| Malaysia | 2 Sept 2016 | Asia Samachar |
“My job is to protect some of the last Malayan tigers,” said Jasdev Sohanpal.
And this researcher means every word. Jasdev and the team of rangers literally tread the deep and thick jungles of Peninsular Malaysia to protect the endangered species.
Reminiscing on how it all started, Jasdev said that when the opportunity landed to become a ranger to protect tigers, he jumped at it. “I didn’t think twice,” he says in a video. See here.
His decision was fully supported by his father who used to take him out on nature adventures and taught him about conservation.
Jasdev is a researcher with a non-profit research group Rimba working with Perhilitan (Department of Wildlife and National Parks), Panthera (a leading wild cat conservation organization) and Woodland Park Zoo as part of the tigers forever project.
The program aims to strengthen tiger survival by identifying core populations and mitigating threats from poaching and habitat fragmentation, according to his LinkedIn update. Conservationists estimate there are only about 300 Malayan tigers left in the wild.
The team goes out on patrols lasting anything from one to nine days. Among others, they track poachers.
Malayan tigers were classified as Indochinese tigers until DNA testing in 2004 showed them to be a separate subspecies, according to a website run by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Their Latin name — Panthera tigris jacksoni — honors Peter Jackson, the famous tiger conservationist. Malayan tigers are found only on the Malay Peninsula and in the southern tip of Thailand.
Protecting tiger habitats in Malaysia safeguards other species such as Asian elephants and mainland clouded leopards, it adds.
“Healthy tigers means a healthy forest,” says Jasdev.
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