The recent report from Freeland‘s project “Khao Laem Conservation in one of Thailand’s Frontier Tiger Parks” holds positive news of tigers in Thailand in The Western Forest Complex.
Thailand has become one of the last strongholds for wild tigers in Southeast Asia. However, the long term survival of Indochinese tiger is not yet assured and bolstering of conservation capacity and reducing threats within tiger reserves are critical. The Western Forest Complex (WEFCOM) is well established as a tiger conservation landscape of global priority and evidence suggests tigers are dispersing from source sites within this complex to adjoining Protected Areas.
However, there remain substantial gaps in understanding of where tigers occur and the degree of connectivity to allow safe tiger dispersal. Southern WEFCOM’s Khao Laem National Park (KLNP) has received little conservation attention compared to adjoining parks however, evidence now suggests this site is of major significance for tiger conservation.
Strengthened patrols and park-based monitoring are exceeding expectations, catalysed by considerable enthusiasm among park staff. This additional knowledge of tigers, prey, threats, and patrol effectiveness will help protect the KLNP population of tigers.
Project activities and key achievements:
- 6 Survey trips implemented over the year
- 26 cameras were able to survey 108km2
- 8,285 Camera Trap Night of survey conducted
xx* tigers recorded
89% of the park was patrolled during the year (1,332km2 of 1,497km2)
- Supported provisions for 8 ranger units which patrolled 2,521 days over a total distance of 24,798kms
- Over the year 389 violations were recorded in the park and four cases sent to court (for minor crimes the park levies administrative fines on the spot)
- Wildlife data recorded at 1,279 distinct locations during patrols, which included xx* tiger track records and all data entered into SMART
- SMART patrol meetings occurred every month
- SMART reports prepared every month
- More than 56 rangers received on-job-training on how to implement camera surveys
- 40 new rangers and experienced rangers received first aid and navigation training
*These figures have been removed for security
Read the report here (redacted for security)