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7 avril 2016 4 07 /04 /avril /2016 16:02

Chhith Sam Ath, Directeur de la branche cambodgienne du World Wildlife Fund

Le Cambodge, dont les populations de tigres sont, au mieux, résiduelles (dernier animal observé via caméra piège le 29 novembre 2007), engage un plan de réintroduction ambitieux, dont les premières étapes interviendront en 2017 ou 2018, suivant l'efficience des mesures préalables de sécurisation. Les négociations sont engagées avec les indiens, les malaisiens et les thaïlandais pour introduire au moins 7 à 8 tigres dans les forêts protégées de Mondulkiri où ils pourront se reproduire et augmenter leurs effectifs. Bangkok Post, ce jour. "Cambodia to repopulate forests with tigers from abroad".


Cambodia has unveiled a plan to reintroduce tigers from abroad into the dry forests of the country, where the big cat has become virtually extinct thanks to poaching, conservation officials said.

Between 20 and 50 tigers were believed to exist in Cambodia's forests, but years of illegal poaching -- of the tigers as well as their prey -- led to a dramatic decline in their population. The last tiger spotted in Cambodia was seen in 2007 by camera trap -- a hidden camera that is remotely triggered by the movement of animals -- in the forests of eastern Mondulkiri province, the WWF conservation group said in a statement.

"Today, there are no longer any breeding populations of tigers left in Cambodia, and they are therefore considered functionally extinct," it said.

The statement was released at a joint news conference by representatives of the government, WWF and the Wildlife Alliance, another conservation group.

Keo Omaliss, a government official in charge of wildlife, said Cambodia is considering negotiating with the governments of India, Malaysia and Thailand to bring at least seven to eight tigers to live in the protected forests of Mondulkiri so they can breed and repopulate the forests.

"This would be the world's first transnational tiger reintroduction and will be based on best practices developed from successful tiger reintroductions within India," the WWF statement said. The plan was approved by Cambodia's government on March 23.

The plan is to bring in the tigers after two years because Cambodia needs to resolve related issues such as poaching and rebuilding the population of tiger prey, which will be needed to sustain a tiger population, said Chhit Sam Ath, the director of WWF-Cambodia.

He said the arrival of the tigers could be pushed back to 2018 if the preservation efforts are not completed by 2017.

"Tigers are an iconic species and part of our natural heritage," he said. "To bring tigers back to Cambodia would be the biggest conversation feat of its kind and would support the conversation efforts of the whole landscape."

The entire plan will cost $20 million to $50 million, which will come from donor countries.

After the Khmer Rouge's brutal rule in the 1970s left Cambodia devastated, poor rural dwellers scoured the forests for wildlife. Much of what was found was sold to traders connected to China, where many wild animals, including tigers, are believed to possess medical and sex-enhancing properties.

Actualisation, 15 Avril. The Hindu. Jacob Koshy. "Indian tigers may replenish Cambodian forests.

Cambodia is looking to India to bring wild tigers back to its forests where they were declared “functionally extinct” recently. The Southeast Asian country is trying to get some tigers from India introduced into its eastern region. A formal proposal from Cambodia is likely later this year.

“We are in talks…for six female tigers and two males and we expect more discussions on it this year,” Sokhun TY, Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia, told The Hindu.

India has said it is open to the idea, but wants several conditions for the safety of the tigers to be addressed. “We await a formal proposal and have to think of several aspects. Safety, adaptability to the forests there, risks that our tigers could face are some,” said Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. “There is no specific timeline.”

Cambodia’s dry forests bear similarities to India’s, but conservation biologists say they may not be conducive in terms of low prey density and lax enforcement of anti-poaching laws.

Key deer species that serve as prey were absent and generally “much lower than in ecologically similar sites in South Asia” in Eastern Cambodia, say Thomas N.E. Gray and colleagues, in a research publication.

Other experts are concerned about Cambodia’s inability to rein in poaching. “Twenty-six tigers have been killed in the last three months even in India, so what can we expect in Cambodia,” asks Tito Joseph, Programme Manager, Wildlife Protection Society of India.

A report by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says that though there are genetic variations in Asian tigers (Bengal, Malayan, Indochinese and Amur), the big cats from India or Nepal are best suited for the Cambodia plan as they are likely to acclimatise to dry forests.

After the tiger was declared “functionally extinct” in Cambodia by the WWF, that country is contemplating a $50 million (Rs. 32.5 crore) programme to improve enforcement and restore tiger populations.

MD Madhusudan, a wildlife expert at the Nature Conservation Foundation said the idea of sending Indian tigers to the South-east Asian country wasn’t outrageous. “Science must decide the right kind of tiger (breeding/non breeding) that could be introduced. As long as the timing is right, it could work.”

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