THE LIVING ASIAN FOREST PROJECT | WWF

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THE LIVING ASIAN FOREST PROJECT

THE LIVING ASIAN FOREST PROJECT

In July 2016, Toyota Motor Corporation became the first car manufacturer in the world, as well as the first Japanese corporation, to sign a global partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). This five-year partnership which started by promoting biodiversity conservation in Borneo (Kalimantan) and Sumatra in Indonesia has now expanded to biologically diverse landscapes in Thailand.
 
A joint conservation effort by WWF and Toyota Motor Corporation reached Kaeng Krachan and Kui Buri National Parks of Thailand in 2018 with the aim to improve the monitoring system for tigers and other wildlife living within protected forest areas. Kaeng Krachan and Kui Buri National Parks, covering 2,915 and 969 square kilometers respectively, contribute to a critical protected area complex within the Dawna Tenasserim landscape straddling the Thai-Myanmar border. Both are abundant in natural resources and noteworthy tourist destinations, in addition to being part of the complex submitted for World Heritage status.
 
The Living Asian Forest Project’s aim to conserve tropical forest areas in Southeast Asia and facilitate the globe’s transition to sustainability reflects one of the 2050 Toyota environmental challenges in establishing a future society in harmony with nature that it plans to have a positive and sustainable impact.
 
From Camera Trapping to Research and Implementation
 
Camera traps, also known as trail cameras, are used to capture images of wildlife with as minimal human interference as possible. Since the introduction of commercial infrared-triggered cameras in the early 1990s, their use for ecological research has increased.
 
WWF has long been using camera traps for wildlife monitoring all over the world, including Thailand. 120 remotely activated cameras have already been installed across the two national parks to assess and monitor tiger populations, their prey and other mammal species. These cameras provide vital information on species populations and distribution for conservation of threatened and endangered species. With the data, the researchers conduct analyses and design conservation plans to support the persistence and recovery of the species, many of which no longer have viable populations elsewhere in mainland Southeast Asia.
 
In the past year, camera traps have captured images of leopards, Asiatic black bears, gaurs and pangolins. Two tigers in Kaeng Krachan National Park were spotted on camera traps while the footprints have reappeared in Kui Buri National Park in early 2019 long after their absence for seven years.
 
The ongoing efforts for biodiversity conservation are showing the world what lies within the Dawna Tenasserim’s tropical lowland rainforests.
A ranger in Kui Buri National Park installs the camera trap for tiger monitoring.
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