The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) took part in the launch of Rewilding Yu, a project related to a years-long fight to protect the Sungai Yu Tiger Corridor bisected by a major highway in the state of Pahang. The highway separates two main forests which form the habitat of the Malayan tiger, plus other large mammals and other wildlife, and the eco-viaduct is hoped to help keep the animals safe when crossing from one forest to the other.
Having successfully lobbied for the viaduct, which runs under an elevated section of the highway, the plan now is to reforest the area, which will encourage wildlife to utilise the crossing. The initiative by MYCAT, an alliance comprising MNS, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, WWF-Malaysia and Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme, was launched on 29 July 2016, which is also Global Tiger Day, and officiated at by YAM Tengku Aishah Sultan Ahmad Shah.
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In her speech, Dr. Kae Kawanishi called on all Malaysians to protect Mother Nature and all her animals. Highlighting the dwindling number of Malayan tigers, she said Rewilding Yu complemented MYCAT’s other initiative, Citizen Action for Tigers (CAT) Walk, in which volunteers patrolled tiger areas to remove snares and discourage poaching. Rewilding Yu’s target by 2020 is to plant half a million trees in the Tiger Corridor.
Officiating the event, Tengku Aishah reiterated the need to protect Pahang’s forests, which were the largest remaining habitat able to support the Malayan tiger and other large mammals. Representing the Regent of Pahang, who was unable to attend owing to prior commitments, the Princess then sportingly wielded a shovel to ceremoniously plant the first trees in the Sungai Yu Tiger Corridor, and even took time to pose with mascots TJ the Tiger and Rus the Sambar.
The eco viaduct is situated in the vicinity of the Sungai Yu recreational area, where the actual river that runs through the Tiger Corridor. The major highway has replaced the original road from Kuala Lipis to Merapoh.