No More Tigers in Cambodia! Government Plans to Reintroduce the Big Cats in Their Forests
The dry forests of Cambodia once serve as the home for a number of Indochinese tigers, but now, due to excessive human activities, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has declared tigers to be "functionally" extinct.
Functional extinction, according to Ars Technica, happens when a species with dwindling numbers affect other species within its food web. It also used to describe a situation when there are not many numbers of the species left to perform its role in their ecosystem.
According to a Tech Times report, weak enforcement of protective laws coupled with intensive illegal poaching of the large cat and their food caused the rapid decline of tiger population in Cambodia.
The main preys of tigers living in Cambodia are Red Muntjac Deer, Sambar Deer and Banteng.
In a report from The Guardian, conservationists said the last tiger seen using a trap camera set in the Eastern Mondulkiri provinces was in 2007.
In hopes to repopulate their forest with tigers, the Royal Government of Cambodia plans to get their hands on two male tigers and five to six female tigers from another country.
The tigers will be put in a vast region of protected forests in the Eastern Plain Fields of Cambodia.
Cambodian officials had began talking to other countries, such as Thailand, India and Malaysia to provide the tigers for repopulation.
The estimated cost of the project will run between $20 million and $50 million.
According to WWF, there are only about 3,200 wild tigers in the world.
The constant decline of tiger's number in Asia can be attributed to poaching and deforestation.
To raise the total number of these striped cats around the world, the 13 tiger-ranched countries, which include Cambodia, Vietnam, Russia, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, India, China, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, have joined hands to developed a goal called Tx2.
Tx2 aims to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.