CAT Walks are moderate walks lasting for several hours while volunteers enjoy trekking, bird watching, picnicking and other outdoor recreational activities in the forests within and around the wildlife corridor. The specific routes have been determined by MYCAT researchers or the Park authorities as poaching hotspots or common poacher access routes into core protected forests. This is suitable for weekend volunteers. We conduct a minimum of two CAT Walks every month. Some CAT WALKS are led by trained volunteers. Occasionally, Orang Asli guides are engaged to conduct recces of new trails, or to guide volunteers in exploring less familiar ones.
Learn more about CAT Walks here:
VIDEO on CAT Walks produced by a MYCAT volunteer, Paul Colclough.
ARTICLE in The Star, an English-language daily newspaper.
ARTICLE in Let’s Travel, a Chinese-language travel magazine.
Border Walk is essentially a hybrid of the CAT Trailblazer and CAT Walk, while the level of difficulty lies between the two. These trips consist of 2 to 3-day trail clearing and “eyes and ears” surveillance walks along the western border of the park specifically focusing on identifying poaching hotspots and routes into the park and the deactivation of snares and traps when necessary. We conduct Border Walks monthly.
CAT Trailblazer involves hardcore bushwhacking along the Taman Negara border with DWNP park rangers to maintain the border trail and signs. The participants are dropped off at a starting point, hike for four to five days and are picked up at the end point. Volunteers are not conducting patrols, but this provides experienced backpackers and adventure enthusiasts with a more challenging option to help protect Taman Negara. Their presence at these secluded corners of the park deters poaching and encroachment, and they also keep an eye out for illegal activities and document tiger signs, if any.
Trailblazers are jointly led by DWNP rangers and MYCAT staff, and are conducted when a border maintenance exercise is scheduled. Hence, they are not held as frequently as CAT or Border Walks as the rangers have other duties which can affect the scheduling of trips.
CAT Trailblazer volunteers are expected to be seasoned trekkers and backpackers in Malaysian forests prior to the trip as the terrain and hiking conditions can be unpredictable. Volunteers will undergo a stringent selection process. For more details on how Trailblazer trips, please download the Operation Manual. We conduct CAT Trailblazers whenever enough qualified candidates are identified and rangers are available.
CAT Trailblazer Pilot Run
A Trailblazer pilot run was conducted in July 2011 with the participation of three volunteers. The five-day Trailblazer pilot covered a total distance of more than 16km. The volunteers provided feedback and shared their experiences of the programme through individual photo journals.
Read three very entertaining accounts of the CAT Trailblazer pilot run here!
CAT Trailblazer Video
Paul Colclough, our volunteer who went for CAT Trailblazer from 17-13 October 2011, has posted his experiences on his blog, the JUNGLECRAFT. And even better, he has made a video of the trip - watch it HERE! If you'd like to sign up for Trailblazer trips, just email us at email@example.com.