Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New plan submitted to reintroduce tigers

New plan submitted to reintroduce tigers

New plan submitted to reintroduce tigers

Wildlife advocates trying to reintroduce tigers to Cambodia recently took further steps, submitting a proposal to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and unofficially approaching other governments for possible tiger donations.

Officials from the ministry’s Department of Wildlife and Biodiversity this month submitted their Cambodia Tiger Action Plan – a proposal two years in the making – to the MAFF and have unofficially approached countries with high tiger populations, said Keo Omaliss, head of the department.

“We are looking at countries with high populations of tigers, like India [and] Malaysia,” Omaliss said yesterday. “More or less, everything is in the planning.”

The New Indian Express newspaper in Chenna, India, yesterday reported that officials from Cambodia had informally approached India, which recently reported a 30 per cent increase in tigers, for possible jungle cat donations.

Tigers are currently “functionally extinct” in Cambodia.

The unofficial enquiries from Cambodia came as proponents of tiger reintroduction in Cambodia wait an expected week or two for the possible approval of the new plan, Omaliss said.

An ambitious project, replenishing the world-renowned species to Cambodia’s eastern plains could reaffirm the nation’s commitment to maintaining its forests, said Thomas Gray, regional species director at the Greater Mekong branch of the conservation group WWF.

“They can make a statement that the Cambodian government is committed to maintaining forest cover,” Gray said yesterday. “There are now some very clear guidelines of how to do reintroduction; if done properly, the chances of negative outcomes are minuscule.”

Environmental NGOs and conservation supporters continue to battle deforestation, which diminishes habitats for all species. But, Gray said, the issue has not reached the level where reintroduction of the striped predator could seriously endanger villagers living in the eastern plains.

Moreover, preliminary results of a WWF survey taken last June show that populations of species on which tigers prey are moving “in the right direction”, Gray said. The increase of prey population and infrastructure to reintroduce tigers to Cambodia would likely take between five and 10 years, though such action would require competent and committed law enforcement, he added.

“We repeat the surveys every two years, so I’m confident that in six, four, maybe even two years’ time the prey” will be populous enough to support tigers.

MOST VIEWED

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Sokha defence denies Tech’s claims

    ON DAY two of Kem Sokha’s treason trial, lawyers for the government said the defence had raised questions in an attempt to allow their client to make a public statement and a conclusion to the case, something his legal team denied. Ky Tech, a

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Good governance needed for sustainable growth

    Cambodia is one of the most successful countries in achieving high and rapid economic growth in Asia and the world. The average 7 per cent of annual GDP growth in the past two decades has lifted millions of people out of poverty. In 2015, Cambodia graduated from