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Photos reveal Myanmar's large and small predators
Date:9/9/2008

NEW YORK (September 4, 2008)Using remote camera traps to lift the veil on Myanmar's dense northern wild lands, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society have painstakingly gathered a bank of valuable data on the country's populations of tigers and other smaller, lesser known carnivores (see photo attachments). These findings will help in the formulation of conservation strategies for the country's wildlife.

Using camera traps survey techniques, researchers from WCS's Myanmar Program have combed the 3,250-square-kilometer core area (approx. 1,250 square miles) of the Hukaung tiger reserve, the world' largest protected area for tigers, for evidence of the big cats and other wildlife. The recently published data were gathered between December 2002 and May 2004.

During that time, the researchers photographed six individual tigers some 21 times in the reserve, and this has allowed the first ever scientific estimate of abundance for these big cats in northern Myanmar.

"We know there are tigers here, but previously we were not able to put some numbers to the population," said Wildlife Conservation Society researcher, U. Than Myint, co-author for an article in the July edition of the journal Population Ecology which details efforts to measure tiger numbers in Myanmar's Hukaung Tiger Reserve. "We have collected the first real data needed to determine how many tigers are here. From the analyses of this data, it is estimated that there are at least seven and potentially up to 70 tigers living in the core area. Estimating numbers of prey animals such as gaur and sambar may give an indication of how many tigers can be supported over this vast habitat, but any further ecological monitoring will likely need to be done at the same time as efforts are increased to protect tigers and their key prey species from illegal hunting and trade."

Researchers have also confirmed the continued exist
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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