Wild tigers near extinction as researchers find more evidence. John Iadarola and Brooke Thomas break it down on The Damage Report. Follow The Damage Report on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDamageReportTYT/
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Read more here: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/tigers-extinct-in-laos/
"Are tigers extinct in Laos?
That’s the conclusion of a detailed new study that found no evidence wild tigers still exist in the country.
What researchers did find during a five-year camera survey of the biodiversity-rich Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area was evidence of snares—lots and lots of deadly snares, which are designed to trap and kill any animals that stumble across them.
It appears that tigers have now paid the ultimate price for the snaring crisis that plagues Laos and the rest of Southeast Asia.
“Snares are simple to make,” says Akchousanh Rasphone, a zoologist with the Wildlife Research Conservation Unit and lead author of the study. “One person can set hundreds or even thousands of snares, which kill indiscriminately and are inhumane for anything that is captured.” Most animals killed in snares are destined for Asia’s bushmeat markets, although tigers themselves are sought by wildlife traffickers for their valuable furs and body parts.
The loss of tigers in Laos was an avoidable, if not unexpected, tragedy. The most recent worldwide tiger population estimates, released in April 2016, put the number of tigers remaining in the country at all of two. The observation of those last two Laotian tigers came from the first year of the camera survey; they were never seen again—except, in all likelihood, by the trappers who killed them."
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