The Malayan tiger is the least known and most critically endangered of all tiger subspecies, and they are nearing extinction. Fewer than 150 wild tigers remain and they are exceedingly threatened by poaching and habitat loss. This project will create sustainable livelihoods as well as empower indigenous peoples to become forest custodians through surveillance patrols, and by restoring vital ecosystems in the only enduring wildlife corridor connecting 2.5 million hectares of rainforests.
Tiger numbers have declined, from 3000 in the 1950's down to 150 today. That is a drop of nearly 95% of the population over 70 years. Malaysia has sufficient forests to support a minimum of 1000 tigers but effective protection is limited due to a lack of resources in both finance and manpower. Forests are converted for resource extraction that is detrimental to sustainable development, and the disengagement of indigenous voices, whose lives are linked to forests, remains a challenge.
For nature conservation to be sustainable, building local stewardship is essential. This project will empower 50 men and women to conduct forest patrols and nurture seedlings for replanting to restore vital habitat. In total, it will engage more than 90% of the households in indigenous villages within a critical wildlife corridor. Wildlife protection and habitat enrichment is vital within this mega-biodiverse landscape which is threatened by habitat loss, illegal encroachment and poaching.
This project addresses immediate threats to tigers but is nested in a long-term initiative to restore people's relationship with wild nature, highlighting the recovery of tiger populations as an indicator of success. Supporting this project will contribute to the protection of rare and endangered wildlife species, facilitating indigenous community based conservation projects and potentially creating downstream sectors such as ethical and locally based wildlife conservation tourism initiatives.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).