Photo: Bombo Radyo Bacolod Facebook

Philippines: DENR probes deaths of 15 Pangolins
20th March 2017;

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is conducting an investigation on the discovery of 15 dead Pangolins (Manis sp.) in Barangay 2, Bacolod City, on March 17, the DENR-Negros Island Region said in a statement Sunday.

According to the initial report of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro)-Bago City, a resident found the Pangolin carcasses wrapped in plastic bags around 10 a.m. on March 16.

The resident brought home one of carcasses to be cooked but when he learned that the act is illegal, he returned it to the place where it was found.

Technicians from the Cenro Conservation and Development Section proceeded to the location to verify the incident, with personnel of Bacolod City Police Station 2.

Inspection revealed that the scales of the mammals were removed.

The animals were brought to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office-Negros Occidental for tissue sampling.

The carcasses and tissue samples were then transported to a mortuary in Bago City for further analysis to determine the species of Pangolins and the cause of their death.

Pangolins and Anteaters are included under Appendix I of the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Source: Sun.Star

These are likely to be Philippine Pangolins (Manis culionensis) from Palawan, although they could also be Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica), a species not native to the Philippines.

SMUGGLED? At least 15 dead Pangolins are found in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental on March 18, 2017.
Photo: John Dale Salazar

Philippines: Dead Pangolins found in Negros Occidental
At least 15 frozen Pangolins with no internal organs are found at the roadside in Bacolod City
By Marchel P. Espina, 18th March 2017;

Residents of a reclaimed area in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental discovered a sack of dead Pangolins (Manis sp.) on Friday, March 17.

Pangolins, or Scaly Anteaters, are considered endangered species that are found in Palawan and other parts of the world.

They are said to be the most illegally traded animal in the world. The Independent reported that there are 8 species of Pangolin that are still in existence in India, China, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa.

The residents, who are not familiar with the mammals that usually inhabit forests and woodlands, claimed that the 15 Pangolins were frozen and had no internal organs when they were found at the roadside.

Al Orolfo, director of Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Negros Island Region, said the tissue of the Pangolins will be forwarded to DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau for DNA testing to determine if they came from Palawan or Malaysia.

In January, the Philippine Coast Guard intercepted a truck onboard MV St. Francis Xavier of 2GO, that carried smuggled marine species at Pier 4, North Harbor in Manila.

At least 7 boxes containing 60 Pangolins, 13 sacks of Seahorses (Hippocampus sp.), and one box of Sea Dragons (Pipefish) (SubF. Syngnathinae) were recovered in the 10-wheeler truck from Bacolod City.

Authorities, however, suspected that the truck originally came from Palawan.

Meanwhile, in Cauayan town, which is more than 3 hours away from Bacolod City, a dead Sea Turtle was washed ashore in Sitio Mabua in Barangay Poblacion on Thursday, March 16.

The Sea Turtle was already in a state of decomposition when it was discovered by the residents. It also had big cuts on its head and flippers.

Source: Rappler

These are likely to be Philippine Pangolins (Manis culionensis) from Palawan, although they could also be Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica), a species not native to the Philippines.

Photos: Bombo Radyo Bacolod Facebook

Philippines: Dead Pangolins found
18th March 2017;

Dead Pangolins (F. Manidae) were found on a roadside at the reclamation area in Bacolod City Friday, March 17.

Pangolins, also known as “Scaly Anteaters,” are burrowing mammals covered in tough, overlapping scales. They quickly roll themselves up into a tight ball to any potential predator.

They are victims of illegal wildlife crime mainly in Asia and in growing amounts in Africa and are considered one of the most endangered groups of mammals in the world.

Around 5 p.m. Friday, residents found the Pangolins with no internal organs wrapped in plastic bags and placed inside a sack.

Before the report reached the authorities, the Pangolins were frozen when found by a scrap-gatherer Thursday afternoon.

Due to fear, residents failed to report the incident immediately to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Al Orolfo, regional director of DENR in Negros Island Region (NIR), said in a radio interview that he already directed his personnel to proceed to the area and check the report for investigation.

Source: Sun.Star

These are likely to be Philippine Pangolins (Manis culionensis) from Palawan, although they could also be Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica), a species not native to the Philippines.

Indonesia: Proboscis Monkey killers arrested: We ate the Monkey
By ProFauna, 15th June 2016;

Remember the photo featuring six young men from West Kalimantan holding a Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus)? They have been have been put in custody, and we know now that they are working for a timber company in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

These information was obtained after the Head of West Kalimantan Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA), Sustyo Iriono, conducted an investigation following the viral photo. After checking on to the suspects’ homes in Sambas, West Kalimantan, turned out that they are currently working for a timber company in East Kalimantan.

