KUALA LUMPUR, March 4, 2015:
The Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat) has called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take the lead in saving the endangered Malayan tiger.
It was revealed in 2014 that there may only be 250 to 340 wild Malayan tigers left, down from the previous estimate of 500.
Mycat warned that Malaysia would lose the Malayan tigers in most of its forests in the next decade if the country as a whole did not up its game very quickly.
A key action, suggested Mycat, was to set up a Tiger Task Force that can mobilise resources to implement the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan, with the main priorities being to protect tigers from poaching and trade, while safeguarding tiger habitats from indiscriminate deforestation.
There also needs to be more quality scientific research to inform decision-making; better management of protected areas and increased involvement of business, local communities and citizen conservationists.
“It is undeniable, however, that if not for a series of conscious conservation efforts by many quarters, the Malayan tiger might already be extinct in the wild,” said Mycat in press statement issued today.
It also highlighted the efforts by wildlife rangers who worked on the ground, risking their lives to protect Malaysia’s biodiversity, as mentioned by Mycat general manager Dr Kae Kawanishi in the foreword toMycat Tracks: The Malayan Tiger’s Struggle for Existence.
Mycat Tracks is a report published by Mycat, comprising voices of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government staff involved in tiger conservation, as well as the Batek Orang Asli.
“Across gender, racial, religious, cultural and national differences, the tiger brought us together.
“More than being great wildlife rangers, they are great human beings.
“Their spirit lives in me, so the fight must go on,” said Kawanishi.
Mycat also credited the public for its support in helping to keep the tigers alive throughout a decade when other wild populations were lost.
Mycat has 1,082 volunteers who helped spread conservation messages and protected tiger habitats, but it needs more help and has asked the silent majority to stand up and be counted by giving their votes.
From March9-23, 2015, Mycat’s flagship citizen conservation programme, Citizen Action for Tigers (CAT), will be taking part in an international voting process organised by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)3.
The project with the most votes will win a grant.
“For CAT, this means 30,000 euros (RM121,910) to expand the programme, bringing more watchful eyes to the Sungai Yu Wildlife Corridor in Pahang, which links Taman Negara — the largest priority area for the Malayan tiger — with the Main Range (Titiwangsa Range).
“Altogether, it forms the world’s fifth largest tiger landscape.
“It will also mean furthering Mycat’s collaboration with the local communities in the area, including Batek villagers and certified nature guides, for saving wildlife and forests while enhancing their livelihoods.”
Kawanishi pointed out that Mycat are competing against five other projects from around the world.
“Winning this vote means Malaysians support saving Malaysia’s tigers.
“I urge everyone reading my words to take a few minutes to vote for the Malayan tiger.”
For further details, log on to www.malayantiger.net.