A mother tiger and her cubs at the Ho Chi Minh City Zoo.
A national tiger conservation program was approved by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, according to a posting on the website of the nation’s government.
The plan calls for establishing priority areas for tiger conservation and researching the feasibility of tiger populations recovering, as well as for strengthening inspections and activities in fighting against conservation violations, according to the posting. The program will run to 2022.
While tigers are native to Vietnam and aren’t classified as extinct in the country, the Southeast Asian nation may no longer have a healthy breeding population of the animal, according to a posting on the website of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Poaching and deforestation may have reduced Vietnam’s wild tiger population to fewer than 50 from more than 100 a decade earlier, Thanh Nien newspaper reported in 2012. Surveys found traces of between 27 and 47 tigers, mostly in border areas in central Vietnam, according to the report.