According to Sustyo, on Tuesday (13/6/2016), BKSDA in East Kalimantan has made an arrest of the six men based on the information collected by Sustyo’s team.

“On around 11 a.m. (local time), suspects of the Proboscis Monkey killing have been arrested. They admitted the misconduct, and also said that they have eaten the Monkey after posting the photo on Facebook,” said Sustyo.

The suspects were arrested by the joint team of BKSDA and The Ministy of Environment and Forestry’s Law Enforcement Division of Kalimantan in the timber company in Senoni, Lebak Silong village, Sebuluh district, Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan.

“They were brought in for questioning and further investigation by the SPORC, and we are coordinating with the police department and district court about this case. The evidence we have now are only their cellphones and weapons,” added Sustyo.

The six men are Adam (in the photo, the one wearing black hat and also the one who uploaded the photo), Apri (shirtless, red pants), Ato (white t-shirt, blue pants), Inal (green t-shirt), Intat (shirtless, black pants), and Bayong (white-stripped jacket), all come from the same neighborhood in West Kalimantan.

Source: ProFauna

Indonesia: Death of rare Sumatran Tiger draws ire, scorn

By Apriadi Gunawan, 11th March 2016;

Enviromental activists have condemned the killing and butchering of a Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) by residents of Silantom Tonga village in North Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra.

Activists from the Sumatra Rainforest Institute, Scorpion, the Indonesian Species Conservation Program and the Orangutan Information Center on Thursday flocked to the North Sumatra Police headquarters in Medan to urge the force to thoroughly investigate the mistreatment of the Tiger.

A spokesperson for the groups, Panut Hadisiswoyo, said they had called on the police to take tough action against the police officer reported to have shot the Tiger dead after it wandered into Silantom Tonga.

“This was a barbaric act and a violation of law,” Panut said after meeting officers from the North Sumatra Police’s special crime directorate.

When Tigers wandered into villages, he went on, they should not be killed, but shooed away back into the jungle.

“Ironically, it was a police officer — who should be aware that the Sumatran Tiger is a protected animal — who shot the Tiger,” he said.

Directorate head Adj. Sr. Comr. Robin Simatupang said the force would begin investigation upon reception of complete reports from the North Tapanuli Police.

The 1.5-meter female Tiger weighing 80 kilograms was shot dead by an officer from the Pangaribuan Police on Monday, at the request of local people who had alerted the police after the beast wandered into the village.

The villagers then dismembered and butchered the carcass, distributing the meat to local households to be eaten.

Such practices are locally referred to as binda, a tradition whereby any wild animals encountered are slaughtered and eaten.

Anthropologist and noted Batak cultural figure Bungaran Simanjuntak of Medan State University insisted that eating wild animals, especially protected ones, was not a Batak tradition.

If certain Batak communities ate Tiger meat, he said, it might mean they were related to a certain cult or local tradition.

“For a long time now, we Bataks have shunned eating the meat of Sumatran Tigers,” Bungaran said.

Animals traditionally eaten by the Batak people as part of certain traditions included Buffalo, Swine, Cows and Goats, he said.

Bungaran added that although the killing of the Tiger was intolerable, he did not want to rush to blame the denizens of Silantom Tonga.

“It’s possible that they didn’t realize that the Sumatran Tiger was a protected species,” he suggested.

To prevent similar incidents from reoccurring, he urged authorities to inform villagers of which species were endangered and should not be eaten.

North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) protection section head Joko Iswanto said the agency would summon 50 residents of Silantom Tonga for questioning.

Questioning, Joko said, would be carried out in stages, starting from village leaders to local community figures. “We will announce later whether they are guilty or not,” he said.

“We have noted 50 names allegedly involved in the distribution of the Tiger meat,” he added.

BKSDA data show that the population of Sumatran Tigers in North Sumatra is sharply decreasing as a result of conflict with humans.

In 2014 a Sumatran Tiger was speared to death by people in Toba Samosir regency, while last year, a 5-year-old Tiger almost died after having its leg amputated. The leg was decaying after being caught in a trap set by residents in Batu Madinding subdistrict, Batang Natal district, Mandailing Natal regency.

The Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia Program (WCSIP) has recorded a decrease in the population of Sumatran Tigers from 150 in the 1990s to 100 as of today; the majority live in and around Mount Leuser National Park, which straddles the border between North Sumatra and Aceh.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Death of rare Sumatran Tiger draws ire, scorn

A photo session a moment before cutting the Tiger into pieces. Parts of the Tiger body were distributed among the local community for cooking/meal.
Photo: Emvawari Candra Sirait/Mongabay

Indonesia: A Critically Endangered Sumatran Tiger snared, killed, and eaten, Indonesian NGO Group insists on full investigation
10th March 2016;

A group of Indonesian NGOs on Thursday (10th of March 2016) visited Sumatran Provincial Police in Medan to insist a full investigation of a case of Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) which was snared, killed, and eaten in North Tapanuli, North Sumatra province of Indonesia.

