THE TIGER

MALAYAN TIGER: Unique Sub-species

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Malaysia has its own unique sub-species of tiger – the Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni, named after renowned tiger conservationist Peter Jackson, in honour of his years of work for tigers.

The sub-species, previously included as Indochinese tiger Panthera tigris corbetti is, now divided into two groups: one in northern Indochina and the other in the Malay Peninsula, which encompasses the southern end of Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.

Scientists from the National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Genomic Diversity in USA conducted DNA analysis from various samples of blood, skin and hair from 134 captive tigers across Asia. Some of the specimens used in the study were obtained from tigers that were captured by DWNP in human-tiger conflict situations; genetically pure tigers.

The scientists discovered that the tigers found here are unique only to the Malay Peninsula.

While acknowledging the exciting new discovery, the Malaysian government recommends that this sub-species be named Panthera tigris malayensis to reflect its geographic distribution. More recently, however, a morphological study has questioned the validity of this classification.

Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers

MYCAT is an alliance of Malaysian Nature Society, TRAFFIC, WCS-Malaysia and WWF-Malaysia, supported by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia for recovery of wild tiger populations.