Daily Decay (30th December 2017): Rusty Millipede (Trigoniulus corallinus) @ Bukit Batok
A veterinarian provides initial treatment to the injured Philippine Eagle.
Philippines: DENR chief lauds regional office for saving injured Eagle
By Jonathan L. Mayuga, 30th December 2017;
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu recently lauded the field personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Caraga Region Office for saving the life of an injured Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) in Tago town, Surigao del Sur province, on December 10.
The members of the DENR-Caraga enforcement division acted with dispatch and provided initial treatment to the raptor after receiving a report of the rescued Eagle’s condition.
The Philippine Eagle, the Philippines’ national bird, is the largest bird of prey in the world and it is endemic to the Philippines. It can be found in four major islands namely, Eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.
The DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau believes there are less than 400 pairs of breeding Eagle left in the wild although there are recent reports of sightings of juvenile Eagles mostly in Mindanao.
Habitat loss, hunting for food and trophy and illegal wildlife trade are among the reasons for the species’ population decline.
The rescued Eagle was suffering from a broken wing, a potentially fatal injury, after when rescued by residents in the mountainous village of Anahao Daan, it was learned.
“This proves that the DENR personnel even in the local field offices are vigilant in caring and protecting our precious wildlife treasures, such as the Philippine Eagle,” Cimatu said in a statement. The Eagle is now being treated at the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) in Davao City. The PEC is a conservation breeding facility operated by the Philippine Eagle Foundation.
DENR-Caraga Officer in Charge Director Charlie Fabre said the raptor was turned over to the PEC, a day after it was rescued.
He said the bird’s cartilage bone on its left wing had to be cut off “to save its life.”
According to Forester Modesto Lagumbay, chief of the local enforcement and wildlife division, residents found the 4-kilogram Eagle limping along the riverbank and turned it over to Barangay Chairman Datu Aralito Enriquez.
Enriquez brought the Eagle to Mayor Rogelio Pimentel, from whom the DENR team retrieved the raptor.
The wounded Eagle had to be brought fast to an Eagle sanctuary in Davao City, where the veterinarian had immediately performed a surgery on it, Lagumbay said.
“Most likely, the Eagle must have been caught from a snare and struggled to get free and wounded its wing in the process,” Lagumbay added. The Eagle, estimated to be around two years old, will be released once it has fully recovered from injury.
Source: Business Mirror
Daily Decay (30th December 2017): Streaked Rabbitfish (Siganus javus) @ Pulau Sekudu
This was one of several dead fishes removed from an illegal ‘bubu’ fish trap at Pulau Sekudu. Fishing is not allowed in the area, and fish traps are often placed in locations so shallow that the fishes inside are at great risk of getting stranded and dying when the tide falls. In many instances, the fact that some of the fishes inside are little more than dessicated carcasses or even just skeletons indicates that a fish trap has been left out for some time.
- Police responding to the scene where a motorcycle failed to swerve in time and crashed into a Sun Bear on the East Coast Expressway 2.
- A group of men skinning and disfiguring a Tapir that was killed in a car accident the night before in Gua Musang (Dec 24).
Photos: Malaysian Response Team and Ediey King, via The Star
Malaysia: Spate of rare animal deaths in Malaysia sparks alarm
28th December 2017;
The deaths of two Sun Bears (Helarctos malayanus) and a Tapir (Tapirus indicus) in Malaysia sparked fresh alarm among activists Thursday at the growing number of exotic animals perishing in the biodiverse country.
A Sun Bear and Tapir were killed in road accidents in the northeast of the country on Christmas Eve, with the Tapir skinned by villagers after its carcass was discovered, environmental group WWF said.
A second Sun Bear was killed and cut up, with its parts spotted on the same day sold openly at a market in Sarawak state on Borneo island, local media reported.
“Despite all efforts from various organisations and government bodies, yet again, we as a nation, have failed to stand up for our Malaysian wildlife,” said Dionysius Sharma, WWF-Malaysia executive director.
“If we do not take drastic measures to protect our wildlife now, we may lose them to extinction in the near future.”
Tropical, jungle-clad Malaysia is home to a dizzying array of wildlife, from Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) to Pangolins (Manis javanica), but their numbers have been dwindling.
They are targeted by poachers, their natural habitat has been shrinking due to expansion of plantations, while hundreds have been killed on busy roads as the highway network has rapidly expanded.
