Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat

by Wildlife Society of Selangor
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Protect the Malayan Tiger and restore its habitat
Kijang that was found in a snare
Kijang that was found in a snare

Dear global givers,

Your support of MYCAT and our efforts to protect Malayan tigers and their habitats couldn’t come at a more critical time. Malaysia clings to its remaining wild tigers by a thin thread. During the Fourth Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation held in January this year, Malaysia’s Prime Minister announced that Malaysia has fewer than 150 tigers remaining in the wild, the number based on the results of a three-year nationwide survey that concluded in 2020.

As part of MYCAT’s efforts to turn government policies into impactful real-world solutions, MYCAT, with your generous support, has been able to engage with various communities to safeguard Peninsula Malaysia’s most important wildlife corridor.

This includes empowering local indigenous Bateq to conduct anti-poaching patrols as Community Rangers. Funding provided by you has allowed MYCAT to run multiple capacity building exercises. As a result, the Community Rangers have shown tremendous improvements in data collection, searching threats, and species identification based on signs. The Community Rangers have continued to detect signs of recovering wildlife in this period.

In a recent debriefing session, we discussed strategies to improve protection based on the data on wildlife and threats collected in the past year. Besides providing MYCAT with valuable insight, these sessions foster greater ranger participation, help to identify project and personnel needs, and provide an open inclusive platform for sharing ideas and concerns.

The programme also has spillover effects, engendering greater awareness of the poaching problem within the larger Bateq community. In a recent incident, we were informed of two young Bateq who had encountered an ensnared kijang (the local term for muntjac; see top image) in a forest located away from our project site. The MYCAT team immediately coordinated with local wildlife authorities to mount an enforcement and release operation. Unfortunately, by the time the tranquilising team arrived the animal was gone, leaving only blood stains behind. The poacher had got there before us and six more snares were found nearby.

The grief that followed the discovery was echoed among the Bateq rangers. “This kijang was always there in our forest,” a Bateq ranger, Adi shared. “I am sad because it is no longer a part of it now.” As tiger prey species, the loss of this kijang and the presence of snares has a cumulative impact on Malaysia’s dwindling tiger population.

Hassan, one of the programme’s senior rangers, patrols the forest daily because of his inherent love for his forest home. Losing wild tigers would be a great tragedy as he and other rangers like him have grown up sharing the forest with local wildlife like the Malayan tiger.

“Acquiring the necessary skills needed to do this work (patrolling tiger habitats) is a requirement set by MYCAT,” Hassan said. “I thank MYCAT who have listened to our needs and given me and my fellow rangers a lot of training to enable us to gain those skills. It’s a lot to learn at the beginning,” he divulged, “But with the continuous support from MYCAT staff, I feel much more confident now than when I first joined the programme.”

The loss of this kijang also underlines the persistent and ever evolving poaching scourge. As a result, we have chosen to move one of our patrol teams out of our current project site into this newly threatened area. With additional support, our plan is to expand the forest and the wildlife under our protection without compromising the recovering wildlife that has been under our protection in our existing site.

We are indebted to global givers everywhere who have supported this programme and our Community Rangers in the fight to save the wild Malayan tiger.

Adi and Hassan checking trail cameras
Adi and Hassan checking trail cameras
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Bateq men surveying the extent of weeds overgrowth
Bateq men surveying the extent of weeds overgrowth

Dear Supporters,

Saving the Malayan tiger, the world’s most endangered big cat, in a country known for one of the highest deforestation rates is nearly impossible.

Your support has made the continuation of this extremely challenging work possible in the toughest year that MYCAT has seen in its 18 years of operation. When many organizations and companies were collapsing, we not only survived but also did more conservation than ever before, thanks to your support.

We surpassed the initial donation target of USD50K on this platform. As the General Manager of the MYCAT program, I would like to thank each of the 321 supporters and report the progress of our work.

Due to reasons beyond COVID-19 and its impacts, the year 2020 was, financially, the toughest year. I broke my own records by writing 15 grant proposals, but most were unsuccessful. We survived, much thanks to people like you who believe in our cause and trusted us with your money. I take the responsibility seriously and am always mindful of how to spend your donations.

