Conservation measures in tiger habitat can only work with the support of local people. We believe that local communities will support tiger conservation if they understand how tigers contribute to natural ecosystems, and what tigers need to survive in the wild.
'Teachers For Tigers'
WCS has developed an educators' tool kit specifically for tiger conservation issues, centered on a manual of activities and materials designed for rural audiences where literacy may be minimal. The manual also provides background information on the history, culture and ecology of tigers.
The manual is available in Malay, Burmese, Mandarin, Bangladeshi and 5 Indian languages as well as English.
Since 2005 WCS has collaborated with Malaysia's Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) to conduct a series of train-the-trainer workshops introducing the Teachers for Tigers manual to DWNP officers and to educators from local NGOs and zoos. To date, over 150 people have participated in these workshops.
Putting it into practice
In March 2008, 4 villages in and around Taman Negara Pahang were selected for a one-day pilot outreach event using the Teachers for Tigers materials.
DWNP officers are now equipped to do more outreach to communities near tiger habitat. Better understanding can lead to changes in attitude and behaviour, thus reducing threats to tigers.
WCS Malaysia acknowledges the in-kind contribution of staff, field accommodation and equipment by DWNP towards this project. Main financial support was provided by USFWS-RTFC.