Posted on 14-Aug-2013
August 8th, 2013
SUNGAI BESI, KUALA LUMPUR - This day's parade started off as usual but as it went on, there is a realisation among is that there will be a special event. As the title suggest, on this day there was a talk regarding saving tigers and wildlife by Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers or MyCat in short.
Band started as usual at 1pm, ending an hour later. Then everyone kept their instruments and went into joint-classrooms for the talk. The KL State FTO, Mr Kenny Voon, also come and joined us for the program, wanting to know more about this global issue.
Founded in 2003, MyCat is an alliance of several NGOs which includes the Malaysian Nature Society, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and WWF-Malaysia. These NGOs are supported by the Department of Wildlife (Jabatan Perhilitan in Malay) and National Parks (Taman Negara) Peninsular Malaysia for joint implementation of the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan for Malaysia.
Currently, there is an estimated 3,200 tigers left roaming the planet, a very big decline from 100,000 tigers at the beginning of the century. There used to be nine tiger sub-species in the world, but in the last 70 years, 3 have gone extinct - the Balinese, Caspian and Javan. Globally, the tiger has lost 93% of its habitat in the last 100 years.
For Malaysia, our tiger is called the Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni). It is known for its symbol of majesty, power and is the national animal of Malaysia. It is also used in many logos including, Malaysia’s Coat of Arms where two Malayan Tigers fearlessly guard our country’ sovereignty , Polis Diraja Malaysia also features a tiger at its logo’s center, symbolising fearlessness. The tiger is also featured as Maybank’s logo, the country’s leading bank. Despite being a symbol in all these sectors, the Malayan Tiger's population has decreased to about 500 tigers in Peninsular Malaysia – which is a very saddening number.
Why? One of the main factor is us, humans. We don't realise that these animals are facing extinction because of illegal (or even legal) over-logging and poaching. Logging eliminates their homes and causing there no place to search for foods. Even if jungles are replaced with plantations, the biodiversity needed sustain an ecosystem is lost forever. Tigers also need a very wide area to roam and hunt down prey. We need food and so do they.
Poaching or hunting for tigers also a factor why this magnificent animals are starting to dissapear. Almost every body part of the tiger is thought by some to have medicinal properties or ‘magical’ powers. Its meat is served as a delicacy in exotic meat restaurants and other body parts such as the teeth, claws, bones, skin and it's over parts are also used in illegal trade throughout the world. To "procure" these parts traps need to be set and are always found around dense jungles where tigers and wild animals exist. Fortunately, these traps are often disabled by workers from wildlife department and organisations like MyCat.
Not only tigers fall victim to mankind's greed. Other wild animals such as the tapir, the Malayan sun bear, Sumatran rhinoceros, pangolin, elephant and also the clouded leopard were also listed as an endangered species. These are just a few examples, there are much more. Some of those mentioned are traded as pets, which is illegal without a proper license.
Knowing these information, what should we do? Ignore it? Let the government do the rest? NO! We can help these animals by calling MyCat's hotline 019-3564194 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org if we witness any form of illegal animal trade, be it in pet shops or traditional medicine vendors. The caller's identity will be kept anonymous and a reward will be given if the call is found to be legitimate.
In conclusion, saving tigers will help save the habitat and other wildlife. We can help by just doing the simple steps above, which will eventually discourage the trade and save one tiger or more from being killed.
For more information on MyCat's cause, please visit www.malayantiger.net
After the presentation from the MyCAT team, we proceeded for drill at around 4pm followed by dismissal at 5pm. A very good day, much knowledge obtained by us all and thank you MyCAT!
Credits to Malayan Tiger.net, Google Images and Captain Ngai for the photos and the related informations.