Two Elephants (Elephas maximus) were killed in the space of three months earlier this year after being hit by vehicles on the same stretch of highway in northern Malaysia.
Sun Bears are the smallest of the bear species, and are classified as vulnerable by protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Tapirs are known for their long, drooping noses which they use to forage for leaves, with the variety in Malaysia listed as endangered.
Source: AFP, via Yahoo! News
Malaysia: As endangered fauna fall victim to motorists, minister moves to call cross-ministry meeting
By May Robertson, 28th December 2017;
After yet more deaths, Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has mooted a cross-ministry meeting to address the increasing number of roadkill cases involving threatened species.
In response two heart-breaking incidents on Christmas Eve that saw motorists killing a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) and a Tapir (Tapirus indicus) — both on the east coast, Wan Junaidi said a collaboration involving the different ministries such as the Transport Ministry, could help address the issue once and for all.
“I will call for a meeting early next year, perhaps in January or February,” he told Malay Mail when contacted this week.
“People are responsible for these killings and they must be held accountable,” he added.
Wan Junaidi said he would also call for a meeting with the various road authorities, including the police and the Road Transport Department.
The minister stressed that drivers who disregard wildlife crossing sign boards should be heavily fined, as they risk killing an endangered or protected animal.
“There are 236 signboards up in 113 hotspots in the country to alert drivers of wildlife crossings, but it is never taken seriously, even if the animal was not endangered or protected drivers must be cautious,” he said.
Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, another 202 signboards will be placed in other hotspots nationwide.
“Right now there is no law compelling drivers to abide by these laws, but to have this be taken seriously some drastic measures must be put in place.
"Soon enough irresponsible drivers will pay for the harm they cause to nature, but the enforcement of such a law must be strict and that’s why there must firstly be a meeting to highlight the different challenges,” Wan Junaidi added.
He also said it was difficult for the ministry to fork out RM70 million for the construction of each viaduct or wildlife crossing.
“It is expensive, we do not have such funds just lying around, furthermore we must remember that we are dealing with wild animals,” he said.
“We cannot force an animal to use a crossing or viaduct, they will go where they want, we need the cooperation of various parties like highway concessionaires.”
He added that through meetings with the East Coast Rail Line project handlers, the route was redesigned to affect less wildlife habitats and that such discussion should be replicated for all projects involving the environment.
“The ministry had meetings with them last year to address the concerns of cutting through some 2000 hectares of forest,” he said.
“Eventually, the NRE was consulted and we managed to save 90 per cent of the forest from the initial route, the new route affects 200 hectares instead.”
On Sunday, a 100-kg Malayan Tapir — an endangered species — was killed by a Proton Saga that hit it at KM12 of the Gua Musang-Kuala Krai trunk road in Kelantan, before it was skinned and its snout cut off.
Later that same day, an adult Malayan Sun Bear — deemed vulnerable — was killed after it was hit by a motorcycle at Km347.5 of the East Coast Expressway 2 near the Kuala Dungun interchange in Terengganu.
Source: Malay Mail
Daily Decay (28th December 2017): Giant African Snail (Lissachatina fulica) @ Upper Bukit Timah Road
- The most deaths involved the Malayan Tapir, a species designated as ‘endangered’, or very likely to be extinct.
- Last year, a Malayan Tiger was hit by an MPV as it crossed the East Coast Expressway 2 at around 1 am, prompting renewed calls for motorists to slow when using highways at vulnerable areas at night.
Malaysia: From Leopard to Sun Bears: Malaysian motorists are killing our precious fauna
By May Robertson, 28th May 2017;
Nature and animal lovers were left heartbroken on Christmas eve as two threatened animals — a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) and a Tapir (Tapirus indicus) — were both killed following collisions with motorists.
The deaths were hardly new, nor were they isolated.
Statistics given by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the Wildlife Department to Malay Mail recorded at least 39 roadkill deaths involving threatened species in Malaysia between January and September this year.
The most deaths involved the Malayan Tapir, a species designated as “endangered”, or very likely to be extinct.
The report also indicated that there were 221 cases of roadkill in the same period, with the most cases happening in Pahang at 24 incidents, which was eight times more than runners-up Terengganu and Johor.
Just last year, a Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) — classified “critically endangered” — was hit by an MPV as it crossed the East Coast Expressway 2 at around 1 am, prompting renewed calls for motorists to slow when using highways at vulnerable areas at night.
