KUALA LUMPUR: The crossing of paths by man and tiger in two instances this month in Terengganu and Perak has brought to the fore the plight of the Malayan tiger in the country.
Scientifically known as panthera tigris jacksoni, the Malayan tiger has been classified as ‘critically endangered’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
No wonder there was much concern when a pregnant tigress died after being rammed by an MPV on the East Coast Expressway 2 in Terengganu on Feb 6. On Feb 14, a tiger was caught in a wildboar trap set by an Orang Asli man near Tapah, Perak.
Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department deputy director-general 1 Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said a study undertaken two years ago revealed the existence of between 250 and 340 tigers in three major areas – the
Belum-Temengor Tropical Forest in Perak, the National Park in Pahang and the Endau-Rompin Tropical Forest in Johor.
“However, this does not reflect the total tiger population in the country because there are jungles where no study has been made on these animals. As such, the government has provided an allocation under the 11th Malaysia Plan for the department to undertake a National Tiger Conservation Action Plan over five years to ascertain the tiger population in the jungles of the peninsula and carry out conservation,” he said.
Abdul Kadir said a tigress would need an area of between 30 sq km and 40 sq km to roam while a tiger would require an area of between 70 sq km and 80 sq km.
“Tigers prefer solitude, do not like to be disturbed and will not move to another area so long as their habitat remains undisturbed,” he said.
He said the tigress which was knocked down by a vehicle on the East Coast Expressway 2 could have been searching for food in an area that was once part of its habitat.
Abdul Kadir said that between 2010 and last year, the department recorded 28 cases of tigers having been snared, killed and smuggled and people having tiger parts in their possession. -BERNAMA