Foreign poachers take toll on tiger population in Perak forest reserves

A waterfall at the Royal Belum forest reserve in Gerik, Perak. Park authorities estimate that there are only 23 tigers left in the Royal Belum and Temenggor forest reserves. (Bernama pic.)

GERIK: Perak park authorities estimate that there are only 23 tigers left in the Royal Belum and Temenggor forest reserves.

The general manager of Perbadanan Taman Negeri Perak, Mohamed Shah Redza Hussein, said the figure was about a 60% drop from the estimated 60 tigers recorded in the two forest reserves seven years ago.

He said the biggest threat to the tiger population was poaching, believed carried out by foreigners, especially hunters from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and aided by Malaysians.

“If we do not act now, we will have fewer than 10 tigers. A population this low is not enough for breeding.

“If this happens, it means tigers will become extinct in Royal Belum and Temenggor,” he told reporters after attending the Malaysian-level International Tigers Day celebration held at Taman Ina here today.

Mohamed Shah said the Perak Wildlife Department had stepped up monitoring and enforcement to check the poaching of tigers in the two habitats.