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Found 7 results

  1. When speaking of tigers, people generally think about India or Russia. While South-East Asia once hold a huge population of tigers, different factors led to their collapse. Tigers are today functionally extinct in Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao, where WCS and Panthera were still working few years ago in Nam Et Phou Louey, but they have been unable to see any tiger in the last years and thus decided to change their priorities. We know tigers still survive in Myanmar/Birmania but very little is known there and tigers numbers are rough estimates. Panthera were a key actor to create the Hukaung Valley Tiger reserve in 2004 which has been lately enlarged in 2010. Tigers are estimated to be less than what previously expected in peninsular Malaysia. (250 instead of 500). However, Malaysia will soon conduct its first ever tiger census. Indonesia is facing massive poaching and deforestation, less than 500 tigers are expected to survive in Sumatra. The country unfortunately did not commit to lead any census up to now. Panthera, WCS and WWF are working hard in key tiger units (recovery project in Cambodia Eastern Plains, Tamang Negara and Endau-Rompin-Johor complex in Malaysia, different TCU in Sumatra). In Thailand, Tigers are still present in the Western Forest complex and Tenasserim landscape (map available here:, while few tigers survive in Khao Khai complex. Stress was first placed on Huai Khua Khaeng which is along with Thung Yai the core area in the WEFCOM. Thailand worked hard to secure this area with different partners and tigers are now stable and slowly increasing in the core area (60-65 tigers in HKK), migrating to surrounding areas. This is where NGOs are now working to expand secure tiger landscape by implementing successful tools developed in other TCUs. Panthera currently works in Salakpra. WCS in Mae Wong and Klong Lan protected areas. They are working in increasing preys abundance by enforcing patrolling and law enforcement, as prey poaching is the main threat for tigers here. There are plans to expand to Khaeng Krachan complex in the following years. Khao Yai landscape has seen its tiger population depleted. The goal by 2022 is to increase the number of tigers by 50%. Annual counts will be lead each year in HKK. However, Thailand needs to realize a national census by the nation has not yet committed to do so. Here is detailed information about the job done by WCS in the area: Further information Myanmar tiger national plan: Lao/Cambodia: Malaysia: Indonesia:
  2. There are five species of tapir around the world one in South East Asia and four in the Americas, since I’ve been lucky enough to have seen three of them I thought I’d start a tapir thread. So if you have any photos or videos of any of the following species please add them to this thread. Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) Is the largest and perhaps oddest looking species with its distinctive black & white colouration, this rainforest species is distributed along the Tenasserim Mts. from the borders of south eastern Burma and south west Thailand south along the Malay Peninsula and on the neighbouring island of Sumatra in Indonesia. There are no confirmed records from elsewhere in the region, it’s sometimes suggested that this species once occurred in Cambodia, southern Laos and southern Vietnam and is now extinct there; however the forests where tapirs were reputed to occur are too dry to support this species. They’ve never been reported from the wetter forests of the Annamite Mts. on the Laos/Vietnam border where tapirs could survive so it’s likely that the species was never found in any of these countries in recent historical times. Range map Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) This species is the largest of the American tapirs and the largest native mammal in Central America where it is distributed from southern Mexico south to the far North West of Colombia west of the Andes in South America. Range map Mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) This small species also known as the woolly or Andean Tapir is found in cloud forests between 2000 and 4000 metres, alpine meadows and páramo grassland in the northern Andes in Colombia, Ecuador and a very small area of northern Peru. It has disappeared from the north of Colombia and may once have occurred over the border in western Venezuela but if it did it’s extinct there now. Range map Lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) Also known as the Brazilian tapir this species is found throughout lowland tropical South America east of the Andes Range map Kabomani tapir (Tapirus kabomani) This the smallest of the five species is also known as the little black tapir, remarkably this species found in the Amazon in southern Colombia and southwestern Brazil was only recognised in 2013. Despite the fact that native Amerindian peoples in this region have always known that there are two distinct tapir species, not only that but Theodore Roosevelt on one of his hunting trips to Brazil back in 1912 shot one. At the time he believed that the animal he’d shot was different to any of the lowland tapirs that he had previously shot, that the skull in particular was noticeably different and that it was probably a new species as he was aware that the natives recognised two species. However the American Museum of Natural History in New York where this specimen still resides disagreed and decided that Roosevelt’s tapir was just another lowland tapir. Throughout the 20th Century zoologists continued to ignore the views of Amerindian hunters that there were two distinct tapir species in lowland South America. It wasn’t until this century when Brazilian palaeontologist Mario Cozzuol started to really examine tapir skulls that it became apparent that the Amerindians and Roosevelt were right. Scientists make one of the biggest animal discoveries of the century - a new tapir
  3. Does anyone know and can recommend a wildlife guide for Khao Sok, Thailand? We'll be there in January 2018. Thanks
  4. ~ This article from the U.K. Guardian details the clandestine commercial tiger part business of the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Tiger breeding and farming is a thriving business in China, with tiger farms expanding throughout Southeast Asia to meet Chinese demand for tiger parts. Tigers are easily exported to China through porous borders, with immense sums of cash changing hands. Tiger farms claim to promote tiger conservation but actually slaughter the tigers they raise for their parts which are consumed or displayed by affluent Chinese.
