The population of wild tigers in Thailand is slowly increasing but the species is still endangered, several associations said on Wednesday coinciding with the world day of this feline.

Only fewer than 4,000 wild tigers remain in the world compared to 100,000 a hundred years ago, as a result of deforestation and poaching.

However, recently recorded images in western Thailand revealed the existence of several tigers that were not registered.

« The number of tigers is starting to increase in the country, » said John Goodrich of the NGO Panthera.

« Thailand has stepped up its conservation efforts in the past decade and we now think it has up to 200 tigers, » he added.

Forest guards will supervise if these cats are installed in the long term in this area.

« If they go back to the forest, this means the ecosystem is re-established, which is good for all wildlife, » said Eileen Larney, representative for Taliandia of the London Zoological Society,

Despite this, tigers are still under threat of extinction, particularly in Southeast Asia, where they are killed for their skin and parts of their bodies are sold in China and Vietnam for use in traditional medicine.

In Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam the tigers have completely disappeared and in Burma only 23 remain in the wild.

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