Conservation efforts in Cambodia were sadly too late to prevent the extirpation of tiger. Eight tiger camera-trap photographs, of at least three individuals, were obtained in in the south of Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary between 2000 and 2003 however the population was likely too low to be viable. The last evidence of wild tiger from Cambodia was recorded from the nearby Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary in November 2007.
However the Royal Government of Cambodia is committed to recovering Cambodia’s tiger population as part of the Global Tiger Recovery Program and the St Petersburg Tiger Summit process. With strong landscape-level protection it is estimated that the forests of the protected area complex of eastern Cambodia could support up to 300 tigers. As such a conservation coalition, led by the Ministry of the Environment, is studying the feasibility of tiger reintroduction into Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary and the potential for wider landscape recovery.
Successful tiger recovery will require a coherent landscape-wide vision of spatial planning, law enforcement, and forest connectivity. The extensive forests of Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, and the revenues generated for effective management and community engagement from the Seima REDD+ project, are likely to play an important role in securing long-term landscape suitability for tiger recovery.