The Nam Et Phou Louey (NEPL) landscape is thought to support the most significant tiger population in the country and one of the last populations of the Indo-chinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) outside of Thailand. More than 80,000km2 of potential tiger habitat is estimated to remain in Lao PDR and one of the goals of Tigers Forever in Lao is to allow this tiger population to expand and re-colonise the wider landscape.
Recently, the Tigers Forever team has been working with protected area management staff to reduce the poaching threats to this population. In addition, field teams are working to tackle illegal livestock grazing in several areas deep inside the park. When tigers attack livestock, tigers are often killed by local villagers in retaliation. To address this threat, Tiger Forever and the Lao Government are working with the local communities to improve livestock husbandry and mitigate any conflict that does occur in a timely manner, to prevent these situations from escalating which often results in tigers being killed.
In 2009, TF focused on increasing the number of field-based ranger stations along with the number of mobile patrols able to respond to wildlife conflicts and crimes. This increased effort resulted in the seizing of over 850 illegal muskets, as well as the issuing of gun permits and gun regulations that each village is allowed to hold. The project staff have also assisted villagers with land-use planning along the western border of the park and installed appropriate signage to delineate park boundaries.
Tigers Forever is currently being carried out in this country and five others: