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Burma to Expand Tiger Sanctuary - 2004-03-17


Burma's government has approved a plan to create what experts say will be the world's largest sanctuary for tigers.

Officials say the Southeast Asian country will triple the size of an existing sanctuary, located in northern Kachin State. That sanctuary was established three years ago on some 65-hundred-square-kilometers of land.

A spokesman for the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society, Alan Rabinowitz, tells National Geographic magazine that the expansion plan will help efforts to protect and increase the size of the wild tiger population in Burma. He said the next step is for more rangers to be trained to protect the land and enforce conservation laws.

A recent survey by the Wildlife Conservation Society shows only about 150-to-200 tigers remain in the Hukawng Valley region. Officials say the sanctuary expansion project will be finished next year.

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