KWCI starts IUCN Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme in Myanmar
The Karen Wildlife Conservation initiative (KWCI) began implementing the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP) in 2017. Funded by IUCN-KfW the project aims to secure protected areas in the Dawna-Karen Hills to ensure no further decrease in the tiger population and the opportunity for tiger numbers to recover. The project incorporates the expansion of Wildlife Protection Units to additional protected areas and builds support within the KNU leadership and local communities for the implementation of tiger management practices in the region.
As well as the provision of equipment to the ranger teams, the project will see the construction of three new ranger stations, ongoing SMART training for field staff and full feasibility studies for future investment in livelihood development.
Karen State in Myanmar lies within the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, the most threatened of the earth’s 34 biodiversity hotspots and makes up part of the contiguous Dawna Tennaserim landscape which extends through Thailand’s western forest complex (WEFCOM) and Karen State Myanmar. It includes 25 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries including two World Heritage sites and is the main biodiversity conservation corridor of the region. WEFCOM and the Dawna Tennaserim supports diverse large mammal fauna, including Indochinese tiger, Indochinese leopard, dhole, clouded leopard, sun bear, 10 species of primates (all five of the regions macaques), gaur, banteng, water buffalo, Asian elephant, tapir, and four of the regions five deer species. Altogether 153 mammal species, 490 bird species, 41 reptiles, and 108 species of fish inhabit this last great primary wilderness of Asia.