Central forest spine can take 1,000 tigers
(Mon, 25 Jan 2010)
WE refer to “1,000 tigers in Malaysia by 2020” (News without frontiers, Jan 21 – http://bigcatrescue.blogspot.com/2010/01/1000-tigers-in-malaysia-by-2020.html )We thank you for the support in raising tiger conservation awareness, but would like to make several clarifications.
The National Tiger Action for Malaysia was formulated by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, in collaboration with the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat).
Mycat is the joint programme of the Malaysian Nature Society, Traffic Southeast Asia and the Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and WWF-Malaysia.
To explain why the target of 1,000 tigers by 2020 is achievable, at the Mycat press conference held on Jan 20, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme director Dr Melvin Gumal said that in Malaysia, an adult male tiger has an estimated home range of 200 to 250 sq km, which it shares with three or more females, and in many cases with cubs, juveniles and transients (young tigers that don’t have their own home range yet).
He also explained that if the prey density in an area increases, the sizes of the tigers’ home ranges could decrease, as observed in India and Russia. Studies in Malaysia have also shown that in areas with high prey densities, the number of adult tigers can go up to 2.6 tigers/100 sq km.
It is on this basis that we affirm that 1,000 tigers can be accommodated within the confines of the central forest spine of 51,000 sq km.
Malaysia is one of the most important tiger range countries in Southeast Asia because it still has a sizeable tiger population and is one of the last two stronghold countries in the region with biological possibilities for tiger survival.
Loretta Ann Shepherd