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MALAYAN TIGERS FACE BLEAK FUTURE

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Poaching for illegal commercial trade is the greatest and most urgent threat to tigers in Malaysia, followed by loss and fragmentation of forests.
Concerned over the future of tigers, Perhilitan and Mycat said it would explore means to immediately strengthen tiger conservation efforts to reverse the situation.
The population of Malayan tigers have reached a critical point, with an estimate of 250-340 cats left.
According to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) and the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat), the current estimate was less than the previous estimate of 500 tigers.
This is according to studies conducted between 2010-2013 using camera traps under a standardized protocol at seven sites across three major tiger landscapes in Peninsular Malaysia.
The Malayan tiger meets the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species’ criteria for a “Critically Endangered” listing. The animal has been classified as “Endangered” since 2008.
The country though, via 2008’s National Tiger Conservation Action Plan (NTCAP) for Malaysia, wanted 1,000 wild Malayan tigers thriving in the country’s forests by 2020. 
Despite efforts, including the strengthening of legislation and increased patrolling, tiger conservation across the vast tropical forest landscape continued to face challenges.
 
Strengthen tiger conservation efforts must be taken as follows;

  • *  Establishing dedicated Tiger Patrol Units on the ground to protect and monitor individual tigers which have been identified through surveys at the three priority areas (Belum-Temengor, Taman Negara and Endau-Rompin).
    * Undertaking a comprehensive National Tiger Survey that will also increase the number of boots on the ground to increase tiger protection throughout the Central Forest Spine (the remaining major forested landscapes in Peninsular Malaysia).
    * Strengthening the existing mechanism to review, better coordinate and monitor the implementation of the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan (NTCAP) and Central Forest Spine (CFS) Master Plan. 
Malaysia had put in place appropriate and comprehensive policies through the adoption of NTCAP and CFS Master Plan to mainstream Malayan tiger conservation and the management of its habitats.
“Various funding has been provided by the federal government and Mycat NGOs’ donors thus far, which has enabled the stakeholders to strengthen the capacity to undertake systematic field surveys within protected areas.
“This has greatly enhanced the scientific knowledge to manage wild Malayan tigers and reconnect fragmented habitats with ecological corridors.”


Source: The Rakyat Post
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