2000-strong tiger task force to take down poachers

The Malayan tiger is in danger of being wiped out. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya today declared war on illegal animal poachers, forming a special task force to ensure the Malayan tiger continues to roar.

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar said the 2,000-strong task force is being created under the Tiger Protection and Patrolling Programme (TP3) and would be patrolling the ground.

The task force, comprising of personnel from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), Forestry Department, Malaysian Armed Forces and Royal Malaysian Police, is key to ensuring the survival of the animal.

Xavier said the task force is crucial, due to the increasing number of snares and intrusions by foreigners and locals into tiger habitats.

“The time has come to stop the killings of Malayan tigers and other wildlife by these ruthless poachers,” he said at the pre-launch of the Save our Malayan Tiger Campaign in conjunction with World Wildlife Day 2019 here.

Xavier said the two-year campaign began today with the Prime Minister’s wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, and Perhilitan as patrons of the campaign.

The minister said he was informed that among the 1,000 operations carried out from 2013 till 2018, an alarming number of 3,500 snares were destroyed and 162 intruders, consisting of 98 locals and 64 foreigners, were arrested for wildlife offences.

He also said the ministry had established the Biodiversity Conservation Trust Fund.

Companies and other agencies are welcome to contribute to help in enforcement, conservation and awareness efforts related to Malaysian biodiversity.