By Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
The Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT), comprising the Malaysian Nature Society, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and WWF-Malaysia, commends the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) on their plan to reactivate joint patrols with the Malaysian Armed Forces to combat poaching and other illegal activities in the national park.
Taman Negara is the largest protected area in Malaysia, and a decade ago, the park supported the largest, scientifically estimated, tiger population in Southeast Asia with 70 to 112 tigers.
This was when the park was regularly patrolled by dedicated patrol teams and in addition, Perhilitan and the army patrolled the park regularly and arrested poachers.
However, as the number of visitors grew, the attention and resources have shifted from protection to tourism.
As such, the result of recent research conducted in western Taman Negara found that the tiger population had drastically declined over the past decade as reported recently in MYCAT Tracks' "Malaysia's progress towards 1,000 wild tigers".
Poaching is the most devastating threat to the survival of tigers; and the most effective way to combat poaching is by increasing foot patrols.
The current number of park staff is insufficient to effectively protect the park. More....