In the past 12 years, tiger numbers have fallen by more than 70% in the Greater Mekong area, according to a new WWF report. 'Tigers on the Brink: Facing up to the Challenge in the Greater Mekong', states that tiger populations in the Greater Mekong � an area that includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam � have plummeted from an estimated 1,200 in 1998 to a mere 350 today. This decline has been mirrored by a fall in wild tiger population globally. Numbers are at an all time low of 3,200, down from an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 in 1998. The fall in population has been attributed to an increasing demand for tiger body parts, used in traditional Asian medicine, along with habitat loss caused by unsustainable development in the region. "Tiger populations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia could become locally extinct by 2022 if we don't take decisive action to protect them now," said Diane Walkington, Head of Species, WWF-UK. "The Greater Mekong has huge potential to increase tiger numbers. The region contains the largest combined tiger habitat in the world, including forest landscapes roughly the size of France which are already priority areas for tiger conservation efforts. However today's census shows that these efforts to protect tigers, their prey and their habitat must be strengthened before it's too late." Indochinese tigers historically were found in abundance across the Greater Mekong region. Today, there are no more than 30 individual tigers per country in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The remaining populations are predominantly found in the Kayah Karen Tenasserim mountain border area between Thailand and Myanmar.


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