Of the estimated 7,000 tigers left in the world, scientists know the least about the roughly 2,000 thought to remain in Southeast Asia.
Unstable or repressive political conditions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Malaysia have long impeded Western biologists trying to study tigers there. Much of the big cats habitat, meanwhile, consists of remote, extremely wild rain forest that offers near-perfect cover to the shy and elusive predators.
So tiger experts are hailing a new study of the tiger population in Malaysia as something of a landmark in research and conservation of the animals. The study, by recent University of Florida graduate Kae Kawanishi, provides the first scientifically rigorous estimate of a tiger population in Malaysia and one of the first such studies in the entire region. Such studies are important because they will aid conservation efforts in an area facing huge population and development pressures, experts say.
Kae Kawanishi | EurekAlert!
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