TIGERS have no voice to lobby for their survival but with the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat), there is hope for tigers in Malaysia to live on for future generations.
Mycat was initiated by the Wildlife and National Parks Department as an alliance between governmental and non-governmental organisations for the conservation of the Malayan tiger.
Dr Kae Kawanishi from Mycat secretariat said there were less than 5,000 tigers remaining in Asian forests today, and Malaysia was said to have at least 500 tigers.
Mycat is the first Malaysian partnership focused exclusively on conservation of tigers, their habitat and prey species.
Our current partners are the Wildlife and National Parks Department, Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF Malaysia, said Dr Kawanishi.
She said while Mycat had been getting support from international donors, the contribution from ExxonMobil Subsidiaries was the first it received from the Malaysian corporate sector.
The donation will support community outreach programmes, wildlife patrol and research for the conservation of the largest and most important Malayan tiger population, in Taman Negara National Park, she elaborated.
Community outreach programmes are aimed at helping villagers solve their wildlife-related problems while introducing the idea of wildlife conservation to them and their children.
Dr Kawanishi said habitat loss was the main reason for the decline in the tiger population.
Malaysia has enough forests left for the tiger population to flourish.
If poaching of tigers and tiger prey (such as boars and deer) is halted, the current forest coverage in Malaysia can support even 1,000 tigers, she said.
She added that out of 14 tiger nations, only Malaysia and India had tiger populations exceeding 500.
This is why poachers are here.
We should not tolerate crimes against the worlds last wild tigers and their habitats, she said.
ExxonMobil donated RM43,000 to Mycat at an informal ceremony at the MNS headquarters in Kuala Lumpur recently.
ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia public affairs manager Mokhtar Daud presented the mock cheque to MNS vice-president (chairman for environmental education) Datuk Dr Hashim Abdul Wahab.
Also present was ExxonMobil operations manager Nor Hawa Mohd Yunus and public affairs contribution community relations adviser Normah Johari and Wildlife and National Parks Department Biological Diversity Conservation Division director Siti Hawa Yatim.