Camera traps set early this year and recently retrieved by WWF-Malaysia’s field team have revealed rare images of not one but four Malayan tigers.
A female tiger with three cubs, said to be between one-and-a-half and two years old, were captured on film in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex earlier this year.
The family was captured on camera again a month later.
The traps were part of a conservation programme funded by Maybank Foundation.
The Belum-Temengor Forest complex in Perak had seen a 50% decline in tiger numbers from 2009 to 2018.
WWF-Malaysia CEO Sophia Lim said much of the funding it received went into supporting the work of anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring teams on the ground, who covered great distances on foot, scouring the forest for snares and setting up camera traps.
“With fewer than 200 Malayan tigers left in the wild, this news is a timely message of hope for this species and conservation efforts,” she said.
The Malayan Tiger had been listed as critically endangered since 2015.
In August, the Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia Department (Perhilitan) said that it was embarking on a captive breeding and rewilding programme of Malayan Tiger after the latest survey showed the number in the wild to be fewer than 200.
Its director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said detection of the mother tiger and its cubs suggested the presence of factors such as suitable habitat and prey.
“But this also means that sustained and stronger anti-poaching efforts are required if we are to ensure that these cubs remain safe from poachers and are able to survive into adulthood,” he said, calling poaching the biggest threat to the species.
The Ops Bersepadu Khazanah was launched in September 2019 to crack down on poaching and trafficking of wildlife nationwide.
Abdul Kadir said Perhilitan would continue to collaborate closely with WWF-Malaysia and other conservation bodies to step up monitoring and enforcement as well as reverse the decline in tiger numbers.
Perak State Park Corporation director Mohamed Shah Redza Hussein said: “It is a long road but this (the images) gives us some indication of hope.”
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