Malaysian tigers becoming extinct, minister calls for greater public awareness

BERNAMA New Straits Times 29 Jul 16;

PUTRAJAYA: Only about 240 to 350 tigers are still living in the main habitats in Malaysia, according to a survey conducted by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN).

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the survey was conducted from 2010 till 2013 in the Endau Rompin and Belum Temenggor National Parks.

He said there must be greater public awareness about the efforts to conserve tigers in this country, especially among youths.

“The perception of the older generation about the benefits and medicinal values of tiger body parts must be eliminated and there must be greater awareness of conservation issues concerning wildlife, especially tigers,” he said in a statement here today.

Wan Junaidi said the government had also renewed its commitment in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which aimed to combat and end illegal hunting and smuggling of wildlife.

As a commitment to increasing the number of wild tigers, he said the government had introduced the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan 2008-2020.

He added that among the strategies which have been identified included habitat and species protection, research and conflict management.

“The government has also allocated RM18.7 million for the 1st National Tiger Survey which covers tiger habitats in Central Forest Spine (CFS) jungles,” he said.

Wan Junaidi also said the government would continue with its commitment in taking steps to combat crimes involving cross-border wildlife crimes with collaborations between national and international agencies.

Each year, July 29 is the date for the celebration of the International Tiger Day which is aimed at fostering awareness of tiger conservation throughout the world The annual event was announced in 2010 through an agreement between 13 “tiger range states” at the Global Tiger Summit in St Petersburg, Russia.

This year, the theme for the World Tiger Day is ‘Giving Wild Tigers a Future“, which mirrors the need for every level of society to play a part in ensuring that wild tigers flourish in their natural habitat and stop their extinction. --BERNAMA

Ministry aims to debunk myths to save tigers
The Star 30 Jul 16;

PUTRAJAYA: The Natural Resour­ces and Environment Ministry is on a mission – to debunk myths – so that the killing of endangered species, including tigers, will come to a stop.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the dwindling tiger population worldwide, including in Malaysia, was due to loss of habitat, illegal poaching and trade, as well as man-tiger conflict.

“And it also doesn’t help that there are superstitions on the advantages and benefits of eating tiger meat or other exotic meat.

“There is a need to create public awareness, especially among the young, on the importance of preserving tigers.

“We must tell them that there is no truth behind these myths,” he said during a gathering to comme­morate his first year in office, which also coincided with Interna­tional Tiger Day, on July 29 every year.

Dr Wan Junaidi said correcting misconception that consuming exo­tic meat had benefits would help to bring down the number or even stop wild animals from being killed.

According to a survey conducted by the Wildlife and National Parks Department, there are three main areas where tigers roam – Taman Negara in Pahang, Endau-Rompin National Park and Belum, Perak.Between 2010 and 2013, some 240 to 350 tigers were found in these areas.

“Our activities and what we do has effect on the environment and wildlife. We must not be excessive in our action and consider other living beings in our surroundings,” said Dr Wan Junaidi.

The Government’s commitment to preserve tigers was reflected in the introduction of a national tiger conservation action plan which identified several strategies, including protecting its habitat and species, research and conflict management.

A sum of RM18.7mil had been allocated under the 11th Malaysia Plan to conduct the first national tiger survey.