According to the National Tiger Survey, less than 150 tigers were roaming free in the forests of Peninsular Malaysia last year.
Among the NGOs that were involved in the survey is Pertubuhan Pelindung Alam Malaysia (Pelindung), which was established in 2016 and is spearheaded by a team of wildlife conservationists.
A director of Pelindung, Liang Song Horng, has been in the field of tiger conservation for over 20 years.
“My interest in nature started during my scout group activities back in Chung Hwa High School in Muar, my hometown. I was not the smartest kid in my class, but I was the most outdoorsy one. I was fortunate enough that my parents supported me to study in Canada for my degree after high school,” he said.
While he was studying for his biology degree at the University of Victoria in 1999, he met Kae Kawanishi, the current general manager of the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MyCat), who was doing her PhD in Taman Negara.
MyCat is an alliance of non-governmental organisations comprising the Malaysian Nature Society, Traffic Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and WWF-Malaysia.
“One of the articles that featured her work mentioned that she was looking for a research assistant, so I wrote an email to her applying for the job.
“Two months later, I delayed my studies, and I was in Taman Negara assisting on my first ever tiger project under her.
“The project opened my eyes to the abundance of wildlife...