russia and China.

Thanya Nethithammakul, Director-General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said that Thailand had increased patrols in forest reserves, raised awareness and forged cooperation with communities and the public and private sectors to protect tigers.

He added that greater knowledge about the big cats, surveillance technology and the establishment of patrol inspection centers had helped in protection efforts.

Netnapa Ngamnet, Assistant Chief at Kaeng Krachan National Park, said that the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation arrested a total of 36 big cat poachers in parks between 2019 and 2021.

Arresting poachers is a dangerous endeavor for forest rangers, as the poachers are armed and often willing to use violence to evade capture.

While poaching is a serious threat to the survival of the tigers, habitat loss may be an even bigger threat. Thailand has been stepping up its work to save and expand its forests.

Recently, UNESCO designated the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex as a World Heritage Site.

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