Wednesday, 24 October 2018

China's appetite for 'stinky' durian fruit threatening endangered tigers

Forests in the region of Raub in Malaysia are being burned and cleared to make way for durian plantations

The habitat of one of the world’s most endangered tigers is under threat, according to environmental groups, as forests in Malaysia are cleared to meet growing demand for durians, the divisively pungent fruit hugely popular in China.
Forests in the region of Raub in Malaysia, which has become a popular destination for Chinese and Singapore tourists on “durian tours”, are being burned and cleared to make way for plantations to grow the Musang King variety of the spiky but stinky fruit.
The land is home to the Malayan tiger, which is considered “critically endangered” with fewer than 300 left in the world. Environmental groups have said destroying their habit could have a “devastating” impact on the tigers’ survival.
Siti Zuraidah Abidin from WWF Malaysia said the Hulu Sempan area, where new plantations are planned, had been designated an “expected tiger habitat”. The area is adjacent to a protected area where most of the tigers live, she said. Malayan tigers are found only on the Malay Peninsula and in the southern tip of Thailand.

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