Malaysia seeking Indian expertise in tiger conservation

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 08 Mar 2016

A file picture of a tiger that was rescued recently after it was caught in a snare.

DENGKIL: Malaysia will seek India's expertise in tiger conservation as it looks to increase the population of the endangered animal in this country, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The Natural Resources and Environment Minister said he will be in India next month and will discuss with his counterparts there on how both countries can help each other in tiger conservation.

"Perhilitan (the Wildlife and National Parks Department) is working with their counterparts in India in tiger conservation, expertise and forensics, as they are more advanced in us in these aspects.

"I have been invited to a convention in April where we will discuss tiger conservation and hopefully they can send us some experts to help us. In exchange, perhaps, we can teach them about tapir conservation.

"Through the exchange of knowledge, we can improve our conservation of wildlife, especially the endangered animals," said Dr Wan Junaidi after chairing his ministry's monthly assembly held at the Paya Indah Wetlands Tuesday.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the population of wild tigers in India has increased to 2,226 in 2014 from 1,706 in 2010 and 1,411 in 2006 – thanks to its national tiger conservation efforts.

The minister said surveys showed there are roughly 300 tigers living in the wild in Malaysia.

"We must make it a national duty to protect this animal. The tiger is very iconic in Malaysia, and you can tell as it is used in the Malaysian crest. It is a big responsibility for the ministry to carry," he said.

Dr Wan Junaidi also said a survey was conducted in the peninsula to find tigers that were unaccounted for.

"We know now there are about 300 wild tigers, but this is based on an existing survey. There are still areas that have not been surveyed and hopefully once that is complete in about three years time, we will find out that there are actually more tigers in the country," he said.

Dr Wan Junaidi said besides poaching and illegal wildlife trading, the use of animal snares by the indigenous Orang Asli was a factor in the dwindling population of tigers here.

"We need the Orang Asli Department's help to educate them against using animal snares," he said.

At the assembly, Dr Wan Junaidi launched a coffee table book called 'Malayan Tiger: An Iconic National Treasure' which contains visuals of tigers in the wild caught by wildlife trail cameras.

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