In 2018, Rainforest Trust helped establish and then expand Malaysia’s new Kenyir State Park. A designation of an additional 48,466 acres, combined with another logging concession we protected last May, bring the new park to 74,140 rainforest acres — nearly three times the size of San Francisco and three times the park’s original size! The creation and management of this new protected area is a collaborative effort involving the Terengganu State Government and the local nonprofit organization Rimba, in partnership with Rainforest Trust, Panthera and the Woodland Park Zoo.
The Kenyir State Park is the first ever state park for the State of Terengganu and the first state park to be gazetted in Peninsular Malaysia since 2007. The park is phase one of a much larger conservation project that will encompass 250,000 acres that lie within a globally important Tiger Conservation Landscape and critical wildlife corridor.
“Rainforest Trust is thrilled that the Terengganu State Government is taking action to overturn a logging concession and strengthen protection of imperiled rainforests,” said Rainforest Trust CEO Paul Salaman. “The new park provides an unparalleled opportunity to safeguard habitat for one of the planet’s most awe-inspiring predators – the Malayan Tiger — as well as protect a vital watershed for Malaysians.”
The Critically Endangered Malayan Tiger is a subspecies that lives only on the Malay Peninsula and in the southern tip of Thailand. They face tremendous pressure from poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, with their numbers in Malaysia estimated to be less than 250 individuals as of 2018. But happily, a sizeable number of Malayan Tigers are found to be living within Kenyir State Park, as documented through camera traps.
Rainforest Trust is pleased that the national government and the State of Terengganu are recognizing the value of their natural resources, especially in an era of increasing deforestation in Malaysia. The Kenyir State Park is now three times the size it was in May 2018 and, beyond Malayan Tigers, protects the Critically Endangered Sunda Pangolin and the Endangered Asian Elephant, two other species in decline due to poaching and habitat loss.