  5. ~ This article from AsiaOne describes the Thai-developed wildlife forensic science innovation, ‘Tusk’, which rapidly determines whether a tusk or ivory product originated in Africa or in Asia. The origin of smuggled ivory products may be determined within ten minutes by the portable x-ray fluorescent spectrometer. Due to differing diets, the minerals in African and Asian elephant tusks differs, facilitating identification.
  6. All the recent additions to the Show us Your Elephants thread got me thinking about adding some of the photos of Asian elephants I've taken in various places but rather than add them there I felt it would be appropriate to start a new thread. So if anyone has photos or videos of elephants taken anywhere in Asia, please add them here. The Asian Elephant Elephas maximus was once distributed from Syria in the West (until 100bc) to Vietnam in the East and from Northern China south to Indonesia. Now only scattered populations remain in India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia aside from being extinct in West Asia they have also become extinct in nearly all of China with just 300 or so remaining in the far south in Yunnan, they’re also extinct on the Indonesian Island of Java. Somewhere in between 2,000 to 3,000 of the subspecies Elephas maximas sumatranus still survive on the island of Sumatra and around 1,500 so called Bornean Pygmy elephants survive in the Malaysian province of Sabah on the island of Borneo with perhaps just a further 80 in the neighbouring Indonesian province of Kalimantan. According to local legend Borneo’s elephants were introduced to the island in the 18th century by the Sultan of Sulu, though this might seem very unlikely, at the time it was not unusual for domestic elephants to be shipped from one place to another. However recent genetic analysis seems to have disproved this theory indicating that Borneo’s elephants have been separated from the those on Sumatra for around 300,000 yrs and are therefore clearly of Bornean origin. Although if this is the case and they’ve been on Borneo for that length of time it’s remarkable that they appear to have only ever occupied a relatively small of North-eastern Borneo and that no fossil remains of elephants (or virtually none) have been found on Borneo. This has led to the intriguing idea that the Sultan of Sulu legend could in fact be true that elephants are of introduced origin but that they were brought from Java where elephants are now extinct. At present their exact origins have not been determined for certain but what is clear is that they are unique to Borneo and that the name pygmy elephant is a misnomer as they are in fact on average no smaller than Asian elephants found on the mainland in West Malaysia. Presumed Extinct Javan Elephants May Have Been Found Again In Borneo Asian elephants are in decline everywhere their total population is often put at somewhere between 40-50,000 but really this is no more than a guess and the higher figure is almost certainly an over estimate. More on Asian elephants Unfortunately whoever created this IUCN redlist range map forgot to include the Borneo population While the total remaining elephant population is not known what is known is that at least 50% of them are in India and one of the largest populations of Indian elephants Elephas maximus indicus is in the south west. One of the best places to see them there is from a boat on Periyar Lake in Periyar NP in Kerala.
