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Tigers make comeback in some global areas

Dec. 26, 2012 at 3:54 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Endangered tigers are making a comeback due to better law enforcement, protection of habitat and strong government partnerships, a U.S. wildlife group says.

In three key regions of the big cats' global range -- India, Thailand and Russia -- there have been successes in conserving and protecting the animals, the Wildlife Conservation Society reported Wednesday.

Twenty-five years of research and conservation efforts have resulted in a major rebound of tigers in the Western Ghats region of India's Karnataka State, the WCS said.

In Thailand, an increase in anti-poaching patrols and enforcement has seen a recovery of tiger numbers in the 1,042-square-mile Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, WCS officials said.

Russian government officials are drafting a new law to make transport, sales and possession of endangered animals a criminal offense rather than just a civil crime, the group said.

The WCS said it estimates 3,200 tigers exist in the wild, with poaching, loss of prey, and habitat destruction driving tiger numbers at all-time lows.

"Saving tigers is clearly a team effort," John Robinson, WCS executive vice president of conservation and science said. "Today's victories show that through collaboration with governments, law enforcement, fellow conservationists, and local people, we can save these big cats across their range."

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