By Nuradilla Noorazam
The poaching of tigers in the jungles of the peninsula for their skins, bones and meat has resulted in a drastic population decline. According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) estimates, there are about 500 tigers left in the jungles now compared to 3,000 recorded in 1957.
WWF-Malaysia executive director and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said poaching posed "the most serious and immediate threat to the survival of tigers".
"We set up our own wildlife protection units in areas such as the Belum-Temenggor forest complex (BTFC) in 2008, as we recognised that tiger conservation efforts required more cooperation from various stakeholders, including local communities."
Under the National Tiger Action Plan for Malaysia, he said BTFC was recognised as one of the three priority sites for tiger conservation, and was believed to be supporting at least 10 per cent of the country's tiger population.
"Conservation can only work if people care. Thus, local communities, with greater awareness on conservation issues, can help protect flagship species and reduce the loss of biodiversity within their area."
On Wednesday, WWF-Malaysia received funds totalling RM52,500 from the Malaysian Wildlife Conservation Foundation (MWCF) to carry out tiger conservation work and community engagement and education in BTFC. More....