The only place in Indochina where tigers can naturally survive and breed outside zoos is in Laos, specifically in the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area where the continuing presence of the tiger testifies to the richness of the natural biodiversity in the area.
‘The last home for tigers in Indochina’ is a campaign designed to create awareness of the need for tiger protection in the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NPA).
According to the report of the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility, Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA has biological significance at the global, national, and local levels. The protected area is in a Class I Tiger Conservation Landscape and contains the last confirmed breeding population of Indochinese Tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti) outside of Thailand.
There have been no recent records of tigers in Cambodia and Vietnam, and just a few recorded sightings in China.
According to the Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA deputy head Mr Bouathong Xaiyavong, in a 2009 survey, through DNA checking, it is estimated that at least nine tigers including 2 female tigers remain in the park, which has good habitat with the potential of supporting breeding in the core area of over 300,000 hectares. In April this year, two tigers were photographed by camera traps and it is likely that more were there but not seen.
The NPA has a total land area of 420,000 hectares, of which 300,000 is maintained under extreme protection, covering eight districts in the three provinces of Huaphan, Xieng Khuang and Luang Prabang.
The Lao government and international organisations have been paying close attention and giving help and support in the fight to protect the big cat, in terms of providing funds and technical assistance. More....