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Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT)

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The Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers: MYCAT
contributed by Loretta Ann Soosayraj

There probably isn't a creature that captivates us as much as this charismatic carnivore does. Stealth, strength and beauty, the tiger is the embodiment of all things mysterious and mighty.

But tigers everywhere are in trouble. There are probably 5000 tigers left globally, and here, in Peninsular Malaysia, where we are fortunate to have our own sub-species - the Malayan tiger Panthera tigris jacksoni - there are about 500 left.

Trying to save the tiger is a heavy responsibility, but it is one that the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT) shoulders proudly. MYCAT is an alliance of governmental and non-governmental organizations working towards conserving the Malayan tiger.

Aside from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (DWNP) who initiated the formation of this conservation partnership in 2003, MYCAT partners are the Malaysian Nature Society, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, the Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Programme and WWF-Malaysia. Because of this, all tiger conservation projects in Peninsular Malaysia are, at various levels, conducted by MYCAT partners.

Tiger conservation efforts are multi-faceted (from habitat protection, human-tiger conflict resolution, law enforcement, and research, to education and awareness) and each partner brings its own area of expertise to the arena. Each MYCAT partner has priority areas, and all are components of the bigger picture of tiger conservation.

Trying to save an endangered species is difficult, given the usual obstacles. With limited resources there are, too often, cases of certain areas being over-emphasized whilst others are neglected. This collaboration aims to avoid duplication and overlap whilst giving attention to previously neglected areas.

Last edited by PilotInspektor on Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:02 am; edited 1 time in total


Why the urgency?

We are running out of time. In the last 100 years, tiger numbers have dwindled by 95% and we have lost three sub-species.

Threats to tigers include habitat loss and fragmentation, depletion of prey species, poaching and retaliation killing in human-tiger conflict cases.

Much of Malaysia's virgin lowland rainforests have made way for agriculture. Although less than 4% of Peninsular Malaysia's virgin rainforests remains untouched, 45% of Peninsular Malaysia's land is still forested. About 40% of the peninsula appears to be occupied by tigers.

Malaysia's largest and oldest national park, Taman Negara, holds one of the few known remaining viable populations of tigers in Asia. It is also likely that Perak's Belum-Temenggor forests support another viable population. It is vital to protect these large, contiguous forests for the survival of the tiger.

Poaching is also a serious threat. Tigers are hunted for use in traditional medicines. The meat of the tiger is consumed as a delicacy. Teeth, claws and skin are treasured as collectible and magic items. Shakehead Mad

Totally protected under the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972, it is also listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

A recent case that shocked the Malaysian public was that of a tiger carcass found in the home of a man in Kelantan. The tiger had been butchered into four pieces, and had its internal organs removed. Mad

What caused further public outrage was that the man responsible, 22-year-old Ang Chun Tan, was fined RM7,000 for the offence he pleaded guilty to. The maximum penalty for this offence is a RM15,000 fine or 5 years imprisonment.

The Protection of Wildlife Act 1972, however, is currently under review by the government, and an amended version is expected to be tabled in March 2006. Among the recommended amendments are increased penalties, including mandatory imprisonment and higher fines, for wildlife crimes.

MYCAT was formed because threats to the tiger, a species that inhabits expansive ranges encompassing various land use types, are often far too complex to be effectively addressed by a single organization.

MYCAT adopts a holistic approach to conservation by consolidating the resources and strengths of its constituent organizations. Institutional boundaries, that often hinder effective communication and the implementation of sound conservation plans, can thus be more easily surmounted. MYCAT receives institutional support from the DWNP.

** The site shown in the latest Asian Geograhic magazine is:

for those interested.


As one specie grows in number another one must die. That growing specie is man - ok..ok..I hear you women libbers... I'll stick to homo sapiens. It's inevitable that one day homo sapiens will occupy every little bit of space on the planet and we will be left with the choice whether to kill some of our kind in order for other species to survive or let homo sapiens be homo superior and kill everything else.

Good for a sci-fi movie eh? Laughing

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