Things have not changed much. Malay Mail lists down several of this year’s reported cases of motorists mowing down threatened animals:
An Elephant (Elephas maximus) calf was killed after a teacher came across a herd of Elephants at the middle of the East-West Highway around 2.30 am. Following the incident, a hoax went viral online claiming that several Elephants went on a rampage.
A 60-kg black Leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) was killed after it was hit by a heavy vehicle along Jalan Sungai Yu-Merapoh, Kuala Lipis. The animal was found just eight km away from the Sungai Yu Eco Viaduct wildlife route.
Two Tapirs were critically injured after they were simultaneously hit while crossing the Kuantan-Gebeng bypass at around 10pm. The two Tapirs succumbed to their head and stomach injuries.
A 12-year-old bull Elephant was killed after a tour bus on the East-West Highway rammed into it at around 5.30am. The animal collapsed and got up to its feet, only later to die at the shoulder of the road some time later.
A Tapir was found dead after it was hit by a vehicle on the Jalan Jeli-Dabong near Kampung Renyuk, Jeli. The animal was killed by an injury to its neck.
A car hit a Tapir dead at around 4.30 am along Jalan Seremban-Kuala Pilah.
Source: Malay Mail
Indonesia: Pregnant Elephant ‘poisoned’ in Indonesian palm plantation
27th December 2017;
A pregnant Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) has been found dead in a palm oil plantation on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, in what authorities suspect was a deliberate poisoning, an official said Wednesday.
The animal’s body was found near the remote Seuneubok Bayu village in Aceh on December 22, after authorities received a tip off from locals, Aceh conservation centre head Sapto Aji Prabowo told AFP.
“The 25-year-old Elephant had been dead for around 10 days when we got there,” he said.
"From the autopsy, we saw that its digestive organs turned black which the doctor said was a general indication of poisoning.”
The Sumatran Elephant was carrying 13-month old male foetus and was at least six months short of giving birth.
Locals have told authorities that several days before the carcass was discovered farmers had complained an Elephant ate their fertilizer.
Sumatran Elephant are critically endangered and a protected species, but rampant deforestation for plantations has reduced their natural habitat and brought them into conflict with humans.
At least 11 wild Elephants died in Aceh this year, most of them killed by humans, according to Prabowo.
In January, authorities found a dead Elephant without tusks in Aceh, along with its abandoned 11-month-old calf.
Source: AFP, via Jakarta Post
Take action now or risk losing our iconic wildlife
27th December 2017;
As WWF-Malaysia looks back at 2017, we are extremely saddened at the number of fatal incidents involving iconic and endangered species; including the most recent deaths of two Sun Bears (Helarctos malayanus) and a Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) on Christmas Eve (December 24, 2017).
In Peninsular Malaysia, a Sun Bear was killed in an accident along the East Coast Expressway 2 in Terengganu, while a Malayan Tapir was killed in another accident in Gua Musang, Kelantan. The tapir was also skinned and disfigured by a group of men who discovered the carcass the following day. We strongly condemn acts of wildlife crime such as this, where the carcass of an animal is mutilated without consideration.
It is also imperative to bear in mind that highways close to natural wildlife habitats are at high risk of accidents, and therefore, a higher rate of wildlife deaths, if precautions are not taken. We cannot emphasise enough the need for Malaysian drivers to be more vigilant and alert while driving in areas that are prone to wildlife crossings, to avoid more unfortunate incidents like these from happening.
In a separate incident in East Malaysia, another Sun Bear was discovered being sold in parts at a local market in Kuching. WWF-Malaysia urges the public once again to step away from consuming wild meat, particularly during festive celebrations, in an effort to preserve our unique wildlife. This act of responsible consumption will go a long way in protecting wild species such as the Sun Bear.
As an organisation dedicated to the conservation of biological diversity, a huge amount of our time is committed to empowering and encouraging positive change in the way we protect our planet – wildlife included. Despite all efforts from various organisations and government bodies, yet again, we as a nation, have failed to stand up for our Malaysian wildlife. If we do not take drastic measures to protect our wildlife now, we may lose them to extinction in the near future.
Dato’ Dr. Dionysius Sharma
Executive Director/CEO, WWF-Malaysia
Daily Decay (27th December 2017): Cuttlebone of Kisslip Cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas) @ Changi