Photos: Detik.com, Tribunnews.com, Aceh Portal [1], [2], Forest Nature and Environment Aceh Facebook and Waspada Online

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

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

Source: WWF-Malaysia

Take Action Now or Risk Losing our Iconic Wildlife

Photo: Utusan Malaysia

Stop the wildlife roadkills now – MNS President, Mr Henry Goh
26th December 2017;

How many more road kills of our already endangered animals must there be before this long outstanding matter is addressed? Saddened as we were over the last Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) roadkill in the news, another one was reported on 22 December along the Jalan Seremban- Kuala Pilah road.

Then on 24 December in Terengganu a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) was killed in an incident involving a motorcycle along the East Coast Expressway (LPT 2) while over in Kuching, East Malaysia, an adult male Sun Bear was slaughtered and openly sold in a local market.

There is also a negative trend of opportunists deskinning the dead animals and removing the skin and parts of the body.

The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) views both the road kills and the public behaviour with great concern in what is viewed as a lack of public understanding and enmity towards wildlife.

No report was shared of the investigation of the Tapir roadkill incident which happened about 2 months ago. It would be most welcomed if the outcome of the investigations is shared.

MNS urge the authorities to intensify its surveillance and investigations to bring the offenders to book and same time look into ways to prevent recurrence. A coordinated effort involving various government agencies and departments is required; namely the Dept of Wildlife & Parks, Dept of Forestry, Police and Attorney General’s Chambers to collaboratively find a long-term solution and not wait for Malaysian wildlife to face the fate of extinction.

The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and other relevant NGOs stand ready to assist and to supplement the government’s effort. MNS calls on the authorities to consult, seek advice and include NGOs in a working committee to find a workable long-term plan to save and protect Malaysian wildlife and its habitats.

Take immediate measures to stop further incidents of road kills before it is too late.

Henry Goh
MNS President

Source: Malaysian Nature Society Facebook

Thailand: At Least 400 Rare Marine Animals Perished in 2017

By Asaree Thaitrakulpanich, 25th December 2017;

Thailand’s life aquatic faces a murky future after a year that saw sensitive species injured by humans, beached ashore or choked on trash.

Marine officials said about 400 endangered marine animals died in Thai waters in 2017, with the population of Dugongs (Dugong dugon) running especially low in a year that also saw the Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) declared endangered.

“I can’t estimate whether more or fewer animals will die next year,” Weerapong Laovetchprasit, a government marine wildlife veterinarian in Rayong said Monday.

Although the number rose considerably from last year’s 355, marine officials at a Friday press conference Friday said that’s due to better reporting via social media, not necessarily an increase in animal deaths.

“About 400 rare marine animals died this year, mostly because they were beached, injured by fishing boats or ate trash,” said Jatuporn Burutpat, director of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.

Sea Turtles, Dugongs, Dolphins and Whales are all among marine animals considered rare.

The department’s developmental institute director Ukkrit Sataphumintr said that only 2,500 to 3,500 Sea Turtles are left in Thailand. There are important breeding grounds on Ko Khram in Chonburi, the Similan Islands and Mai Khao Beach on Phuket. He said the low numbers are a cause for concern but credited awareness campaigns for some progress.

“Campaigns for Thai people to conserve Sea Turtles only started working recently after 30 years of trying,” Ukkrit said. “Thai people only just stopped eating Turtle eggs.”

There are about 2,000 Dolphins and Whales in Thailand comprised of more than 27 species. Ukkrit said the marine department has been following the movement of these mammals, especially those of Bryde’s Whales (Balaenoptera edeni or Balaenoptera brydei), and identified more than 60 individuals.

Dugongs may be in the most dire straits, with only 200 to 250 left, mostly in the Andaman Sea around Koh Libong in Trang province.

Nantarika Chansue, a veterinarian at Chulalongkorn University, said passers-by who encounter beached animals should report them to the Department of Marine Resources’ research branches.

Nantarika’s efforts on behalf of marine animals came to public attention earlier this year when she operated on Piggy Bank, a giant Sea Turtle that died following surgery to remove 915 coins from its stomach.

In March, Piggy Bank became a symbol for Sea Turtles kept in captivity when the 25-year-old reptile died from surgery complications, capturing the news cycle for several days.

In December, the Irrawaddy Dolphin and Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) – freshwater mammals that have their last bastion in Thailand – were declared endangered by the IUCN Red list.

Any beached marine animals, dead or alive, should be reported to the Department of Marine Resources’s research branches in Rayong, Samut Sakhon, Chumphon, Songkhla or Phuket provinces for rescue or autopsy either via Facebook or calling the listed phone numbers.

Source: Khaosod English

Thailand: At Least 400 Rare Marine Animals Perished in 2017

When you think you have seen the worst! A Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) was killed on the road in Peninsular Malaysia. The next morning a group of men skinned the animal and cut off its snout. In what world are we living in?

Source: Danau Girang Field Centre Facebook