The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) has been reclassified as Critically Endangered (CR) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It has only been recognised as a sub-species since 2004.
Considered as being the most reliable source regarding threatened species and their levels of extinction, the IUCN’s Red List has just placed the Malayan tiger in the category denoting the highest level of risk of disappearance. Firstly, because, according to estimates, there are only 250 remaining mature individuals from this subspecies (compared to 500 previously), and also because their population has reduced by more than 25% in a generation (seven years).
This news represents, once again, the negative impact of humans on our environment, and more particularly on threatened species like the tiger. In fact, the main explanations for the disappearance of the feline are the loss of its habitat (intensive farming, deforestation…), the reduction of the number of available prey, and the illegal trade of tiger products, notably through poaching in order to feed the traditional medicine market in Asia.
To contribute to the safeguarding of the whole species, the NGO Awely has launched the dedicated initiative, Awely, Tigers and People. Four tiger conservation programmes are currently active in Bangladesh, in Vietnam, in India and in Nepal. Furthermore, the organisation develops educational campaigns, aimed at the general public, to raise awareness about the impending risk to one of the most beautiful animal species still alive.
Finally, if the Malayan tiger is currently classified as critically endangered (CR) by the IUCN, it is very likely that, despite the efforts undertaken, it will disappear within a few years due to the lack of suitable habitat and opportunities for individual animal to come into contact.