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Asian transport projects may thwart efforts to save world’s tigers


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Thousands of kilometres of railways and roads planned across Asia risk dismantling progress made to save the world’s last tigers, conservationists have warned. The WWF said an infrastructure boom in coming years will lead to the construction of 11,000km of new transport projects, carving up the big cat’s habitats and stopping them from travelling across the huge ranges they need. Previous approaches such as stopping poaching and looking after protected areas would no longer be enough to help tigers, WWF said in a report. It said growing human populations and trade are driving a road-and rail-building splurge valued in the trillions. Tiger numbers have bounced back modestly since an all-time low of 3,200 in 2010, to an estimated 3,890 now. That has been driven partly by a target to double tiger numbers by 2022, set by Vladimir Putin, the then-Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and other leaders of tiger range states. “The potential impact of the linear infrastructure may be way beyond a setback – this could dismantle the progress we’ve made over 20-30 years,” said Dr Ashley Brooks, a co-author of the report, The Road Ahead. “The scale is astronomical.” Brooks cited a series of huge national development projects, such as national highway seven in India, which will cut through a critical corridor between two tiger reserves. There are also plans for a transport link between Bangkok and a port slated for Dawei in Myanmar. In Sumatra, a north-south highway will dissect the whole island, while Nepal is planning a national railway upgrade and work on its “postal highway”, which Brooks said posed a significant threat to a natural corridor for tigers between India and Nepal.

Read More: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/22/asian-transport-projects-may-thwart-efforts-to-save-world-tigers

Posted by on Nov 23 2016. Filed under Forest & Land. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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