• Group photo of the TIGER project in June 2008 at Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand

    Left to right, front row: Prasit Wongprom (Coleoptera parataxonomist at Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden), Theerawat Wang (Hymenoptera parataxonomist at QSBG), Buntiya Seadkhuntod (ranger at Khuean Sirinagarindra NP), Kwandao Kadjaikhem (ranger at Kaeng Krachan NP), Brian Brown (Phoridae specialist). Second row: Chaweewan Hutacharern (project coordinator), Weerayuth, Chusak Yimman, Arkom Jan-aim, Sirichai Raksue (ranger at Kaeng Krachan NP). Third row: Philip Sharkey, Susana Sharkey, Hugh Oliver, Somboon Daorueng (ranger at Khuean Srinagarindra), Adrian Plant, Luensak Saunhua.

    Kwandoa Kadjaikem & Sirichai Jaisue at KaengKrachan NP Buntiya Seadkhuntod & Somboon Daorueng at Khuean Srinagarindra NP Sootsakorn Pahat & Boolert Thienchai at Huai Kha Khaeng WS Luensak Saunhua & Weerayuth Jaisue at Phu Toei NP
    Arkom Jan-aim & Chsak Yimman at Kaeng Krachan NP Amnad Samuthai & Yai Treesukon at Khao Sam Roi Yot NP Charoenchai Boonwan & Suthida Wijarnbutr at Khao Khitchakut NP Wuthipong Thongpin & Sakaun Kamriya at Khao Ang Rue Nai WS

  • The TIGER team in 2006 at Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens, Thailand.

      (1) Prasit Wongprom (p_wongprom@hotmail.com) is the manager of the sorting pool at Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens (QSBG). He also sorts all taxa that are not Hymenoptera or Diptera. Besides these duties he is currently completing a Master’s degree in spider diversity in Thailand.
      (2) Am Nongpanga Pachey (reset_2519@hotmail.com) is a young entomologist who liaises between QSBG and Department of National Parks (DNP), and to learn to identify families of Hymenoptera and Diptera (Insecta).
      (3) Chaweewan Hutacharern (chahut@csloxinfo.com) is the coordinator of the TIGER project in Thailand. Among many other duties, she makes arrangements with each of the 30 national parks and facilitates arthropod surveys collection; she organizes collection training sessions for the park rangers, and takes care of collection and export permits.
      (4) Pop Thanawat Lertprasert (Thanawat_popeyes@hotmail.com) is one of the IT people at QSBG. He helps to solve computer problems and runs the LAN system for the project.
      (5) & (6) Tui Worawut Worakrutpanon (tuy3687@hotmail.com) and Amnuay Wiyana are staff at Lumpang Forest Entomology Research Center being trained in the activities of the TIGER projects so they will be able to introduce similar activities in their center.
      (7) Aui Kanittha (aui06@hotmail.com) is from Khon Kaen Research Station here to learn sorting and cleaning entomological specimens, and identification of specimens to insect orders.
      (8) Toy Rungthiwa Satatha (rungthiwa_satatha@thaimail.com) is the Diptera sorter at QSBG.
      (9) Lumyai Ittichan (saolumyai@yahoo.com) is the head sorter at the Khon Kaen Research Station and is in QSBG to improve her identification skill. She heads a team of up to seven sorters who receive samples from the 10 parks in eastern Thailand that we are currently sampling (2006-2007). They separate the samples into fractions, and sort the large fractions to the ordinal level. Samples are then sent to QSBG for further sorting.
      (10) Wang SaeYang (ravyaj@gmail.com) is the Hymenoptera sorter at QSBG.

  •         This is a time of opportunity and urgency for studies of the world’s biodiversity. Access to some countries and regions is available at an unprecedented level to researchers, making their previously mysterious and unsampled habitats available to investigation. We have a window of opportunity that may not be open for a prolonged period, due to political decisions and habitat destruction due to growing populations that result in deforestation, drained wetlands, pollution, and urban sprawl. The areas of greatest overall species richness in the world are those with tropical forests, as is well documented, and many of these sites also house the greatest number of endemic taxa. Unfortunately, they are often the sites with the highest rates of deforestation and population growth, making study of their fauna a top priority. Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse and important regions for the world's biodiversity, second only to the Neotropical Region. This generalization is based on well-studied groups like vertebrates and plants, but indications exist for similar patterns in butterflies and other insects. For some groups of organisms, Southeast Asia is the most diverse area on the planet, e.g., tiger beetles.

    (Cosmodela aurulenta juxtata photographed by John Moore)

  •         Additionally, although all tropical areas of the world have been poorly sampled for insects (with the exception some showy and medically important insects), Southeast Asia is particularly poorly sampled and important new biological secrets, including vertebrates, are still being discovered. In order to make inroads into our understanding of the arthropod biodiversity of Southeast Asia, we are beginning a collaborative terrestrial arthropod survey of Thailand using the highly successful model of our Colombian project. Thailand has a diversity of habitat types, including tropical rain forest, dry or semi-evergreen forest, montane evergreen forest, coniferous forest, swamp forest (including mangroves), deciduous forest, and savanna. Faunistically, the country falls within two of the top eight biodiversity hotspots as identified by Myers et al. (2000): Sundaland (in the southern peninsula) and Indo Burma (the majority of the country). Thailand is a meeting place of many faunal elements including the Himalayas, east Palearctic and Oriental Regions. Preliminary collections in February 2005, have uncovered some fantastically rare and interesting taxa, such as the braconid wasp genera Dirrhope, Ecnomios, Mesostoa, and Meteoridea, and the phorid fly genera Mannheimsia, Gymnoptera, and Postoptica (the last known previously from only two specimens). We have been presented with a great opportunity to conduct biodiversity research in Thailand, as it provides a safe and friendly place to work, , an outstanding network of parks, and passionate collaborators.

    (Cosmodela aurulenta juxtata photographed by John Moore)

  • The TIGER project is currently in its third and final year of collection. As the project winds down we are continually updating our website, adding information such as species and collection information to the TIGER database as well as publications that have resulted (all or in part) from the TIGER material. We hope to continue the project and conduct biodiversity research in Malaysia beginning next year.

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