Tiger and prey interdependence in the Hukaung Valley of the Northern Forest Complex, Myanmar/Burma.
Tiger Coordinator, Wildlife Conservation Society Myanmar Program, Myanmar/Burma
Wildlife Conservation Society Myanmar Program in collaboration with the National Forest Department, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Myanmar
Wild tigers are a keystone species of ecosystem; loss of tigers means ecosystems under pressure. Regrettably, the tiger population is declining across its range because of habitat loss and fragmentation, over-hunting of prey and direct killing of tigers for traditional Chinese medicine. Despite the trends, relatively large adjoining tracts of natural forest still exist and provide high potential habitats for tigers and other large mammals in Southeast Asia and the Himalayan bases. Myanmar is a significant country within this region for tiger conservation because it embraces a large proportion of remaining tiger habitats. In Myanmar, the Hukaung Valley- HKV in the Northern Forest Complex-NFC of the country represents the highest potential for tiger conservation because of its size, 17,373 km². Moreover, the HKV forms part of a connecting forest block, ca. 50,000 km², that links Nepal, Bhutan, Northeastern India and Myanmar. This is the world’s last multinational tiger landscape corridor, across which there are comparatively low impacts from human. According to camera trap and prey occupancy survey, the population density of tigers and their prey is relatively low in the HKV, though the quality and quantity of natural habitats are almost in supreme condition. Earlier qualitative and quantitative studies show that there is a positive correlation between tiger and prey densities in other countries. Based on pragmatic evidence and earlier studies, I propose that prey restoration is a critical issue for tiger conservation in the HKV. Therefore for my research, I will study factors affecting tiger prey species. In-depth study in the causes of tiger prey depletion is urgently needed to understand and reverse population declines of tigers.
Brockelman, W. Y., Hla Naing, Chit Saw, Aung Moe, Zaw Linn, Thu Kyaw Moe, and Zaw Win, 2009. Census of Eastern Hoolock Gibbons (Hoolock leuconedys) in Mahamyaing Wildlife Sanctuary, Sagaing Division, Myanmar. Pages 435-451 in S. Lappan and D. J. Whitaker, eds. The Gibbons: new perspectives on small ape socioecology and population biology. Springer, New York.
Updated: October 15, 2012