For the first time in recent years there has been an increase in the global feline population. More than half are in India. Phnom Penh’s program for restocking will cost 20 to 50 million dollars.
Phnom Penh (AsiaNews) – On the heels of the alarm raised by the WWF on the extinction of tigers in Cambodia, the Phnom Penh government has decided to fund a project to repopulate their forests with the famous feline.
They are seeking the help of neighboring India which - following a meeting on the subject attended by the 13 nations that are home to tigers - has decided to transfer some of its specimens abroad.
Rajesh Gopal, secretary general of the Global Tiger Forum said that "at the meeting it was decided that the relocation of the tigers is one of the most effective measures in increasing the population. This will take place after the habitat has been best prepared to ensure the safety of this valuable species. "
In recent times Phnom Penh has had to admit the "functional" extinction of tigers on their soil due to deforestation and poaching. This means that the species has too few specimens to have an impact on the ecosystem. The government estimates that the restoration project will cost 20 to 50 million dollars.
Cambodia is in stark contrast to the rest of the world, given that in recent years there has been the first increase in the number of tigers in over century. The number has risen from 3,200 units in 2010 to 3900, more than half of which are in India.
The 13 nations - including Vietnam, Russia, Thailand and Indonesia - have united to form a worldwide task force (the "TX2") which aims to double the number of tigers by 2022.