The NGO group comprises Scorpion Foundation, Sumatra Rainforest Institute (SRI), Indonesian Species Conservation Programme (ISCP), and Yayasan Orangutan Sumatra Lestari (YOSL)-OIC. Representatives from these NGO’s met with the Head of Special Crimes Unit at the North Sumatra Provincial Police, Superintendent Robin Simanjuntak.

“We from the environmental NGOs come here to insist full investigation of the Sumatran Tiger which was snared, killed, and eaten in North Tapanuli. Sumatran Tiger is a protected species in the Indonesian law and regulation, and listed as a critically endangered species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN),” Gunung Gea, Director of Scorpion Foundation, told Superintendent Robin Simanjuntak in the meeting. Gunung Gea was appointed by the NGO group members as the speaker of the group in the mission to the North Sumatra Provincial Police.

It is reported by the media that the Tiger was snared by illegal hunters in Silantom village, sub-district Pangaribuan, North Tapanuli Regency in Sumatra. The Tiger was then shot dead by a police officer (Kapolsek Pangaribuan) Mr. VS. The body of the Tiger was cut into pieces and distributed among the local community for cooking/meal.

Superintendent Robin Simanjuntak told the NGOs that he could not make any decision yet on that case before receiving a report from the head of District Police in North Tapanuli Regency. A decision will be taken by the provincial Special Crime Unit after receiving complete information from the head of district police in North Tapanuli.

Source: Scorpion Foundation

Photo: Mongabay-Indonesia

Indonesia: Tiger shot dead, chopped up, eaten

By Apriadi Gunawan, 10th March 2016;

A female Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) has been shot dead after wandering into a village in North Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra, according to the North Sumatra Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA).

The agency’s protection, preservation and mapping section head, Joko Iswanto, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that residents of Silantom Tong village had had the beast shot, then butchered it.

“Only the head remains; we’re keeping it safe at the BKSDA office in Medan,” Joko said.

His office, he added, had not yet ascertained the age of the ill-fated animal, but said that going by the size of its head, it was an adult.

According to reports compiled by Joko, the Tiger was caught in a trap set by villagers.

It managed to free itself, but instead of fleeing back into the jungle, the Tiger instead made its way into the village.

The Tiger reportedly roamed the streets of the village for some time, unnerving residents, who reported the sighting to the police.

R. Simatupang, a resident of Silantom Tong, said that he and his fellow villagers had asked the police to shoot the Tiger; once the Tiger was dead, the villagers dismembered and diced the carcass, distributing the meat to the settlement’s households to be eaten.

Locals refer to such practices as binda.

Binda is a traditional way to treat wild animals — we cut them into pieces and distribute the meat,” Simatupang said.

He would not be surprised, he added, to see further Tigers enter the village, which is located on the edge of the jungle.

“We hope the [local] forestry agency and security officers will determine the whereabouts of Tigers in the forest near Silantom and stop them from disturbing people,” Simatupang said.

Joko, meanwhile, said that the tiger was a victim of growing conflict between humankind and other species, as its habitat had been destroyed by illegal logging.

“Tigers are forced to leave their natural habitats because the forest and surroundings are being damaged by illegal logging,” Joko said.

He added that the conflict between Tigers and humans had claimed numerous lives on both sides.

In 2014, a Sumatran Tiger was speared to death by people in Toba Samosir regency.

Last year, a 5-year-old Tiger almost died after one of its legs was amputated. The leg was decaying after being caught in a trap set by residents of Batu Madinding subdistrict in Mandailing Natal regency.

In terms of human fatalities, Joko said, at least eight people living in the environs of Batang Gadis National Park (TNBG) in North Sumatra had reportedly been killed in Tiger attacks between 2008 and 2014.

The population of Sumatran Tigers in the park is thought to stand at between 10 and 19.

The Switzerland-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the Sumatran Tiger as a critically endangered species since 1996.

The organization has reported that the species is struggling with habitat loss amid the expansion of oil palm and acacia plantations, as well as illegal trading, primarily for the domestic market.

Poachers frequently hunt the Tigers, which are native to the vast and diverse habitats of Sumatra, as their body parts fetch high prices for use in traditional medicines in Asia.

Data from the BKSDA show that the population of Sumatran Tigers in the wild currently stands at around 400 across the entirety of the island of Sumatra.

Source: Jakarta Post