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Talks held to preserve tigers

121023_05

An Indochinese tiger in the Mondulkiri Protected Forest in 2007. The picture was taken with a motionsensitive camera trap. Photograph: WWF-Cambodia

Cambodian wildlife experts this week join specialists from 12 other countries to create strategies for reviving  endangered tiger populations.

Fewer than 50 wild tigers are thought to remain in Cambodia, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature Cambodia, which sent an expert to join government representatives at the Second Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation that began in Thimphu, Bhutan, yesterday.

“For the tiger population to recover, it is essential to safeguard the forest habitat and ensure a sustainable source of prey,” WWF Mondulkiri Eastern Plains landscape manager Mark Wright said.

WWF and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ biodiversity department consider the Eastern Plains a key area for tiger recovery.

In the future, tigers under threat might be relocated there, Wright said, noting that Cambodia had drawn inspiration from India’s successful relocation of tigers to its Panna Tiger Reserve.

This week’s conference, the sequel to the First Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in 2010, should provide opportunities for the government to assess other countries’ experience and the feasibility of tiger recovery in Cambodia, Wright said.

A partnership against the poaching of tigers and their prey was especially important to protection in Cambodia,  biodiversity department expert Kry Masphal said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justine Drennan at justine.drennan@phnompenhpost.com

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