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

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

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

  1. 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.
  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

Malaysia: Black day for animal lovers in Malaysia
By Mei Mei Chu, 25th December 2017;

Christmas Eve was a black day for Malaysian wildlife as three separate cases involving the gruesome deaths of two endangered Sun Bears (Helarctos malayanus) and a Tapir (Tapirus indicus) went viral on social media.

In Kuching, a villager shopping at a local market got a rude shock when she saw a Sun Bear slaughtered into pieces and sold openly as exotic meat.

In the photo taken at the Lubok Antu ‘pasar tamu’ in Sri Aman Division, the adult male Sun Bear was butchered into over 15 pieces and placed on a table next to a weighing machine.

The head was decapitated below the chin while the arms were cut off at the forearm to keep the paws intact.

The meat and other body parts were sold for RM20 per kilo while the head was sold for RM35 per kilo.

“It is really shocking to see the whole Bear cut into pieces,” Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) founder Wong Siew Te told The Star.

“In the same market, a Wild Boar (Possibly Bearded Pig) Sus barbatus) and Sambar Deer (Rusa unicolor) were being sold as well,” he said, adding that the villager alerted him of the incident and sent him the photos.

According to Wong, poaching is rife but it is uncommon to see Sun Bears being sold openly in the local markets.

“For us, the festive seasons mean happiness and fun with family but for the many unfortunate wildlife, it means the end of their life when the demand for exotic meat soars,” he said.

Sun Bears are a protected species under the Sarawak Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998 and those found guilty of hunting and selling the wildlife could face a RM10,000 fine or one year imprisonment.

Wong said the population of Sun Bears is unknown but conservationists are certain that it is declining due to rapid deforestation and rampant poaching.

He urged the Forestry Department to enforce the wildlife protection law and prosecute those involved in the illegal exotic meat trade.

“If we don’t do anything effective soon it will be too late to do anything, just like the Rhinos (Sumatran Rhinoceros) (Dicerorhinus sumatraensis) here,” he said, adding that the extinction of sun Bears will hurt the forest ecosystem.

In Terengganu, a Sun Bear was killed after a motorbike crashed into it near the Kuala Dungun exit on the East Coast Expressway 2 (LPT 2) at 6.50pm on Sunday (Dec 24).

The motorcyclist was en route from Kuantan to Terengganu when the Sun Bear suddenly crossed the road.

In Gua Musang, Kelantan a 100kg Tapir was killed in a car accident involving a Proton Saga at KM12 at Jalan Gua Musang-Kuala Krai.

The accident happened at 4am on Dec 24 but a group of men who found the Tapir carcass the next day skinned the animal and cut off its snout.

Netizens have expressed shock and disgust of photos of the men skinning the wildlife, calling their actions cruel.

Source: The Star

A Tapir found dead at Jalan Jeli- Dabong, near Kampung Renyuk, Kuala Krai. Up to 2,130 wild animals – most of them members of endangered species – were killed in traffic accidents over the past five years.
Photo: Perhilitan

Malaysia: Over 2,000 endangered animals killed on Malaysian roads since 2012
22nd November 2017;

Up to 2,130 wild animals – most of them members of endangered species – were killed in traffic accidents over the past five years, Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Dr Hamim Samuri revealed on Tuesday.

He said that for the first nine months of this year, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) recorded the deaths of 212 wild animals.

“Most of the wildlife killed (belong to) endangered species, such as Tapirs (Tapirus indicus), Sun Bears (Helarctos malayanus), Elephants (Elephas maximus), Mountain Goats (Sumatran Serow) (Capricornis sumatraensis) and Tigers (Panthera tigris).

"I was told that Tapirs are (the number one) victims in roadkill incidents. Perhilitan records show that 43 Tapirs were killed in road accidents in the last five years.

"Most of the accidents occurred because the animals were trying to cross roads or highways to find shelter, food, mates and habitats,” Dr Hamim said in his opening speech at the Biodiversity Seminar 2017 here.

He advised motorists to be careful and pay attention while driving near forests, and especially at wildlife crossings.

Source: New Straits Times

Wave after wave had brought ashore dead fish, possibly due to the rise in sea temperature brought on by the El Niño phenomenon.
Photo: Bernama

Malaysia: Rising sea temperature brings good tidings for villagers after fish washed ashore
27th March 2016;

Fish has been on the dining table of coastal villagers in Bachok and Pasir Puteh daily since Thursday.

And they did not have to buy the fish, but just collect them at the beaches.

Wave after wave had brought ashore dead fish, possibly due to the rise in sea temperature brought on by the El Niño phenomenon.

Villager Abdul Rahim Che Seman, 50, said the villagers rushed to collect the fish, mainly ’gelama’ (Croakers) (F. Sciaenidae), which were still fresh.

“We believe the fish could not withstand the rise in sea temperature because of the El Niño phenomenon,” he told reporters at the Melawi beach here.

He said some of the villagers, having collected more fish than their families can consume, sold the gelama fish for RM10 per kg, below the market price of RM15.

Source: Malay Mail

Malaysia: Fish Breeder Suffers Losses By Poisoning Of ‘Kelah’ Fish

29th October 2014;

A fish breeder in Kampung Lepan Jaya here is estimated to have suffered over RM500,000 in losses after about 6,000 of his ’kelah’ (Malaysian Mahseer) (Tor tambroides) fish died of suspected poisoning.

Mat Nawi Hussin, 55, said 4,000 of the dead fish weighed more than one kilogram each and could have been sold at RM150 each while the other 2,000 were fry that had been released into the pond a year ago.

He realised the poisoning at 8 am last Saturday when he went on his rounds to inspect the ponds, he told reporters here Tuesday.

Besides the kelah, Mat Nawi also breeds other types of fish in seven other ponds around his house, such as ‘tilapia’ (Oreochromis sp.), ’keli’ (walking catfish) (Clarias spp.) and ’patin’ (Iridescent Shark Catfish) (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus).

“I suspect that someone poisoned the kelah fish as the pond is located close to the main road in the village,” he said.

Mat Nawi, who has been breeding fish since 2007, said he had reported the matter to the Gua Musang District Fisheries Department.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia: Fish Breeder Suffers Losses By Poisoning Of ‘Kelah’ Fish