India Abroad

Indian Staff To Aid Myanmar Tiger Conservation

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| February 11 , 2018 , 16:27 IST

Buoyed by the improvement in tiger population in India, a team from India is going to work in Myanmar on a conservation plan to preserve the tigers.

The Indian team is operating on a conservation plan to maintain the final 30-Odd Indo-Chinese tigers in northern Myanmar's Htamanthi Flora and Fauna Sanctuary. Recognised as a definite subspecies in 1968, these tigers have a smaller cranium and frame in comparison to the Bengal and Siberian tigers and are found in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.

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This subspecies has also been classified by the International Union for Conservation (IUCN) as 'endangered' as its status is poorly known as compared to other tiger subspecies.

The team has members from the Global Tiger Forum (GTF), an international body that works for the conservation of tigers and which has the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) as its Indian partner.

The team is presently collecting primary data to draw up a conservation plan with the eventual aim of creating a "protected area network."

Myanmar has the largest tiger landscape spread across 20,000 sq km, but its dwindling tiger population has been a concern.

GTF secretary general Rajesh Gopal, who earlier headed Project Tiger and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), said conserving tigers “ties in with the climate-change agenda of a country” since “carbon is locked into tiger reserves ensuring climate change adaptation” for the country.

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“Myanmar too has demonstrated this and they are keen to retrieve the tiger population and draw up a national-level action plan for tigers,” he said.

While giving details in the topic Gopal said, "in January this year, a team from Myanmar met WII scientists in Dehradun and visited the Rajaji Tiger Reserve to learn from India on how to increase the tiger density in a given landscape."

He said the GTF will also help Malaysia do a country-wide estimation of its tiger population and Cambodia with its attempt to bring back its extinct tiger population

India and Myanmar are also negotiating a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will focus on the conservation of tigers, elephants, and bio-diversity, specifically the problem of “illegal logging” in the area.