14 Oct 2020
Conservation Story 13: Captured images of Malayan tiger cubs in the wild shows promising sign
Camera traps set up by WWF-Malaysia as part of the “Strengthening Tiger Conservation in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex” programme recently captured rare images of four critically endangered Malayan tigers. In the series of images, a female Malayan tiger is seen crossing from right to left, followed by her three cubs, estimated to be between one and a half to two years old. A month later, the second set of images captured by the camera revealed the same tiger family.
CEO of WWF-Malaysia, Sophia Lim said, “With less than 200 Malayan tigers left in the wild, this news comes as a timely message of hope for the species and for our continued tiger conservation efforts.”
“We recently concluded a month-long campaign themed Roar for Life in collaboration with our corporate partner to mark Global Tiger Day 2020, calling for public support and donations for tiger conservation. Much of the funding we receive goes towards supporting the work of our anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring teams on the ground who cover great distances on foot, scouring the forest for snares and setting up camera traps,” explained Sophia. This discovery represents a significant outcome for all partners and donors of WWF-Malaysia in their collective efforts to preserve the Malayan tiger.
Global Tiger Day 2020 was opened with news of the ‘remarkable comeback’ of tigers in Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Russia, a decade after the launch of TX2, an ambitious scheme to double the population of the species by the next Chinese Lunar Year of the Tiger in 2022. The initiative was launched in 2010 when the population of wild tigers reached a historic low of around 3,200 globally.
These momentous occasions provide the long-awaited evidence that we can bend the curve if the right conditions are being put in place. At the same time, we are made aware of the fact that our work is far from over. Despite the promising increase of wild tiger population to an estimated 3,900, tigers in Southeast Asia are still facing major threat due to snaring as documented in WWF’s “Silence of the Snares” report. In fact, as one of Southeast Asia’s remaining tiger landscapes, Belum-Temengor in Malaysia recorded a 50 percent decline in tiger numbers between 2009 and 2018 largely due to widespread snaring.
To ensure a future for Malayan tigers, national law enforcement and legislation must be strengthened to act as an effective deterrent against snaring. Sufficient investment should also be provided by the region to support the management of protected areas, including patrolling and monitoring of illegal activities.