CAT Walk – Citizen Action for Tigers
A project of Wildlife Survival Fund: Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.
Yu River Wildlife Corridor and Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia
IUCN Red List Status of Focal Species
Endangered or Critically Endangered
About the Project
Citizen Action for Tigers (CAT) is one of MYCAT’s (Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers) solutions to curb the population decline and to nurture an action-oriented sense of stewardship among the Malaysian public. With the last 300 left in the wild, the Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) is on the verge of extinction. They will, however, recover if poaching is effectively suppressed and the Malaysian public takes action toward saving tigers in this decade. By providing an avenue for the public to get involved, this project enables Malaysians and global citizens to share the responsibility of shaping the future of the tiger.
CAT involves citizen conservationists putting more “boots on the ground” and helping to save wildlife by deactivating snares. They also support law enforcement by becoming the “eyes and ears” of the authorities who experience a chronic shortage of manpower. The project site, the Yu River Wildlife Corridor, is the last forest linkage connecting the two largest tiger landscapes in Malaysia - Taman Negara National Park, and the Main Range.
The CAT program deters poaching by the simple presence of volunteers at poaching hotspots and the Taman Negara border, especially on weekends and public holidays when enforcement staff are not on duty. While carrying out recreational activities or border maintenance work, volunteers are also on the lookout for snares and traps and deactivate them, thus saving the lives of potential snare victims. In addition to the surveillance walks, volunteers record signs of large mammals encountered, especially that of the tiger and sambar deer.
Since 2010, 672 CAT Walkers from 28 countries have patrolled 335,000 acres of rainforest, and deactivated 134 snares and traps. Even when all other possible signs of poaching and encroachment (e.g. illegal camp sites, parked motor bikes, illegal logging) are considered, there are hardly any signs of threat being reported since mid-2014.
More details including registration information, CAT manuals, routes, and the CAT calendar can be found on the MYCAT website www.citizenactionfortigers.my.
The ultimate goal of this project is to recover the tiger population in Taman Negara and secure important wildlife corridors by citizens with a greater conservation awareness and willingness to be involved by the public.
Project Mission: The ultimate mission of CAT is to protect and recover the tiger population in Taman Negara National Park by citizen conservation around the border of the park and adjacent wildlife corridors while the authorities focus their patrol effort interior of the park.
Since the forest in Taman Negara is intact and protected from large-scale exploitation, once tigers are protected from poaching, their natural resilience will lead to a rebound in the tiger population in the park. Securing wildlife corridors will allow dispersal between the park and adjacent forest reserves.
At the moment CAT is operational at the most threatened part of the park (western Taman Negara) and the most important wildlife corridor, Yu River Wildlife Corridor.
At the Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo’s Banyan Wilds exhibit is home to Malayan tigers and other Asian forest animals. The WPZ-Panthera Malayan Tiger Partnership is highlighted in the exhibit’s Field House, a conservation action center where visitors can learn how they can take action to join the effort to save tigers before it’s too late.
Read the Malayan tiger fact sheet