Source: Vientiane Times
For almost the past 10 years, there has been no information or images of tigers recorded on camera traps in Laos, so it can be said that these creatures may have been hunted to extinction and have disappeared from forests.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)’s Impact on Tiger Recovery 2010-2022 Report highlighted the urgency for global tiger recovery.
WWF in Laos reported that the country is one of only 13 nations in the world where endangered tigers remain, but believes they may now be extinct after searches, the installation of cameras, and work by scientists in protected areas have found no sign of tigers.
As recently as the early 1980s, tigers reportedly roamed the outskirts of Vientiane in the area where the National University of Laos now stands.
Laos is one of 13 tiger range countries, containing ample tiger habitat but, like much of the tigers’ suitable habitat, it remains largely empty – with populations diminished largely due to the hunting of prey species and of the tigers themselves.
The decline of tigers in Laos is a stark reminder of the precarious situation of wildlife and of the urgent need to take action. However, with ample habitat comes ample opportunity, a hope of rewilding and possibility of seeing tigers roaming the forests of Laos once more.
To coincide with the Lunar Year of the Tiger 2022, WWF-Laos has launched a new five-year conservation programme which includes the protection and recovery of national and global priority species, including the recovery of tigers in Laos.
Through partnership with conservation organisations and under the leadership of the Lao government, recovering the tiger population in Laos is possible
Tigers are one of the most iconic species on the planet, yet they are more than just a beautiful animal. Rewilding tigers not only benefits Laos’ forests and wildlife, but the people of Laos as well.
As top predators, wild tigers play an important role in maintaining the harmony of the planet’s ecosystems. By preying on herbivores, tigers help to maintain a balance between prey animals and the forest vegetation which they feed upon.
WWF-Laos will continue to support core tiger conservation activities including the effective management of protected areas, and disruption of the illegal wildlife trade and the demand for tigers and their parts and products.