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November 12, 2010

Stronger measures needed to double tiger population

PETALING JAYA: There is hope still of doubling the population of the 500 endangered wild tigers in our forests if strong measures are taken to stop poaching, WWF Malaysia said.

“We used to have 3,000 wild tigers in the 1950s and we’re left with 500 now.

“It’s still not too late to double that by 2020 if effective strategies are implemented,” the organisation’s senior communications officer Sara Sukor said.

She added that Malaysia had the second largest wild tiger population in the world.

There are only 3,200 wild tigers left worldwide.

Sara commended the Govern­ment for its efforts to curb poaching, saying there had been many successful seizures of tiger parts on sale, or kept illegally.

“However, we really need to focus on catching these poachers before they kill the animals,” she said,

Sara suggested the creation of a tiger reserve or intensifying patrols and enforcement nationwide through a multi-agency taskforce.

Her call for action precedes the Tiger Summit from Nov 21-24, where the heads of state of the 13 tiger-range countries would meet in St Petersburg, Russia.

In conjunction with the summit, WWF has also a organised a Youth Tiger Summit from Nov 18 to 24 in Vladivostok, Russia.

Representing Malaysia are Youth Asia co-executive directors Joel Neoh and Khailee Ng.

“It might take 40 years for everyone to finally prioritise tiger conservation, but we have to be the ones responsible for starting that change,” Ng said.

Participants of the Youth Tiger Summit, amongst other things, would be taken to visit field camps within the tiger range in the Russian Far East.

“We hope to understand more about how organisations and governments work together to implement effective conservation efforts,” said Ng.

Source: The Star



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