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New tiger footprints found in Chumphon forest

PHOTO: Flickr/Suwapitch Rimpongpisan

National Park officials are investigating new tiger footprints found in a forest in the southern province of Chumphon (about halfway from Bangkok to Phuket). Athapol Charoenshunsa, chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, says the prints were discovered by a wildlife sanctuary in the Tha Sae district.

The Bangkok Post reports that officials are now trying to determine if the prints belong to 3 tigers recently captured on CCTV, as part of a survey project between the DNP and the Freeland Foundation.

The project involved the installation of 24 cameras and subsequent footage identified 3 different tigers, based on the unique pattern of their stripes. The footage was captured in the Tanao Si mountain range, part of Thailand and Myanmar, and officials believe the tigers may roam back and forth between both countries.

“It is believed the animals are roaming back and forth between Thai and Myanmar forests, so the Wildlife Conservation Office has been assigned to carry out a study to find out how long these tigers have crossed the boundaries and if they are already included in the country’s tiger population.”

According to the report, there are currently between 148 and 189 tigers in the wild in Thailand, up from 130 – 160 in 2020. Officials have set up cameras at over 1,000 locations, across 28 wildlife reserves.

Most tigers have been spotted in the Thungyai Naresuan and Huai Kha Khaeng wildlife sanctuaries, which encompass the provinces of Uthai Thani, Kanchanaburi, and Tak. Numbers are thought to be between 103 and 131. The increase in tiger numbers has encouraged the government to implement a plan for tiger conservation until 2034.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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