Save The Tigers Information: Harimau Malaya
Harimau Malaya is the most common description used to refer to the Malayan tiger, which is also known as Panthera Tigris Jacksoni. The term “Harimau” means tiger in Malay, while “Malaya” refers to Malaysia. The ‘Tiger of Malaysia’ is a beloved national icon that has become synonymous with Malaysia and our pride as a nation. The tigers (Harimau Malaya) are one of the rarest and most precious animals in the world and they are one of the nine subspecies of tigers, of which four have gone extinct. According to the national survey, there are only 150 wild tigers left in Malaysia’s forest and it is estimated that there are between 80 and 120 breeding adults left. The tigers (Harimau Malaya) represent ferocity and bravery but with the poachers roaming around in the forest, these tigers are now endangered.
The tigers (Harimau Malaya) can be identified by their orange-colored fur and black stripes, with white fur on their eyes, cheeks, and bellies. This solitary predator and carnivore hunts by day and night, using all its senses, especially its sense of hearing, as it is the most acute of all its senses. Their distinctive coats act as camouflage and help them sneak up on their prey while hiding as they stalk prey in dense vegetation. When hunting for larger prey, such as deer or wild boar, the tiger will stalk them before pouncing.
The Cause of Extinction
In 2010 and 2015, a recent study by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) stated that the country’s natural forests had shrunk by around 200,000 hectares, an area equivalent to nearly three times the size of our neighboring city-state of Singapore. Furthermore, it creates a problem that fragments the habitats into smaller patches of the forest. An important element of the action plan is to allow tigers to move between major jungles using the forested “corridors.” However, it had been destroyed, whereas the expansion of logging roads into remote parts of the forest made it easier for the local poachers to explore inaccessible areas. To survive, the tiger (Harimau Malaya) needs a very lush and big forest area. This is why protecting the forest is crucial to the species’ survival.
The Malayan Tigers’ population is decreasing significantly due to poaching. Hundreds of snares have been detected in the forest. Snares that illegal poachers have set up are a huge concern because they can potentially wipe out large mammals within a short period. For the poachers, it is relatively easy to figure out the best place to position snares, given that tigers leave their scent and claw marks as a sign of marked territory. The poachers will set up a camp made of bamboo and tarpaulin and spend as long as four months in the jungle. To them, the snares are cheap and easy to make themselves. These poachers are willing to spend however long it takes to catch a tiger because they know there will be a handsome payment at the end of it all. Money and greed are their incentives without knowing that they are harming the ecosystem. The tigers (Harimau Malaya) are apex predators that play a vital role in the ecosystem. If the tigers were to become extinct, natural regulatory mechanisms would no longer exist, resulting in an overabundance of prey species, mainly herbivores. This has implications for the entire food chain and would impact us humans, as our survival also depends on the balance of the ecosystem.
Saving The Tigers (Harimau Malaya)
The Pahang Wildlife Rangers have worked closely with the state government to find ways to save the tigers (Harimau Malaya). They have established wildlife reserves and patrols on the ground to track and arrest poachers and criminal logging syndicates. The Regent of Pahang (Pemangku Raja Pahang), HRH Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah has taken precautionary steps to work with local citizens and organizations to protect the tigers and their ecosystems. He has made it a mission to mitigate threats to the tigers in Pahang.
According to Bernama, The Regent of Pahang (Pemangku Raja Pahang), HRH Tengku Hassanal said, “If we focus on doing something about it, with strong determination and genuine sincerity, I believe we can save the Malayan Tiger.” Source.
We must join hands with the government to create awareness through campaigns and education programs to stop the decline. The people have to play their part in protecting healthy forests for the tigers (Harimau Malaya) to survive.
The Malayan Tiger is the nation’s icon, our pride, and the symbol that unites us as Malaysians. Protecting the tigers (Harimau Malaya) means we are not just protecting these beautiful creatures but also embracing our heritage. This national icon is a symbol of strength, determination, and courage which has played an important part in our history. We must do more to ensure these protectors of the forest and all the beings in it remain in existence.