Tigers spotted in western Thailand for first time in four years

The conservation group Panthera released footage on Wednesday of three tigers caught by its cameras in the country's western forests

There are now 13 tiger range countries- India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Camera traps in a forest in western Thailand have captured footage of tigers in an area for the first time in four years, a conservationist said, raising hopes over efforts to preserve the species in the Southeast Asian country.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today said India was ready to take the lead in capacity building and management in the tiger range countries, and was planning an ambitious water and fodder augmentation to augment habitats and reduce man-animal conflict.

Tiger numbers are making a "remarkable comeback" in five of the countries the species is found, scientists say.

Speaking after releasing an over 600-page report of the fourth All India Tiger Estimation 2018 on the eve of Global Tiger Day, he said India is proud of its tiger achievements and despite scarcity of land and rainfall, it boasts of eight percent of world's biodiversity. The total population may only be around 350, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

"We don't know that they are definitely settled down in that area, but we are monitoring them closely", he said, adding that their presence signified "the recovery of an area that historically would have had tigers and is now sort of welcoming them back".

There are still only around 3,900 tigers in the wild, where they are under threat from poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, and the destruction and breaking up of their habitat across much of their range, WWF said.

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Poachers, who kill the animals for their skin and parts, have also brought the Malayan tiger, which roams the forested central spine of the Malayan peninsula, to the brink of extinction.

And in Bhutan's Royal Manas National Park the population has increased from only 10 tigers a decade ago to 22 in 2019.

A tiger in Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur district, Rajasthan, India. "Sustained and stronger protection of this area from poaching activity of any kind is the key to ensuring these individuals live on".

Thailand's Successes Thai DNP officers load a tiger on a truck at the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand, on June 1, 2016.

"In 1973, there were just nine tiger reserves which has now increased to 50".

The largest breeding ground is in the Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries in western Thailand.

"In more than 20 years of fieldwork, it's some of the best (footage) I've seen", said Eileen Larney, the Zoological Society of London's country manager for Thailand.

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