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Ecological corridor 
of Sungai Yu

Ecotourism, 
handicraft

MNS Fondation
Maisons du Monde


The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) is on the verge of extinction, with less than 300 individuals remaining. The Sungai Yu corridor is the last connection between Malaysia’s two largest tiger landscapes: Main Range (20,000 km2) and Greater Taman Negara (4,343km2), together forming the fifth largest tiger conservation zone in the world. It also shelters several other wild animal species such as elephants, deer, leopard cats, etc.

This wildlife corridor enables migration between the two protected forests therefore contributing to the exchange of genetic material, especially between the large mammals.

 

Major issues

 

Today, Taman Negara forest is almost cut off from the rest of the forested landscape in the west of Malaysia, and increasingly becoming a “habitat island”. The highway constructed between Taman Negara and Main Range constitutes an ecological bottleneck that hinders the movement of wild animals, especially of predators and their preys.

Sungai Yu ecological corridor has been created by installing a viaduct below the highway allowing wildlife passage beneath it. Yet this long underpass cannot serve as a fully functioning eco-viaduct unless it is restored with native vegetation in order to provide a safe passage to tigers and other wildlife. 

Besides, poverty level is high in the surrounding communities (about 30% of the population live below the official national poverty line) and the numerous wildlife conflicts create constant fear among these villages. Crop and livestock loss from tigers’ attacks is a common issue and increases the risks of human encroachment onto the forests. 

 

 

The project and the prospects for change

 

The project focuses on the most endangered apex predator; the Malayan Tiger. To ensure that wildlife can cross the Sungai Yu corridor to go from one national park to another, awareness must be raised on the importance of biodiversity conservation. Besides, local communities should be involved in monitoring and restoring the wildlife corridor to reduce poaching and human conflict with wildlife. 

Planned activities include :

  • Nurseries’ establishment and reforestation of the Sungai Yu wildlife corridor with local communities and volunteers ;
  • Monitoring of the corridor involving local “Tiger Watch Groups” and “Tiger Walks” with volunteers, as well as research on endangered species with the setting up of camera traps ;
  • Development of handicraft activities to diversify community members’ revenues ;
  • Awareness raising, participation and education of local communities on the importance of the wildlife corridor.

Both forest monitoring and restoration activities have the potential to boost local economy through sustainable ecotourism, nature guiding and homestay activities. 

 

Committed partners

 

The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) has been a pioneer of preservation in the country for 7 decades, due to its actions for housing environments’ conservation and environmental education. The efforts deployed by its members, its partners and its supporters transformed MNS into a platform renowned for the protection of the natural heritage of Malaysia. MNS works hard to ensure that this heritage and the wealth of the Malaysian biological diversity are protected, well managed and kept by and for the local communities.

mnsmaisonsdumonde

 

To learn more about this project and its 2016 key achievements, please click on this link.

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