Local and foreign poaching syndicates are emptying our forests of tigers, their prey and other wildlife. Between 2010 and 2011, close to 1,000 snares were detected in three priority tiger landscapes – Belum-Temengor, Taman Negara and Endau-Rompin.
This is why it is crucial that rangers, who are positioned at the front line of defence against poaching, must be equipped, trained and motivated.
To show support for forest guards, park wardens and field enforcement officers operating from boreal forests in Russia to the steamy jungles of Sumatra, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launched its Cards4Tigers initiative on World Ranger Day last July.
Since then, 100,000 postcards and e-cards have been mailed from all over the world, to the delight of rangers in Cambodia, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Nepal. The initiative features a rare opportunity to discover the people who have dedicated their lives to patrolling and guarding our vast wilderness. In the WWF website, for instance, one can meet Khairul Azmi Taharin, a 25-year-old forest ranger who is one of just seven staff who patrol the 117,550ha Royal Belum State Park in Perak. He recounts what it was like to come face-to-face with an armed poacher in the forest.