Malaysia: Fishes died due to lack of oxygen

By Kelly Koh, 29th April 2015;

The death of 8000 fishes discovered in Sungai Kampung Enam in Bachang here last Monday was believed to have been caused by oxygen depletion in the river.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said oxygen depletion occurred due to slow water exchange rate between the river water and the seawater.

“The gates at the barrage door control center is only half open during low tides. A long term solution to increase oxygen level in the river would be to flush out river water completely into the sea during low tide, so that new seawater can be flushed in during high tide to ensure higher oxygen content,” he said.

Idris said another cause of low oxygen content in the river was the high amount of sludge in the river.

“Thorough maintenance must be carried out to reduce the amount of sludge in the river, and this requires a massive clean-up at the river-bed,” he said during a press conference at Seri Negeri here, yesterday.

For this reason, Idris said the Malacca River Cruises would be stopped for a day or two.

“As long as we provide notice to customers, explaining to them that the river is undergoing scheduled maintenance, it should not be a problem,” he said.

Fishes that died were mostly tilapia hitam (Mozambique Tilapia)(Oreochromis mossambicus, jelanak (jenahak?) (Snapper) (F. Lutjanidae) and keli (Catfish) (Siluriformes).

Source: New Straits Times

Malaysia: Fishes died due to lack of oxygen

Vincent Lim HongYik [1, 2], Kim Chong Keat

Semporna 2015 – A dead Sea Turtle on the beach. It is kind of worrisome as this is not the only dead Turtle that I came across on the beach. I don’t think the locals are hunting it because if they did, they could have very well eaten it instead of letting it rot on the beach. Definitely not a good sign if these Turtles were to die wantonly on their own for unknown reasons.

Source: Vincent Lim HongYick Facebook [1, 2] and Kim Chong Keat Facebook

This is likely to have been a Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Floating dead fish litter Huay Yang Khu creek in tambon Salalai of Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Sam Roi Yot district. Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem

Thailand: Polluted creek threatens five villages
By Chaiwat Satyaem, 29th April 2015;

Residents of five villages in Sam Roi Yot district of Prachuap Khiri Khan have complained that a public creek they rely on heavily has became polluted, with many dead fish floating in it.

Local officials and soldiers on Wednesday examined the water at Huay Yang Khu creek in tambon Salalai of Sam Roi Yot district. They confirmed the presence of many dead fish of various species and sizes floating in the creek, which was dark and gave off a bad smell.

The creek is a major water source for thousands of households in five villages – Moo 2, Moo 4, Moo 5, Moo 6 and Moo 7 – of tambon Salalai.

Anan Iemsam-ang, a local resident, said he went to catch fish in the creek on Wednesday and was shocked on finding a mass of dead fish floating on the water. He had no idea what actually killed the fish, but felt sure it was water pollution.

He and other families who earn their living catching fish would be badly affected, said Mr Anan.

Suparp Thai-udomsap, headman of Moo 6, said the creek might be contaminated with toxic waste. Unless the problem was fixed thousands of households would be affected.

Officials had collected samples of water from the creek for testing, he said.

Thivaporn Suwannahong, a senior official at Salalai tambon administration organisation, said authorities had inspected pig farms on the northern side of the creek, but none of them had released waste into the water.

Officials suspected industrial waste might be the source of the pollution. There were five factories in the community, producing concentrated fruit juice, canned fruit and palm oil, Ms Thivaporn said.

Authorities would inspect the factories.

Source: Bangkok Post


Some sad news. Around 11.30 pm, we were informed of a beautiful otter being run over. It was so sad to see this pregnant female die. We will give the carcass to the Museum department soon. Please drive carefully Brunei. This was in Bandar, near the Old Bolkiah cinema. It had a friend which was clearly upset and traumatised. Thanks Keeran Janin for informing us and trying to scare the other otter to the river.

Source: 1Stop Brunei Wildlife Facebook

Based on the size of the animal, it’s possible that this was an Asian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea).

A bull elephant was found dead in West Aceh on April 13. Its tusks were missing; its trunk was severed from its body. Photos by Khaidar and Iwan

Indonesia: Two more Sumatran Elephants found dead in Aceh
By Junaidi Hanafiah and Chik Rini, 27th April 2015;

A pair of critically endangered Sumatran Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) were found dead this month in Indonesia’s Aceh province, just the latest casualties for a species that has been brought into increasing conflict with humans amid the country’s oil palm boom.

First, on April 13 in Kareung Hampa village, West Aceh regency, a bull elephant was found with its tusks missing and trunk severed about 150 meters from an oil palm estate belonging to Agro Sinergi Nusantara. It was thought to have perished a week earlier.

An autopsy revealed a bullet hole in the elephant’s head, likely the work of poachers in search of ivory, according to Genman Suhefti Hasibuan, the head of Aceh’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA).

Poachers have exploited the rising frequency of human-wildlife conflict to kill bull elephants near residential areas, he added.

“They slaughter elephants as is often done by people whose gardens they damage,” Genman said.

Then, on April 20 in Seumah Jaya village, East Aceh regency, residents alerted the authorities when they saw an injured elephant hobbling near their fields. Its right leg had been injured in a snare trap.

“The people immediately reported it to the BKSDA so the elephant could be treated and evacuated,” said Syahrul, a resident.

The creature perished shortly thereafter.

Since 2012, around 200 Sumatran Elephants have died out of a population of 1,700, according to the Indonesia Elephant Forum (FGI). Aceh alone has seen 36 casualties.

Environmentalists cited weak law enforcement as a major culprit.

“If the law is not enforced to prevent the killing of elephants, we could see their extinction in 10 years,” WWF-Indonesia’s Sunarto said.

The cases of elephant deaths, he added, are inseparable from human-wildlife conflict that has arisen as a result of the widespread conversion of elephant habitat into oil palm plantations.

“We need a comprehensive system overhaul and rearrangement of plantation zoning that do not threaten the habitat of protected wildlife like the Sumatran Elephant,” Sunarto said.

Acehnese environmental activist TM Zulfikar also urged the government to better protect the elephant.

“Everyone is waiting for concrete action from the government, especially law enforcement officials, to apprehend and prosecute wildlife poachers in Aceh,” he said. “This must be done, otherwise we will know [the Sumatran Elephant] by name only.”

Produced in English by Philip Jacobson.

Source: Mongabay

Today is World Tapir Day! World Tapir Day exists to raise awareness about the species of tapir that inhabit Central and South America and Southeast Asia, and to raise funds to purchase land to protect it from human encroachment.

There are four (possibly five) living species of tapir, but only one species lives in this part of the world. The Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) inhabits the forests of tropical Southeast Asia, but was always thought to be absent from Singapore. However, there have been claims of tapirs living on the island of Pulau Ubin.

The only definitive proof though came about in 1986, when a tapir fell into a granite quarry and died, presumably from the fall. Unfortunately, the carcass was not salvaged, and this photo, taken by a resident, is the only piece of evidence to show that at least one Malayan Tapir lived (and died) in Pulau Ubin.

To this day, there are no other official records of Malayan Tapir on Pulau Ubin, or anywhere else in Singapore. It’s possible that this particular tapir, and any other tapir that may have lived in Pulau Ubin, were strays that swam across from Johor.

Unfortunately, habitat loss and hunting are severe threats to the continued survival of Malayan Tapir elsewhere in the region.

(Photo from the Pulau Ubin Stories blog)

Wing of Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris macrina)
Sungei Buloh, 9th March 2015