Tiger Temple near Kanchanaburi notes
Replies: 35 - Last Post: Oct 27, 2012 9:17 AM Last Post By: deeral
Oct 6, 2012 12:47 AM
30No they haven't - that is a fallacy.
Firstly you have to understand the difference between a captive breeding program and "breeding in captivity"
The latter has no place in conservation.
Captive breeding programs have to produce animals that are not "tainted" by contact with humans, capable of surviving in the wild and have to be the correct species (subspecies etc.) for the area into which they are released. When it comes to large animals like tigers the logistics of realising animals into the wild are almost insurmountable - apart from setting up areas with the correct flora and fauna and keeping it free from interference, the costs are prohibitive. There has to be sufficient prey for animals like tigers to survive, this is often depleted y human hunters to a point where there is insufficient for the survival of a working population to be introduced. Hunting tiger may be a problem but the hunting of their prey and the destruction of habitat are the big problems when it comes to re-introduction.
It is better to help existing wild populations to thrive and expand.
The subspecies of Tiger that lives in Thailand and other ASEAN is the Corbetts tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), more commonly known as the Indochinese, or Malayan tiger. It was recognised as a separate subspecies in 1968.
If one were to embark on a captive breeding program of any large endangered animal, mates would be selected from all over the world after careful consideration. Firstly to make sure they are the right species or subspecies and then that they are not too closely related as this insures the gene pool remains broad-based and the animals are not interbreeding.
“Around Asia and the U.S.A. approximately 60 of these tigers live in zoos. A significant number of those in Asian facilities have not had DNA analysis performed and are of unknown origin. This means that they are unable to be included in the studbook breeding program.” - Corbetts page -
The genetic variation here is alarmingly small too - it has lead to the proposal that maybe some wild animals should be captured to increase the size of the gene pool! So dire is the situation even with properly documented animals.
Needless to say the rampant uncontrolled and undocumented breeding at the temple does none of this. The animals at the Temple may not even be "Corbetts".
We can't even be sue that the animals are even Corbetts, they may be hybrids and are almost certainly too inbred.
The results if these animals got into the wild ecosystem would mean that the subspecies could be diluted by hybrids and die out or that interbreeding could cause damage to the animals ability to survive..
What many people don't appreciate is that if the number of animals dips below a certain number then it becomes unsustainable.
Inbreeding causes various physical and mental disorders that prevent to animals for surviving in the wild. Inbreeding can lead to mutations such as immune deficiency, scoliosis (curved spine), cleft palates, mental impairments, strabismus, infertility and early death. Genetic diversity is essential for a health population and even facilitates evolution. In the Tigers case, inbreeding could cause the demise of the species in a decade or so.
At some point samples were taken from the animals at the temple to establish their DNA history. As far as I'm aware if the tests were even carried out the results have never been published.
...and as you can see any claims they make to conservation are completely without foundation.
Oct 6, 2012 12:49 AM
31PS - can you imagine introducing an apex predator into the wild that has no ability to fend for itself so looks for "easy" access to food and has no fear of humans. The results could be disastrous.
PPS - As far as I'm aware no tigers have ever been successfully re-intorduced into the wild......anywhere.
Oct 14, 2012 2:13 AM
32I have asked for #32 to be removed because it is not true
The temple has been granted zoological and research status and a protected species breeding license.
Deeral you do your own campaign a disservice when you post lies and is why most of the sensible campaign organisations will not associate with you
Oct 14, 2012 7:03 AM
33Who granted these licenses? If it was the Thai government, we all know that anything can be had for a price. So that means nothing. I'd believe the following organizations before I believed anything from a Thai governmental agency. Not only is this extremely dangerous (as posted above, numerous attacks by tigers over the years), but a horrible way to treat wild animals. Right up there with the elephant parks (same, same...only care about money and nothing about the animals).
Based on the Care for the Wild International report, a coalition of 39 conservation groups, including the Humane Society International, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the World Society for the Protection of Animals and the World Wide Fund for Nature, penned a letter to the Director General of National Parks in Thailand under the name 'The International Tiger Coalition'. This letter urged the Director General to take action against the Tiger Temple over its import and export of 12 tigers with Laos, its lack of connection with accredited conservation breeding programmes, and to genetically test the tigers at the Tiger Temple in order to determine their pedigree and value to tiger conservation programmes. It concludes that the 'Temple does not have the facilities, the skills, the relationships with accredited zoos, or even the desire to manage its tigers in an appropriate fashion. Instead, it is motivated both in display of the tigers to tourists and in its illegal trading of tigers purely by profit.'
Oct 14, 2012 10:11 PM
Oct 27, 2012 9:17 AM
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