MNSJ plans for tiger conservation

JOHOR BARU: Johor branch of Malaysian Nature Society (MNSJ) would like to work with the Johor government and draw up plans for tiger conservation.

Its chairman, Vincent Chow said the MNSJ is also ready to work with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) and any other departments to save the tigers.

He said, the state government should set aside an annual budget for tiger conservation in Johor.

"The Malayan tiger is a national icon. Only Johoreans can work towards ensuring that the tiger will remain the pride of the state," he said.

The Malayan tiger (Pantheras tigris jacksoni) is most threatened by illegal wildlife trade as well as the loss and fragmentation of forests.

Tiger parts are high in demand in many parts of Asia for traditional medicine and poaching has decimated the species for centuries.

In the 1950's there were an estimated 3000 tigers in Peninsular Malaysia.

The gloomy announcement in September from PERHILITAN and the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tiger (MYCAT) places the current tiger population between 240 to 340. The decline means that the species might have to be moved to the "Critically Endangered" category in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The event was organised by the Jolly Wallabies Cricket Team and MNSJ. Proceeds were donated to the Malaysian Nature Society, Johor branch for conservation work which will focus on saving the Malayan tigers.