KUALA LUMPUR (dpa) – Malaysia needs to employ at least 400 forest rangers if it wants to protect its critically endangered Malayan tiger population, a conservationist group said Sunday.
“The reality is that Malaysia has lost about 90 per cent of its tigers since independence (in 1957),” the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat) said in a statement.
The group blamed poaching and loss of habitat as two major reasons for the decline of Malayan tigers.
The current wildlife personnel patrolling the forests are only about eight per cent of what is needed, the group said.
A recent study conducted by Mycat and Malaysia’s wildlife department estimated the total number of Malayan tigers remaining in the wild at between 250 and 340, down from the 2008 estimate of 500.
“The remaining tigers can bounce back if protected, but the Malaysian government needs to invest money and manpower, and truly commit to its protection,” it said.