KUNMING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists in southwest China's Yunnan
Province said Monday they had a photo of a wild Indo-Chinese tiger, the world's
most critically endangered tiger subspecies.
The picture was taken in May 2007 by a researcher with an infrared camera
in Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve, a mountainous border area straddling China and
Myanmar, said a provincial forestry department official surnamed Huo.
At the time, scientists from the State Forestry Administration (SFA) and
the provincial forestry department were on a 20-month field survey, he said.
"The research group found a large number of the tigers' footprints, feces,
remains of prey and traces of other activity in the reserve," he said. "They
also found bison, Sambar, barking deer, boar and other herbivorous animals that
were part of the tigers' food chain."
Indo-Chinese tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti) are mainly found in
Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and southern China. Scientists
estimate only 1,200 to 1,700 Indo-Chinese tigers are living in the wild.
Huo declined to give an estimate of the number of the tigers in Yunnan or
the name of the researcher who took the photo.
"We have to wait for the final proof from the State Forestry
Administration. Maybe in several weeks, we will release the investigation report
with the estimated figure of the tigers," he said.
Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, in the southernmost of Yunnan, has
the best preserved tropical rain forests in China and has five state-level