The Malayan tiger is a new subspecies despite being around for a very long time. The Malaysian government has announced plans to double the tiger population on the Malaysian peninsula from an estimated 500 to 1,000. How to achieve this? Perhaps the three greatest threats to the tiger in the wild is habitat loss (usually deforestation in Asia) and fragmentation, loss of sufficient prey due to hunting and habitat loss and thirdly, poaching for tiger body parts to supply the lucrative pharmaceutical industry.
The deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Muhyiddin Yassin, has said that a national tiger action plan had been approved.
One of the great dilemmas is how to protect the tiger in their reserves. Often reserves are poorly protected due to the near impossibility of protecting very large areas. Then there is the ever present possibility of corruption as a lot of money is at stake (a tiger’s penis is worth $6,000).
The government has said that the military will be used. Well that brings big numbers but I am not sure if it is viable.
Perhaps a better solution is to find ways for the local people to get something from the tiger when it is alive as opposed too selling bits of it when it is dead.
And there needs to be international enforcement to attack the demand for tiger body parts. If the demand from the pharmaceutical companies making medicines dried up by for example substituting man made substitutes the supply side was also come to a gradual halt. I don’t see that being mentioned.
I feel it is better to tackle the root causes of the problem rather than a part of the chain of events. There is no need to use tiger parts in medicine. It is both less effective than substitutes and it kills the last remaining tigers.
It is good to see that the Malayan Tiger is to Receive Better Protection but in a better world it would not need protecting.
See Malayan tiger for more on this subspecies of tiger that was once the Indochinese tiger.