New Road to Run Through Laos’ Last Tiger Habitat

Last year Laos was one of the signatories of the Global Tiger Summit so why, according to a Mongabay report, will a new road project run through the nation’s only protected area (Nam Et Phou Louey National Park) inhabited by breeding tigers?

There are only about 24 tigers left in the Laos and conservationists fear the road will harm the fragile breeding population, however, local officials say the road is necessary to improve access to remote villages and alleviate poverty in the region.

The provincial governor has apparently said he anticipates the road will aid conservation efforts in the park by allowing authorities to stop illegal logging and poaching but studies have shown that roads in wild lands lead to far more deforestation and poaching by creating easy access.

Although the Indochinese tiger subspecies is listed as endangered, the total population of the subspecies is not known with confidence; recent estimates have ranged from 350-1,000 individuals and the only known breeding population is in Nam Et Phou Louey National Park.

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