IPOH, July 10 — The roadkill death of a Malayan tiger last week was the fourth involving the endangered species in nine months, raising concerns over the conservation of the animals on the brink of extinction.

The Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) said that the country could entirely lose the species, which could now number fewer than 150, within a decade without drastic measures to mitigate their loss of habitat to development.

“Tigers need a huge space to roam. When their habitat is encroached, it would affect their food source forcing them to come out to search for food,” its executive director Shanmugaraj Subramaniam said.

Meanwhile, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Malaysia Program country director Dr Mark Rayan Darmaraj said a contributing factor was the declines in the wild boar population to African Swine Fever and deer to poaching.

The group said that unless mitigation was taken in replenishing these populations to support the Malayan tigers, increased human-wildlife conflict was also inevitable.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia said prey augmentation was essential in ensuring the survival of the tigers, which must be prioritised along with habitat enrichment.

In the immediate term, Shanmugaraj proposed erecting warning signs around roadways where tigers were most likely to appear, the same as was done for elephants in Gerik, Perak.

Viaducts would help but not significantly due to the agility of tigers, Shanmugaraj said, with Mark saying these must be part of a holistic solution.

The groups also proposed improved anti-poaching efforts, saying this remained the primary threat to the tigers and other endangered wildlife.