Rare Indo-Chinese tiger spotted in China-Myanmar border
http://www.chinaview.cn/ 2009-02-23 19:48:03
KUNMING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) — Chinese scientists in southwest China’s Yunnan Province said Monday they had a photo of a wild Indo-Chinese tiger, the world’s most critically endangered tiger subspecies.
The picture was taken in May 2007 by a researcher with an infrared camera in Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve, a mountainous border area straddling China and Myanmar, said a provincial forestry department official surnamed Huo.
At the time, scientists from the State Forestry Administration (SFA) and the provincial forestry department were on a 20-month field survey, he said.
“The research group found a large number of the tigers’ footprints, feces, remains of prey and traces of other activity in the reserve,” he said. “They also found bison, Sambar, barking deer, boar and other herbivorous animals that were part of the tigers’ food chain.”
Indo-Chinese tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti) are mainly found in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and southern China. Scientists estimate only 1,200 to 1,700 Indo-Chinese tigers are living in the wild.
Huo declined to give an estimate of the number of the tigers in Yunnan or the name of the researcher who took the photo.
“We have to wait for the final proof from the State Forestry Administration. Maybe in several weeks, we will release the investigation report with the estimated figure of the tigers,” he said.
Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, in the southernmost of Yunnan, has the best preserved tropical rain forests in China and has five state-level nature reserves.