Malaysia: Still no report on the Pygmy Elephants

By S M Mohd Idris, 26th 2014;

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is irked by the silence maintained by the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry (NREM), the Sabah Wildlife Department, the Sabah Police and the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) regarding the death of the 14 Borneo Elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis).

In Feb 2014 there were concerns over the missing female Elephant cows believed to have been poisoned when their calves were found wandering and rescued from two plantations in Kinabatangan. Until now there have been no reports.

SAM is perturbed that such unexplained deaths of suspected poisoning has remained unsolved until today. As both the NRE and the Sabah Wildlife are responsible for safeguarding the country’s wildlife, they should not protect those responsible for the killing while at the same time ignoring the rights of wildlife species.

The especially gruesome circumstances of their deaths and the recent mystifying disappearances of two Elephant cows in particular has sparked renewed calls from SAM for the release of the report of the investigation to be made public.

What is really needed is a competent investigation procedure to ensure those who commit crimes will be brought to book and it will serve as a deterrent. The whole enforcement chain must work together resulting in prosecutions, convictions and strong penalties to stop further poisoning and killing of these remarkable creatures that is unique and special.

NGOs and the public are craving for information and this expectation must be satisfied by the authorities responsible for the necessary action. The longer it lingers the credibility of the state’s authorities will continue to be challenged and viewed with suspicion over its feet dragging, silence and inaction. The authorities must not turn both a blind eye and deaf ear to any law-breaking by either the logging or palm oil industries and allow this heinous crime to go unpunished.

The Sabah government should probe further into the matter instead of hoping that the issue will be swept under the carpet for good. Are they not interested in knowing who the culprits are? It is in the interest of the public and NGOs that the case be resolved.

We have said it before and we will say it again. For those in authorities to continue with their lackadaisical attitude towards matters of life and death in the Elephants’ own domain is to continue to let more elephants die in vain.

The authorities should do more to address their weaknesses due to increasing public expectations for accountability. Is there an investigation team to evaluate, investigate and determine the actual cause of the Elephants’ death? Such crime must be addressed with the full force of the law.

SAM calls for justice and truth and the Sabah authorities should stop pandering to or legitimising such cruel killing practices as it only serves to encourage more plantation and logging companies to continue with such horrible killings due to greed by the corporate world

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Malaysia: Still no report on the Pygmy Elephants

Mayan Cichlid (Cichlasoma urophthalmus)
Sungei Buloh, 29th January 2014

Philippines: BFAR says Lake Bato fish deaths ‘normal’

By Shiena M. Barrameda, 26th May 2014;

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the Bicol region has declared that the incident of tilapia dying in Lake Bato in Camarines Sur province is not a case of fish kill but part of the normal life cycle of cultured Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.).

Nonie Enolva, BFAR-Bicol information officer, said on Saturday that technical personnel of the BFAR-Bicol Fish Health Management and Diagnostic Laboratory who were sent to the site reported that the water analysis performed in Lake Bato on Friday revealed that the supposed fish kill was a normal occurrence in commercial fish cages.

The incident is just the “normal, gradual mortality [rate] of cultured Tilapia,” she said.

The incident in Lake Bato was seen by fish cage owners and operators as an expected effect of the hot weather on Tilapia stocks, said Enolva, quoting local fish cage operators interviewed by the BFAR on the site.

The figures given on Wednesday by the municipal agriculture office (MAO) of Bato town on the supposed fish kill were “bloated” because the MAO “has not received any report on the extent of damage from the fish cage operators themselves,” she added.

She explained that there was always an “assumed mortality” rate among cultured fish species like Tilapia. “For example, fry fingerlings have a 10- to 20-percent mortality [rate] while fingerlings of marketable size also have a 10-percent mortality rate,”she said.

Bato municipal agriculturist Alejandro Pili earlier reported that 70 percent of 18,770 Tilapia fish cages in Lake Bato were affected by the fish kill, damaging some P52.5 million worth of Tilapia stock.

Enolva explained that the summer heat prevailing over the Philippines caused spikes in water temperature and a decrease in water level in Lake Bato, which led to the death of Tilapia.

The BFAR analysis of the water in Lake Bato revealed that its water temperature was within normal limits and that the surface temperature was only 1.3 degrees Celsius above normal.

However, the report also revealed water depth ranges of 0.8 to 1.6 meters, the lowest water levels recorded this season.

The BFAR conducted water analysis on sampling stations in Barangays Divina Pastora, San Miguel, Dakulong Sulong, Agos, Salvacion, Goyudan and Santa Cruz, all in Bato.

“The gradual mortality [rate] of Tilapia stocks can be attributed to very low water depth and increased surface temperature, while low dissolved oxygen in some parts of the lake can also contribute to the mortality [rate] of Tilapia, especially in cages located in Barangays Divina Pastora and San Miguel,” Enolva said.

The BFAR also conducted a water analysis on Lake Buhi, another lake in Camarines Sur’s Rinconada area that is used to culture Tilapia, and found no similar incident there, Enolva said.

These Rinconada lakes are where 90 percent of Tilapia in the Bicol region are produced at an average of 3 to 8 metric tons per day, she said.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: BFAR says Lake Bato fish deaths ‘normal’

Some dead fishes seen at Sungei Buloh
By Ria Tan, 25th May 2014;

Today, I saw about 10 dead fishes floating at Sungei Buloh. Most looked like large market-size farmed grey mullets, a few looked like large catfishes.

I also observed large fishes jumping out of the water in one of the ponds.

Here’s the floating dead fishes I saw walking from the Main Bridge to Platform 1. Here’s the dead fishes that look like market sized farmed Flathead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus) (30-35cm long). Similar to those dead fishes I saw in large numbers last month. Some of the fishes looked freshly dead, others look like they were dead for some time, and I also came across some half eaten skeletons as well as older skeletons.

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Source: Wild Shores of Singapore

Today is World Turtle Day! Every day is a turtle day for us at work: we care for them; we feed them; we clean their enclosures; and do treatment procedures for sick and injured turtles. But our hearts sank upon rescuing this girl (a Red-eared Slider) (Trachemys scripta elegans) from the roadside, with fractures to her plastron and sadly she did not make it through the night – as the damage to organs was beyond help!

Source: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Facebook