Yesterday, (15 September, 2014) a¬†joint press statement was released by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) Peninsular Malaysia and¬†Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers¬†(MYCAT), indicating that the wild Malayan tiger population may be almost half the size of previous estimates.
21st Century Tiger funds projects for MYCAT, an alliance of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and WWF-Malaysia, supported by PERHILITAN for joint implementation of the¬†National Tiger Conservation Action Plan for Malaysia.
The 2008 ‘Endangered’ classification¬†by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)¬†indicated an estimated population of fewer than 500 individuals. ¬†Using population data from seven survey sites between 2010-2013, ¬†estimates are now in the range of 250-340 individuals, leading experts to believe that this sub-species should be considered for IUCN ‘Critically Endangered’ classification.
While this research may be an indicator that monitoring techniques are improving, rather than a huge decline in population, it strengthens the need for ongoing support and funding for the Malayan tiger.
Read the¬†full press release.