Letter to the Editor: Securing the future of tigers in the wild
WWF-Malaysia refers to the recent news of wild cats and pangolins seized at the Khub Pung village of Tambon Nam Kham in Thailand, near the Lao PDR border.
According to news report by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, the six dead tigers, two leopards and three clouded leopards were suspected to have come from southern Thailand or Malaysia and were bound for Vietnam and China. They were already cut in half and had their organs removed. The seizure was possible through information exchanges within the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), which Malaysia is part of, to combat cross-border wildlife crime in the region.
WWF-Malaysia views this matter with serious concern should the investigation confirm the origin of the seized tigers to be from southern Thailand or Malaysia. The estimated 500 tigers remaining in Peninsular Malaysia are facing serious threats from poaching and wildlife trade, habitat loss, depletion of prey and human-tiger conflict.
It is timely that the National Tiger Action Plan, a plan spearheaded by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in collaboration with the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT), kicks into action by this year. The document outlines vital areas of tiger conservation that needs to be in place in order to reduce these critical threats, including enforcement work on trans-boundary matters through ASEAN-WEN.
Strong legislations should also be in place to prosecute guilty parties. Although the International Trade in
Endangered Species Act was passed in Parliament last month, the 35-year old Protection of Wild Life Act 1972 needs to be reviewed and passed urgently. Both these Acts need to be in place concurrently to ensure heavier penalties for trans-border and domestic wildlife offenders.
WWF-Malaysia urges the speedy implementation of these revisions and plans, as well as stronger collaboration between the ASEAN-WEN countries in order to secure the future of tigers in the wild.
From: Dr Dionysius S.K. Sharma, Executive Director/CEO, WWF-Malaysia
For further information, please contact:
Mr Mathew Maavak, Media and Public Affairs Consultant, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603 7803 3772 ext 6103, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org