The Malayan tiger is a national symbol and a priority conservation target for WWF-Malaysia. In the 1950s, Malaysia was estimated to have as many as 3,000 tigers. However, loss of habitat due to rapid development, agriculture expansion and widespread hunting, has caused the population to decline to about 500 individuals at the turn of the century.

From 2016 to 2020, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, WWF-Malaysia and other NGOs embarked upon Malaysia’s first National Tiger Survey to determine the most recent and accurate status of tigers nationwide. From the preliminary results of this survey, it was found that the number of tigers had dwindled further to less than 150 individuals in the wild. The Malayan tiger is Totally Protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, and is classified as Critically Endangered under the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species.