In this time of uncertainty, your support gave me the confidence that our work is important, and the support will come. We mobilized the funds to fill the gap left by the government and engaged a total of 65 men and 16 women from the local Bateq tribe, an indigenous community, to protect tigers and restore their habitats.

Towards the end of the 2020, welfare grants from the government supported the Bateq’s wages for the subsequent six months and with that, the toughest period was over. Aboriginal peoples, including the Bateq, are the most marginalized ethnic group among Malaysians. During this challenging period, we were able to increase the Bateq protection workers’ average monthly income by 570% and that of habitat restoration workers by 3,950%. The big jump for the latter group was due to most of the female workers not having any income prior to our engagement with them.

During 2020-2021, the Bateq men planted and cared for 7,462 native tree saplings in addition to the 10,000 trees that had been planted previously to restore severely degraded forest due to road construction, illegal mining, and deforestation. Because of our post-planting monitoring and maintenance, our reforestation effort has a high survivorship rate of 77%. The Bateq women have collected and tended to young saplings at the village tree nursery with 6,700 saplings now waiting to join the growing tiger forest.

For the protection effort, the number of Bateq rangers increased from 10 to a high of 31. They have since undergone nine training sessions and have become proficient in field methodologies. While patrolling over 8,000 km, they disarmed 103 illegal snares and traps.

Due to 300% intensified protection effort and probably the prolonged COVID-related restrictions on human activities negative to wildlife such as poaching, mining, and logging, there were times when the community rangers were reporting tiger presence weekly instead of yearly. Prior to this period, signs of tigers were reported a few times a year in the project site. Besides tigers, other endangered wildlife previously hunted down to local extinction roam free in the safer and regenerating forest. Please know that you are contributing to the ecosystem restoration success.

Unfortunately, despite the movement restrictions, local poaching has continued as indicated by the number of snares and traps found. As the nation accepts COVID-19 as endemic and opens for all kinds of human activities, we need to enhance our protection effort. With only about 100 Malayan tigers left in the wild, every tiger counts towards the survival of the subspecies. Therefore, we plan to expand our protection work, and resume Citizen Action for Tigers (CAT) Walks (see www.citizenactionfortigers.my) and our community outreach program next year.

Lastly, I apologize for not being able to communicate with you more often individually in more meaningful ways. And it is equally frustrating to me that I can’t openly share the details of our conservation success for fear of the negative consequences this attention might bring to the vulnerable wildlife. Yet, many entities and individuals have continued to support MYCAT’s work for many years, despite so little feedback, and I can’t help but believe that my lifework speaks for itself.

Please know that I see the name of every supporter. I've met many of you and some of you have become my dear friends over the years. And furthermore, some of you donate in honor of your loved ones. It is a great honor to receive such a gift of love on behalf of the tigers and their forests. The impact of your dollar stretches far beyond the present recovery of the wildlife. Besides obvious ecological services, the healthy ecosystem will provide humans with a much-needed buffer in the face of the increasingly uncertain future. Our Bateq friends will enjoy the benefit before any other humans will.

Thank you for doing what you can to support our tiger conservation work. Together we are reclaiming wild nature, magnificent tigers included.

Bateq women preparing for new seedlings
Bateq women preparing for new seedlings
Rangers learning about snares from authorities
Rangers learning about snares from authorities
Glimpse of the Magnificent
Glimpse of the Magnificent
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Dear Tiger supporters and ambassadors, 

 

As we delve deeper into the year, our strength of resolve lies in the fabric we have woven into the community that reside between forests and field. A community where a unique culture walked the earth before time, and continues to carve its future by endeavour and spirit. Our Bateq allies possess an affinity for the jungle that is inimitable, a kinship born of respect and conversance. Their efforts in protecting wildlife and replenishing nature make us believe in a future full of wildlife that illuminate imagination. 

Our habitat restoration team led by Alexander Jack has been going from strength to strength, even through the pandemic, tirelessly planting seedlings and nuturing a new generation of giants. For Tigers, magnificent as they are rely on prey, and prey in turn rely on abundant vegetation that flourish in the tropical edens that once extended from shore to shore.

