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Tiger spotting: Only 250 in Thai forests

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Spotting a tiger in Thailand's forests is getting more & more difficult as tigers disappear, but Thailand still has most tigers in Asean.



For more photos and detailed descriptions of searching for tigers in different forests around Thailand read the full article here.

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Lord of the Jungle

Forest encroachment leaves tigers in Thailand in danger of lapsing into history
30/07/2012
Smith Sutibut

Yesterday - July 29 - was Global Tiger Day, as designated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). But how many people are aware of that, considering you only hear about tigers being hunted or trafficked, or only see them in zoos.

People believe tigers to be fierce and menacing animals. That's probably because they are hunters at the top of the food chain. They are immensely powerful, and can take down even a bull or an elephant that is several times larger. They are acknowledged as the Lord of the Jungle, but in fact they only hunt when they are hungry, and only select prey that is weaker.

Tigers are intelligent, and try to stay away from humans. That is why they are so evasive. I have been photographing wildlife for over 30 years, yet I've had very few encounters with tigers. Each time, however, has been a memorable occasion...

Plight of the tiger

A survey of tigers in wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand carried out in 1979 by the Royal Forest Department put the number at 400-500. However, a survey by Dr Alan Rabinowitz, a big cat expert from New York Zoological Society who did a study on tigers at Huai Kha Khaeng from 1987-89, and surveyed the number of tigers there as well as other sanctuaries, put the number at only 250.

At the First Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in January 2010 in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan province, the WWF announced that there were only 3,200 tigers left in the world, compared to 20,000 in the 1980s, and 100,000 in the previous century.

The WWF reported that there were 350-700 Indochinese tigers left in the wild, and of these, 250 are in Thailand.

That makes Thailand home to the biggest population of Indochinese tigers. Another 30 live in Vietnam and Cambodia, and an unknown number in Laos and Myanmar...

...Where have all the tigers gone, you might ask? Experts suggest that the tigers' natural habitat has been invaded by forestry offices, resorts, tourists and cars. This invasion of forest area has resulted in the dwindling number of tigers.

Herbivores such as deer and red muntjac are no longer as common as before, making it difficult for tigers to survive.

The conservation of tigers to prevent them from extinction is important as it is an indication of a rich ecological system, which is, in turn, beneficial to humans. It is the preservation of life in general.

Hunting is another threat to the tiger population. Its pelt is sought after as a status symbol for the wealthy, and every single body part, even its sexual organs, is sold at astronomical prices in the unfounded belief that they have medicinal or aphrodisiac properties. Wildlife trafficking is still alive and well in this country.

If no measures are introduced to put a stop to this illegal activity, then one day the ''Lord of the Jungle'' will lapse into memory as the animal that ''once roamed Thailand but is now extinct''.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Lord of the Jungle, Forest encroachment leaves tigers in Thailand in danger of lapsing into history, 30/07/2012, Smith Sutibut, link


Tigers in Thailand Vocabulary

tiger -
 เสือ (See Wikipedia)

spot a tiger - see a tiger
tiger spotting - looking for tigers (difficult to find because not many)

Lord of the Jungle - king of the jungle, the most powerful animal in the jungle

Global Tiger Day - a day around the world for remembering the tiger (See Wikipedia)
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - an organization that helps protect wild animals (See Wikipedia)

wildlife - animals living in the jungle

wildlife trafficking
- illegal buying and selling of wildlife (See wikipedia)
endangered species - a type of animal with decreasasing numbers that may disappear and not exist at all soon (See Wikipedia)
poaching - the illegal hunting of animals that are protected by law (See Wikipedia)

wild (adjective) - not living with humans, living in the jungle 
wild animal

the wild
(noun) - a place where there are no people living (like the jungle)
in the wild

encroachment - entering and using an area of land that does not belong to you to use การบุกรุก
forest encroachment - entering and using forest areas (that you should not use)

lapse - when something ends, ceases to exist anymore (example: she didn't pay the annual membership fees and let her membership at the fitness club lapse)
lapse into history - meaning: when there are no more tigers (and tigers are only something you read about in history books)
in danger of lapsing into history

Forest encroachment leaves tigers in Thailand in danger of lapsing into history

designated - formally chosen for something; chosen for a special purpose  แต่งตั้ง ที่ได้รับการแต่งตั้ง แต่งตั้งให้เป็น give a name for a particular purpose ถูกกำหนด

aware of  - knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ

hunt - to search for an animal in order to kill it (and then use for food or skin)
traffick -
to transport and sell illegally

Global Tiger Day, as designated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). But how many people are aware of that, considering you only hear about tigers being hunted or trafficked, or only see them in zoos.

fierce - very intense and very aggressive
menacing - when something is dangerous and may cause harm
fierce and menacing animals

food chain - the natural process by which one thing is eaten by another thing which, in turn, is eaten by another, and so .... the big fish swallows the little fish ... (See Wikipedia)
at the top of the food chain - the most powerful animal that eats all the others (usually man, but in the jungle the tiger)

they are hunters at the top of the food chain

immensely -
very
immensely powerful - very powerful

take down - kill
can take down even a bull or an elephant that is several time larger

acknowledge
- to accept something as true
acknowledged as
the Lord of the Jungle

prey - an animal that is hunted and killed by another animal
select prey that is weaker

People believe tigers to be fierce and menacing animals. That's probably because they are hunters at the top of the food chain. They are immensely powerful, and can take down even a bull or an elephant that is several time larger. They are acknowledged as the Lord of the Jungle, but in fact they only hunt when they are hungry, and only select prey that is weaker.

