Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers
Founded in 2003, MYCAT emerged as a pivotal platform facilitating communication and collaboration between the Malaysian government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a shared objective of the conservation of Malayan tigers. The esteemed founding members included the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (DWNP), Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), TRAFFIC, and WWF-Malaysia. In subsequent years, the alliance expanded with the inclusion of Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia in 2005 and Wildlife Society of Selangor (WILD) in 2017. WILD, a non-profit charitable organization, now oversees and implements all MYCAT programs in adherence to Malaysian laws.
In its initial decade, MYCAT focused on policy advocacy, leading to DWNP transitioning to an official supporter role in 2006. This strategic collaboration bore fruit in 2008 with the development of Malaysia’s inaugural National Tiger Conservation Action Plan. Advocacy campaigns championed by MYCAT resulted in significant milestones, including the enhancement of wildlife laws such as Malaysia’s Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and the International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008. Notably, MYCAT advocated for elevating the legal status of the sambar deer, a crucial prey species for tigers, to that of a fully protected species.
In the ensuing decade, the platform, initially designed to bridge the communication gap between NGOs and the government, has evolved to actively involve the public in the monumental effort to restore wild Malayan tigers and their habitats. Under the banner of “Saving Tigers Together”, the Citizen Action for Tiger (CAT) program encompasses anti-poaching surveillance patrols, known as CAT Walk, community ranger initiatives, community outreach programs, and reforestation efforts. These conservation endeavors are concentrated in and around the Sungai Yu Ecological Corridor in Pahang, a vital strip of degraded forests linking the largest tiger landscapes in Malaysia—the Titiwangsa Main Range in the west and Taman Negara National Park in the east.