"Their reverence and respect inspired me to join in the fight to save the forest they see as an existential network, a realm where bonding of peoples and landscapes manifest" Alex says of his adopted Bateq clan.

The team restores forests and enriches habitat to ensure that wildlife have viable resource in peninsula Malaysia's most important wildlife corridor. In 3 years the team has succesfully raised 25,000 native seedlings, species spanning from strangling figs to emergent leviathans, from seed to sprout to fruit. All to provide valuable and needed resources for wildlife to recolonize the area. Threatened species have shown signs of recovery from past unchecked poaching activities, stemming from increased protection and presence.

The goal is simple, to re-wild the fractured landscape to provide a safe haven for flora and fauna. Our efforts in wildlife protection and habitat restoration cannot continue absent of the Bateq, and your continued support.

We are all stewards of this planet.

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Reforestation efforts cross all bridges to enrich
Reforestation efforts cross all bridges to enrich

Dear Tiger Ambassadors and supporters, 

As we turn the page on 2020, we begin to see a turn in the tide of this pandemic, and perhaps, a revival to hope.

We have not be idle, and due to the contributions from you through GlobalGiving and the support of other generous funders, we have accelerated protection patrols by almost 500% and reforestation efforts by more than 300% from last year!

The surge in patrols have helped us monitor and report numerous signs of illegal baiting and poaching, forest clearing, and gold mining - all of which is detrimental to the endangered wildlife we strive to keep safe.

We are now working closer with the Forestry and Wildlife departments to expedite enforcement patrols and plan outreach programmes for the communities around the wildlife corridor.

Reforestation efforts are at full tilt, and with permanent presence within the corridor, we now have more eyes, ears and hands furthering our legitimate presence while boosting claim and ownership over this significant forest landscape.

Please help us continue our work by donating to GlobalGivings "Little by Little" campaign where all donatioup to 50 USD are matched 50% by GlobalGiving! This campaign runs next Monday for a week.

Thank you all humbly as we keep on fighting for the Malayan tiger!

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Bateq rangers Roslan and Ali actively patrolling
Bateq rangers Roslan and Ali actively patrolling

Dear MYCAT supporters and tiger Ambassadors,

As we enter the final stretch of this unprecedented year, we are thrilled to announce that our ranger patrols will be increased in both frequency and areas covered due to funds raised from our partners, the Singapore Wildcat Action Group (SWAG) through GlobalGiving on their SWAG100 Challenge in October.

"Thank you very much for your support of the SWAG100 Challenge and donation to our fundraising campaign! In 31 days, we raised US$11,560 for the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT). The funds will help MYCAT strengthen its Community Ranger patrol program as well as the Rewilding Yu project, both of which will ensure that the iconic Malayan tiger is protected and given a chance to thrive". A message from SWAG directors Carmen Pang and Vilma D’Rozario.

With the funds raised, we have identified new rangers to be trained and deployed in the coming months to further strengthen our presence in this most vital of wildlife corridors in peninsular Malaysia.

To further sustain this increase for the longer term, we are actively seeking matching funds from other grants/sources and so would like to make an end of the year appeal of you to graciously contribute to Tiger protection.

GlobalGiving is launching its largest #GivingTuesday to date, with $1 million to give away to our community on December 1, 2020! The campaign is aligned with the Global Generosity Movement that is celebrated by nonprofits, corporations, and donors alike each year in December.

Please rally your family, friends, and wildlife allies to help MYCAT fight for a better brighter more secure future for Malayan Tigers. Or consider making an honorary holiday donation this year on behalf of your loved ones!

We are counting on you to do what you can and support our rangers in the field. Just recently, they came upon an illegal land clearance witin the buffer zone (protected forest) of the national park. We are now assisitng the forestry department in the matter.

Our collective efforts have also caught the eyes and ears of the Malaysian police chief – please view the facebook link below for more info.

 

When you can't do what you do
You do what you can
This ain't my prayer, it's just a thought
I'm wanting to send
'Round here, we bend but don't break
Down here, we all understand
When you can't do what you do
You do what you can

- Bon Jovi –

Links:

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Organization Information

Wildlife Society of Selangor

Location: Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Suzalinur Bidin
Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
$65,343 raised of $100,000 goal
 
689 donations
$34,657 to go
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