Myanmar triples size of northern tiger reserve

Aug 05, 2010
A Bengal tigress Noah Noah plays with its newly born cub in Myanmar's Yangon Zoological Gardens in 2005. Myanmar has created the world's biggest tiger sanctuary by more than tripling an area designated as a reserve for the endangered big cats, according to conservationists.

(AP) -- Myanmar has tripled the size of the world's largest tiger reserve in an effort to save the endangered species, which now numbers less than 3,000 in the wild, a conservation group said in a statement seen Thursday.

The entire Hukaung Valley - a remote area of northern Myanmar about half the size of Switzerland - is now a protected tiger area, the government announced Tuesday.

"Myanmar now offers one of the best hopes for saving tigers in Southeast Asia," said Colin Poole of the U.S.-based . "The newly expanded protected area in the Hukaung Valley will be a cornerstone of tiger conservation throughout this iconic big cat's range."

As many as 100,000 tigers roamed the wilds of Asia as recently as 100 years ago, but in the past few years alone some tiger populations have been completely eliminated, mostly by poachers and human encroachment on their habitat.

Illegal hunting in the Hukaung Valley as well as gold mining and large-scale agriculture have decimated wildlife, and as few as 50 of the big cats remain in the area, the society said, noting the valley had the potential to hold several hundred tigers.

"Scientists and believe that tigers can make a comeback if the most critical threats to their existence, poaching of the cats themselves and their prey, are addressed effectively and immediately," the statement said.

The Myanmar government designated 2,500 square miles (6,475 square kilometers) of the valley as a wildlife sanctuary in 2004, and Tuesday's increase brings it to about 8,450 square miles (21,885 square kilometers).

Conservationists and government officials are meeting this fall at a " summit" in St. Petersburg, Russia, to make firm commitments to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022.

Explore further: Declining catch rates in Caribbean green turtle fishery may be result of overfishing

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study says 2000 tigers possible in Thailand

Dec 20, 2007

Thailand’s Western Forest Complex – a 6,900 square mile (18,000 square kilometers) network of parks and wildlife reserves – can potentially support some 2,000 tigers, making it one of the world’s strongholds for these ...

Viable tiger populations, tiger trade incompatible

Jun 05, 2007

In the cover story of this month’s BioScience journal, leading tiger experts warn that if tigers are to survive, governments must stop all trade in tiger products from wild and captive-bred sources, as well as ramp up eff ...

'Genetic corridors' are next step to saving tigers

Feb 13, 2008

The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Panthera Foundation announced plans to establish a 5,000 mile-long “genetic corridor” from Bhutan to Burma that would allow tiger populations to roam freely across ...

Report shows dramatic decline in Siberian tigers

Nov 24, 2009

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today a report revealing that the last remaining population of Siberian tigers has likely declined significantly due to the rising tide of poaching and habitat ...

Nepal expands critical tiger habitat

Oct 27, 2009

The Government of Nepal announced today an expansion of Bardia National Park in the Terai Arc Landscape by 900 sq km, which will increase critical habitat for tigers.

Recommended for you

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

1 hour ago

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

India's ancient mammals survived multiple pressures

20 hours ago

Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite of two ice ages, a volcanic super-eruption and the arrival of people, a study reveals.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.