  7. Many visitors to Africa when they see buffaloes make the mistake of calling them water buffaloes so I thought it was time to have a thread on true water buffaloes. The water buffalo Bubalus bubalis is an Asian species that originally may have occurred from Mesopotamia in the West all the way to China and in much of South Asia and South East Asia it is best known as a domestic farm animal. Water buffalo were domesticated on at least two separate occasions in India around 5,000 years ago and in China about 4,000 years ago. Two different forms the river buffalo and the swamp buffalo have given rise to numerous different breeds which have spread across Asia westwards to south Eastern Europe, Italy and also Egypt, Libya and Tunisia in North Africa. Water buffalos are also extensively farmed in South America and one of the apparent advantages of keeping these animals is that unlike domestic cows they have not lost their instinct and ability to defend themselves against predators and are therefore far less likely to be predated by jaguars. When threatened the cows will form a defensive circle with their calves in the middle while the bulls will attempt to drive off the predator, keep water buffalos and cattle together may be sufficient to deter jaguar attacks. Could Water Buffalo Presence Facilitate Jaguar Conservation in the Neotropics? Some examples of domesticated water buffalos Domestic Water Buffalos in India Domestic Water Buffalo, Doi Lang Thailand by inyathi, on Flickr Domestic Water Buffalos, Doi Lang Thailand by inyathi, on Flickr Domestic Water Buffalos, Doi Lang Thailand by inyathi, on Flickr Feral populations of water buffaloes have been established in Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Guinea and also in Argentina, both in Australia and Argentina valuable trophy hunting industries have developed around these animals. Although all domestic buffalo breeds must ultimately descend from the wild water buffalo this animal was originally classified as a different species Bubalus arnee and this is still the scientific name that is most often used for wild water buffaloes. In recognition of the fact that they are really the same species the name bubalis should become the accepted species name as taxonomic rules dictate that the earlier name always takes precedent. However in this case because the name bubalis was first applied to the domestic buffalo it has been argued that the name arnee should be kept and this is the name still used by the IUCN. The wild water buffalo is now a highly endangered species as most of its favoured habitat of floodplain grasslands has been taken over for agriculture leaving just a relatively few scattered populations in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia. True wild water buffaloes are much bigger and more muscular than domestic buffaloes are generally uniform grey in colour with a pale ‘V’ shape on the neck and dirty white stockings. The most obvious difference from most domestic buffalo though is their huge long horns which project out sideways and curve up at the end and are the longest horns of any wild animal. Only a few thousand wild water buffaloes at most still survive, aside from loss of habitat and poaching wild water buffalo are also threatened by diseases spread by domestic livestock. However perhaps the greatest threat to many populations is hybridisation with domestic buffalos which often stray into protected areas. In India wild water buffalos are primarily restricted to the northeast in Assam Manas Sanctuary, Laokhowa Sanctuary, Kaziranga National Park, and Dibru Sanctuary also in Arunachal Pradesh and then couple of populations in central India in Madhya Pradesh Indravati NP and Udanti Sanctuary. The buffalos in MP were said to be purer than those in Assam but in all likelihood there are probably no truly pure wild water buffalos left anywhere in India. Distribution Map Wild Water Buffalo in Kaziranga NP in Assam In neighbouring Bhutan wild water buffalos are found only in Royal Manas NP which adjoins Manas NP in Assam. In Nepal just one population that is probably not viable in the long term survives in the small Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in the east of the country, sometime ago it was suggested that a group of cows should be moved from Koshi Tappu and taken to Chitwan NP along with some bulls brought in from Kaziranga but nothing has come of this so far. The last wild water buffalos in Chitwan died out in the 1960’s probably from disease. In Thailand wild water buffalo probably still survive only in Huai Kha Khaeng National Nature Reserve In Cambodia a small number can still be found in the Srepok River region of Mondulkiri in the East of the country near the Vietnamese border an area formerly known as “The Serengeti of Asia” because of its abundance of big game. Srepok project - photographing of wild water buffalo! They are very likely extinct in Vietnam any wild buffalos there or elsewhere in South East Asia or Indonesia are presumed to be feral and of purely domestic origin. In Sri Lanka water buffaloes occur in national parks like Yala, Wasgomuwa and Uda Walawe the exact origins of these apparently wild water buffaloes is not exactly certain but the general view is that they are probably feral in origin and descended from domestic stock that was introduced to the island. Whether water buffaloes were ever really native to Sri Lanka is not known for sure but in India wild water buffaloes have never been known to have occurred south of the Godavari River so it seems unlikely that they could have been native to Sri Lanka. In any case most of Sri Lanka’s water buffaloes were wiped out during a rinderpest epidemic in the 19th Century so if there was in fact a population of native buffaloes on the island that survived into modern times it’s likely that there are no pure animals left just hybrids. However many of the buffaloes that you can see in Sri Lanka’s parks do at least look very similar to wild water buffaloes. There are also three other species of true buffalos in Asia although they’re not generally called buffaloes the lowland anoa Bubalus depressicornis and the mountain anoa Bubalus quarlesi both from the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia and the tamaraw Bubalus mindorensis on the Island of Mindoro in the Philippines.

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