Poaching Threatens Malaysia's Tiger Conservation Goals

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Malaysia—along with the world's 12 other tiger range countries—agreed, in 2010, to take measures to double their wild tiger populations by 2020. So far, for Malaysia, which had an estimated 500 wild tigers, the goal is proving more difficult than previously expected—and poaching is, not surprisingly, one of the major challenges.

Throughout their range poaching—along with habitat loss and fragmentation, and pollution—threatens the species. Fueled by rising demand for tiger parts on the black market, poaching has continued to increase throughout the regin in spite of efforts to curb the activity.

In Malaysia, programs like limits on deer hunting—an effort to preserve key prey populations—and protections of known habitats have been eroded by persistent poaching. The impact of poaching "is evidenced by the discovery of many poaching signs and close to a thousand snares...between 2010 and 2011," reported MYCAT Tracks, an alliance of tiger conservation groups, "as well as the arrest of several poachers."

As recently as the 1950s, Malaysia had a population of as many as 3,000 tigers. Today, there are only about 3,200 in the entire world.

Tags: Animals | Conservation | Endangered Species | Malaysia

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