American media and entertainment company Discovery goes beyond lens to save wild tigers
Tiger cub among menagerie of animals seized in Malaysia enforcement operations
In a string of five raids, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) seized 32 wild animals including a Tiger cub and arrested 5 people including one buyer. Authorities also seized, amongst others, a Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, a Black Pond Turtle Geoclemys hamiltonii, a Binturong Arctictis binturong and a Salmon-crested Cockatoo Cacatua moluccensis. Over 30 PERHILITAN officers were involved in the simultaneous raids in the States of Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan. Three of the raids took place at a private residence while the other two took place at pet shops. All the individuals arrested were reported to have a connection through Facebook pages, where many of these wildlife were advertised for sale. “This has been a good year for PERHILITAN’s law enforcement team. We hope that this streak carries on and more wildlife criminals can be put behind bars,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Senior Programme Manager for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia.
The Malayan Tiger is in danger
Tigers declared extinct in Cambodia
Tigers are “functionally extinct” in Cambodia, conservationists conceded for the first time, as they launched a bold action plan to reintroduce the big cats to the kingdom’s forests. Cambodia’s dry forests used to be home to scores of Indochinese tigers but the WWF said intensive poaching of both tigers and their prey had devastated the numbers of the big cats.
The last tiger was seen on camera trap in the eastern Mondulkiri province in 2007, it said. In an effort to revive the population, the Cambodian government last month approved a plan to reintroduce the creatures into the Mondulkiri protected forest in the far east of the country. The plan will see a chunk of suitable habitat carved out and protected, officials said, and action to protect the tigers’ prey. — AFP
Still tiger trafficking in Thailand
Gadis, the three-legged tiger to be released into wild
Habitat of 51 tigers in Sumatra destroyed due to deforestation
Deforestation in the Bukit Tiga Puluh area in Sumatra has destroyed the natural habitat of at least 51 tigers since 2001, according to a joint study by the scientific journal, Science Advances. The study found that more than 67 percent of the forest, located in the provinces of Riau and Jambi, has been cleared, mostly for agricultural commodities, such as palm oil plantations. Palm oil development remains an ongoing threat in Indonesia, with more than 4,000 square kilometers of forest habitat having been allocated for oil palm concessions.
The study, titled "Tracking changes and preventing loss in critical tiger habitat" involved researchers from the University of Minnesota, Resolve, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the Rainforest Alliance, Stanford University and the World Resources Institute (WRI). It showed that nearly 8 percent, or almost 79,000 square kilometers, of forested habitat was lost globally between 2001 and 2014. The study found that forest loss was lower than expected in tiger habitats, suggesting that there is more than enough habitat remaining to achieve the international commitment of doubling the wild tiger population by 2022 (in an initiative known as "Tx2"), with additional conservation investment. However, the study also found that forest clearing activities since 2001 have resulted in the loss of habitat globally that could have supported an estimated 400 tigers. Habitat loss and poaching have pushed the current global tiger population to less than 3,500 individuals.
The study also showed that tiger populations can rebound quickly when habitat and prey are abundant and if hunting activities are controlled. Nepal and India have reported 61 percent and 31 percent increases in their tiger populations, respectively, since conservation initiatives, such as the transnational Terai Arc Landscape, which was implemented in both countries. The Terai Arc Landscape is composed of 14 Indian and Nepalese trans-border protected ecosystems covering parts of the lowlands and nearby foothills of the Himalayas. Anup Joshi, a research associate at the University of Minnesota, said the figure showed that tigers can potentially recover from the edge of extinction if the authorities made the right forest management choices.
The study was the first to examine tree cover changes systemically across all 76 tiger conservation landscapes using high- and medium-resolution satellite data. Global Forest Watch and online environment monitoring platform Google Earth Engine, along with analysis from the University of Maryland, provided the forest change data for long-term analysis. Global Forest Watch provides monthly and in some cases weekly tree cover loss alerts that can empower park rangers and communities to monitor and protect tiger forest habitats, even at the scale of a single forest corridor used by a roaming tiger male.