TIGERS IN COMBODIA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     20th February 2024        

Context: Cambodia hopes to import four tigers from India this year under an agreement signed with New Delhi aimed at reviving the population of big cats in the kingdom.

oThe last sighting of a tiger in the Southeast Asian kingdom was from a camera trap in 2007 and the cats were declared "functionally extinct" in Cambodia in 2016.


  • About: It is a country on the Indochinese mainland of Southeast Asia.
  • Capital: Phnom Penh
  • Location: Cambodia lies entirely within the tropics, between latitudes 10° and 15°N, and longitudes 102° and 108°E.
  • Border: It borders Thailand to the north and west, Laos to the northeast, and Vietnam to the east and southeast.
  • Coastline: It has a 443-kilometer coastline along the Gulf of Thailand.
  • Geology: Cambodia's landscape is characterized by a low-lying central plain that is surrounded by uplands and low mountains and includes the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the upper reaches of the Mekong River delta.
  • Geographical Features

oCambodia's main geographical features are the low-lying Central Plain that includes the Tonlé Sap basin, the lower Mekong River flood-plains and the Bassac River plain surrounded by mountain ranges to the north, east, in south-west and south.

oThe landmass is bisected by the Mekong River, which is the longest river in Cambodia.

How did tigers go extinct in Cambodia?

  • Habitat Destruction and Poaching: As forests were cut down for development activities and as human habitats extended into forests, the tiger’s habitat came under stress.
  • Illegal Wildlife Trade: According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), “Every part of the tiger—from whisker to tail—has been found in illegal wildlife markets.
  • Thirteen countries make up the tiger range of the world:  Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
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