Saving the Last Tigers

An Indochinese tiger photographed by a camera trap in Mondulkiri Protected Forest within northeastern Cambodia's Eastern Plains Landscape.
© FA / WWF-Cambodia

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Get to know Cambodian poacher-turned-ranger Lean Kha and his work to protect tiger with WWF.

Read the Cambodian tiger's species profile.

Find out about tigers in the Greater Mekong region.
While tiger numbers are currently known to be very low, the Eastern Plain’s importance for tiger recovery is extremely high – according to tiger experts, perhaps the highest potential landscape in Asia to recover tiger populations.
If protection measures are guaranteed in the long-term, wildlife can recover relatively quickly. Rampant hunting during the last few decades has left most species scattered in small populations across the landscape, or for some, isolated only in one or two areas. For the tiger to recover, one of the most important things it needs is a good source of prey.

The Eastern Plains still has very high forest cover, and the nature of the Dry Forests habitat makes it ideal for large ungulate and other prey species populations such as wild cattle, deer, and pig. An adult tiger needs about 50 medium-sized animals each year to survive, so large populations of prey are needed to supply enough food to ensure the tiger population can recover. This is exactly what the Cambodian government and WWF are focusing on now in the protected areas.

If successful, within 10-20 years we could see tiger densities as high as in some parts of India, the tiger’s stronghold, which would be a major win for conservation and could also provide significant added economic benefits through wildlife tourism.
 / ©: WWF
Tiger landscapes in the Greater Mekong; click for a larger view.


 / ©: © WWF Cambodia
We are working to double the number of tigers in the wild
© © WWF Cambodia
In 2010, with global wild tigers numbers at critically low levels, the Cambodian Government joined the 12 other tiger countries and committed to the most ambitious species conservation goal ever set – Tx2: to double wild tiger numbers by 2022, the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.

Cambodia’s tiger recovery work in the Eastern Plains is an essential part of Tx2. 

Celebrating Global Tiger Day

Global Tiger Day was created at the Tiger Summit in Saints Petersburg, Russia in 2010 by the 13 tiger range countries including Cambodia. Celebrated annually on 29 July, it aims to raise awareness of and support for conservation of wild tigers.
For Global Tiger Day 2015, WWF-Cambodia promoted the tiger reintroduction plan to the general public. Whereas the last tiger seen in Cambodia was in 2007, WWF-Cambodia highlighted how deeply the tiger was embedded in people’s life with the “Tigers Around Us” photo contest. The many contestants were asked to take photos of any tiger image or logo they could find around them and share them on social media.

The winning contestants were announced at Aeon Mall during a celebration including activities such as musical performances, games and quiz.