PR: Announcement of Minimum Tiger number in Myanmar | WWF

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PR: Announcement of Minimum Tiger number in Myanmar

29 July 2019

NAY PYI TAW (29 July 2019): On Global Tiger Day, the Myanmar Government has confirmed its place as a tiger country with a new minimum national number of 22 tigers, as well as recent evidence of tigers breeding in the wild. The data is from camera trap surveys conducted to just 8% of potential tiger habitat across the country between 2016 and 2018.

Myanmar is one of the few countries around the world where tigers live. Tiger habitat forms around 7% of the country’s total area approximately 12 million acres.
 
“Myanmar is proud to be one of only 13 tiger range countries, and the fact that tigers are confirmed to be breeding gives us hope for our wild tiger population. We will endeavour to give our tigers the protection and space necessary to breed and thrive so future generations can be proud to live alongside this Asian iconic species,” said H.E. U Ohn Win, Union Minister for Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
 
To value and conserve the living tigers in Myanmar, Myanmar artists are planning to do an art exhibition.
 
“Like a priceless piece of art each tiger is unique, a national treasure and source of pride for Myanmar.  We will work with conservation partners to ensure our tigers are protected but the responsibility falls to each and every citizen – to say no to poaching, no to wildlife crime and yes to Myanmar remaining a tiger country,” said Dr. Nyi Nyi Kyaw, Director General of Forest Department.
 
Tigers are listed as endangered species on the IUCN red list of threatened species. Globally there are less than 4,000 wild tigers with the majority in India.  Southeast Asia is facing a tiger extinction crisis with numbers plummeting in recent decades.  IUCN’s most recent assessment in 2014 stated that tigers are possibly extinct in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Tigers can breed easily if given enough space and protection. Knowing how many tigers and where they are located by using camera trap, especially breeding tigers, is the first step to a country protecting and keeping them.  However, in addition to the tiger images, the camera traps showed photos of poachers.
 
Myanmar’s other wildlife populations are also facing a poaching crisis. 2017 saw a dramatic rise in elephant poaching and skinning. However, it was controlled with immediate action.
 
Myanmar is one of the 13 tiger living countries to be a part of Tx2, the global goal to double wild tiger numbers by 2022, the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.

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Notes to editor
  • Minimum figure is based on camera trap surveys conducted in approximately 8% of total potential tiger habitat.
  • Myanmar still has extensive forest. Good forest cover with links to existing tiger habitat has the potential to be tiger territory if protection is provided.
  • Surveys were conducted across 3 sites by WCS, FFI, Forest Department, KFD, KWCI and WWF between 2016 and 2018.
  • Only adult and sub-adult individuals were counted.
  • Art exhibition activities will be announced later.

For more information, contact:

Saw Linn Htet
Communications Officer, WWF-Myanmar
sawlinn.htet@wwf.org.mm
+959 796300839
Media Contact
Saw Linn Htet
+95 1 229331