July 16, 2009

Malaysia Losing Tiger Poaching Battle

A conservation coalition warned Wednesday, after a series of raids which netted tiger carcasses and bones, that Malaysia is losing the battle to save its dwindling population of wild tigers.

"It is clearly time to admit that we are fast losing the battle to save our tigers to an army of smugglers and poachers intent on killing every last one," said the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MyCat).

"They enter our protected areas with ease, and illegally trap, kill and export our wildlife with little fear," said the alliance, which includes WWF Malaysia and watchdog Traffic Southeast Asia.

MyCat demanded that Malaysian authorities do something to stop the illegal trade in tiger parts.

The conservation group listed a series of seizures of dismembered tigers in recent months, including six-and-a-half pounds of tiger bones found in northeastern Kelantan state last month.

The coalition said that the tiger-part investigations found that some of the tigers were from sub-species and were not found in the wild in Asia, including the Siberian tiger.

It said that the findings, like those founds in zoos and theme parks, were finding their way into the illegal wildlife trade where they are killed for the use of traditional medicines.

"Swift and severe action must follow," MyCat said.

"If we cannot stop captive tigers from government-supervised institutions from being illegally traded, there is little hope of protecting wild tigers," it said.

Malaysia is estimated to have around 500 tigers living in the wild.


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