THE HASANAH REPORT 2022
A long-term effort in species revival alongside the local community
It is heartbreaking that the majestic Malayan tiger — apex predator and national icon — is teetering on the brink of extinction.
According to President of Persatuan Pelindung Haiwan Malaysia (RIMAU) Lara Arifin, today only 150 Malayan tigers roam our jungles. In the 1950s, there were over 3,000. Working with the Jahai tribe who have long called Royal Belum Rainforest home, RIMAU established a patrolling unit called Menraq (meaning people in the Jahai language).
This initiative sits on the biologically diverse Central Forest Spine, a priority area for Hasanah. “It allows us to demonstrate with evidence that the work we are supporting contributes to species conservation,” Head of Environment, Ivy Wong Abdullah explains.
“It provides a way of life that is rewarded by doing what they do best — protecting the forest,” she adds.
Besides wages for patrolling, for every day a ranger works, RM10 is contributed to a community fund.
Beginning with 16 rangers, Lara says through Hasanah’s partnership “there are now 46 in Royal Belum, Aman Jaya, Korbu.” In groups of 5, rangers like Talib Mat Razi spends 14 days patrolling the forest. The aim is to cover 100 sq km every month with accurate record keeping.
They are trained in reporting, installing cameras, identifying snares and measuring footprints. As a local, he is able to tell apart marks left by poachers from those of community members.
RIMAU trusts tiger numbers will slowly but surely rise. Snares, a major threat to tigers have already reduced by 95%. “If they have food, habitat and protection, they will and can come back,” Lara says with certitude.
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