intelligent - smart
evasive -
difficult to catch or find  
encounter
- when you meet someone

memorable - easy to remember; likely to be remembered or worth remembering ซึ่งมีค่าน่าจดจำ, โดดเด่น
memorable occasion - some time in life that is easy to remember

Tigers are intelligent, and try to stay away from humans. That is why they are so evasive. I have been photographing wildlife for over 30 years, yet I've had very few encounters with tigers. Each time, however, has been a memorable occasion...

plight - problem 
plight of the tiger - the problem of the tiger

survey - an overview of a subject; a list and short description of all the things in a certain group of things
survey of tigers in wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand

big cat - tigers and other animals like tigers
a big cat expert

century
- a period of time of 100 years   ศตวรรษ
previous century
in the previous century

A survey of tigers in wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand carried out in 1979 by the Royal Forest Department put the number at 400-500. However, a survey by Dr Alan Rabinowitz, a big cat expert from New York Zoological Society who did a study on tigers at Huai Kha Khaeng from 1987-89, and surveyed the number of tigers there as well as other sanctuaries, put the number at only 250. At the First Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in January 2010 in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan province, the WWF announced that there were only 3,200 tigers left in the world, compared to 20,000 in the 1980s, and 100,000 in the previous century.

Indochina (noun) - the old way of saying "Southeast Asia" or "Asean" (See Wikipedia)
Indochinese (adjective)
Indochinese tigers - tigers in Southeast Asia

The WWF reported that there were 350-700 Indochinese tigers left in the wild, and of these, 250 are in Thailand.

population - all the animals or plants of a particular type or group who live in one country, area or place กลุ่มพืชและสัตว์ที่อาศัยอยู่ในบริเวณหนึ่ง

That makes Thailand home to the biggest population of Indochinese tigers. Another 30 live in Vietnam and Cambodia, and an unknown number in Laos and Myanmar...

natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
habitat - the type of place that a particular animal usually lives in or a particular plant usually grows in ถิ่นที่อยู่ของพืชหรือสัตว์
natural habitat - the place where animals naturally live (not where humans put them to live, in a zoo, for example)

invasion (noun) - 1. when someone enters an area where they are not wanted and that does not belong to them; 2. an occasion when one country's army goes into another country to take control of it by force การลุกล้ำอาณาบริเวณ
invade (verb)

the tigers' natural habitat has been invaded by forestry offices, resorts, tourists and cars

dwindle - reduce in numbers
dwindling number of tigers

...Where have all the tigers gone, you might ask? Experts suggest that the tigers' natural habitat has been invaded by forestry offices, resorts, tourists and cars. This invasion of forest area has resulted in the dwindling number of tigers.

herbivores - an animal that only eats plants (example: a cow)

common - seen or happening often
not common - not seen often

no longer as common as before - was common in the past, but not common now

survive - still alive, not dead, continue to exist and stay alive after a difficult or dangerous situation รอดชีวิต มีชีวิตรอด อยู่รอด สืบต่อไปได้   รอดพ้น รอดไปได้
difficult to survive
difficult for tigers to survive

Herbivores such as deer and red muntjac are no longer as common as before, making it difficult for tigers to survive.

conservation - the protection of plants and animals, natural areas, and interesting and important structures and buildings, especially from the damaging effects of human activity การอนุรักษ์ธรรมชาติ, การป้องกันความสูญเสีย, การสงวนไว้ อนุรักษ์

extinction - death of all living members of a species of animal or plant การสูญพันธุ์
prevent extinction

the conservation of tigers to prevent them from extinction

ecology
(noun)
ecological
(adjective)

ecological system

rich
- interesting, with a lot of different qualities, experiences or events อุดมไปด้วย
rich ecological system

indication - a sign that something happened, is true or exists เครื่องบ่งชี้
an indication of a rich ecological system

beneficial - helpful or good มีประโยชน์
beneficial to humans

preservation - keeping something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed การสงวน
the preservation of life in general

The conservation of tigers to prevent them from extinction is important as it is an indication of a rich ecological system, which is, in turn, beneficial to humans. It is the preservation of life in general.

threat - a danger อันตราย
hunting is a threat to the tiger population

pelt - an animal skin

wealthy - rich, has a lot of money and assets มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย

status - social position สถานะทางสังคม
status symbol - something that shows that your position in society is very high
status symbol for the wealthy

sexual organs - reproductive organs (the parts of the body used by a man and a woman to make a baby)

astronomical - very large or very high
astronomical prices - very high prices

unfounded - were not true, did not actually happen, no facts to support them as true
unfounded belief - a belief that is not true

aphrodisiac - some chemical or drug that increases sexual desire 
aphrodisiac properties

Hunting is another threat to the tiger population. Its pelt is sought after as a status symbol for the wealthy, and every single body part, even its sexual organs, is sold at astronomical prices in the unfounded belief that they have medicinal or aphrodisiac properties. Wildlife trafficking is still alive and well in this country.

measures - actions taken to solve a problem มาตรการ
introduce measures

illegal - against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
illegal activity
stop illegal activity

memory - something that you remember from the past; the ability to remember information, experiences and people ความจำ

lapse into memory - enter your memory (here meaning: only in your memory, does not exist in real life anymore)
lapse from memory -
leave memory (do not remember anymore)

roam - walk around a very large area
extinct - when all members of an animal species have died (so this kind of animal no longer exists in the world) (See Wikipedia)

If no measures are introduced to put a stop to this illegal activity, then one day the ''Lord of the Jungle'' will lapse into memory as the animal that ''once roamed Thailand but is now extinct''.

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