Malaysia: Visitor released fish into lake


Photos: Rahayusnida Roosley Facebook

21st February 2018;

The mystery behind scores of dead fish found floating in Tasik Permaisuri Park, Cheras, may have been solved.

A visitor was reportedly seen releasing a batch of Catfish into the lake on Saturday morning, a day before a large number of fish were found floating in the lake, giving out a foul smell.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall corporate planning director Fadzilah Abd Rashid said the fish likely died as they could not adapt to the new environment.

“The maintenance and administration team did not receive any request from the public to release fish into the lake.”

Fadzilah said similar incidents happened last year, where fish reared as pets were released into lakes around the city.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry’s deputy secretary-general (policy), Datuk Sallehhuddin Hassan, said the Fisheries Department had collected fish samples for tests.

“We sent our officers to take samples of the lake water and fish,” he said, adding that the ministry would work with the Department of Environment on the matter.

The Fisheries Department, in a statement, said images posted on social media showed that the dead fish belonged to the Catfish species.

“A team was despatched to check the site after a report was lodged by the public.”

He said the turbidity and oxygen levels in the lake were normal.

It was learned that the department had not approved any fish-breeding programmes in the park.

Source: New Straits Times

The photos show what are likely to be Walking Catfish (F. Clariidae). Several species are raised for food in Malaysia, such as the native Common Walking Catfish (Clarias aff. batrachus), the possibly non-native Broadhead Catfish (Clarias macrocephalus), and the introduced Clarias gariepinus, as well as hybrids between the three species.

Malaysia: Dead fish in Cheras lake

Photos: Rahayusnida Roosley Facebook

20th February 2018;

The sight and smell of dead fish floating at the lake at Taman Tasik Permaisuri in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, shocked many people over the weekend.

Joggers and visitors who frequented the park claimed a foul smell was permeating the area on Sunday morning.

This led them to the dead fish at the lake.

Rahayusnida Roosley, 52, said she saw many dead fish at the end of the lake close to the Bandar Tun Razak Stadium.

She was there with family members jogging when they made the discovery.

“I was there from 7.30am to 9am.

“It’s a landscaped park with ample parking paths and a lovely lake with water features. It’s frequented by a lot of people who jog, walk, do tai-chi and aerobics.

“It’s a shame if the park is not maintained. I hope Kuala Lumpur City Hall will fix it soon,” said Rahayusnida, who posted pictures of the dead fish on her Facebook account.

Checks by Actionline the same day saw some fish floating, but not as many as indicated in the photos taken by Rohayunisda.

A visitor, Shakir, 19, when met at the park, said he saw the dead fish the night before, but did not report it to the authorities because it was late in the evening.

“I was at the park with friends when I noticed something floating on the lake.

“I do not know about my friends, but I saw the fish floating, so I assumed they were dead.

“I figured the park maintenance workers would take care of it.”

Another visitor, who wanted to be known only as Din, claimed that the lake would normally be replenished with fish before fishing competitions.

City Hall health and environment director Datin D. Noor Akma Shabudin confirmed reports were lodged by the public on the dead fish.

She said City Hall would get to the bottom of the problem and would seek help from other departments.

“We have notified the Fisheries Department to take samples from the lake to determine the cause.

“The Landscape Department has been informed as the park is under its purview.”

“I do not know about dead fish, but usually, when festive seasons come, there will be fishing competitions.

“It could probably be fish that were released for the competitions, but they then died.”

A maintenance supervisor, who declined to be named, said visitors complained to them about the dead fish the same day and some claimed the fish might have been poisoned.

“I received a complaint from the visitors around 8am and went to see the lake before calling the cleaning team.

“I saw Catfish with breadcrumbs near them. This is the first time Taman Tasik Permaisuri has faced such a bizarre situation. We removed the fish because the smell was unbearable.”

Source: New Straits Times

The photos show what are likely to be Walking Catfish (F. Clariidae). Several species are raised for food in Malaysia, such as the native Common Walking Catfish (Clarias aff. batrachus), the possibly non-native Broadhead Catfish (Clarias macrocephalus), and the introduced Clarias gariepinus, as well as hybrids between the three species.

Malaysia: When will animals get the right of way?

By Tan Sri Dr. Zakri Abdul Hamid, 8th January 2018;

On Dec 25, the New Straits Times reported the heartbreaking death of an adult Malayan Sun Bear, struck by a motorcyclist around dusk on an expressway near Kuala Dungun.

Known scientifically as Helarctos malayanus (sometimes also known as the “dog bear” due to its small size, short snout and ears, and short, glossy fur), it was simply trying to cross a road. Sadly, news about roadkill — animals killed by vehicles — is growing more common.

Roads alter and isolate animal habitats and populations, deterring movement and resulting in extensive mortality. To be sure, roadkill is not unique to Malaysia. It is a global aberration, a consequence of human encroachment on animal habitats in the name of development.

About 2,100 animals were killed in traffic accidents in the past five years, according to a recent report quoting Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Dr Hamim Samuri, mostly endangered species such as Tapirs (Tapirus indicus), Sun Bears, Elephants (Elephas maximus), Mountain Goats (Sumatran Serow) (Capricornis sumatraensis) and Tigers (Panthera tigris).

“Most of the accidents occurred because the animals were trying to cross roads or highways to find shelter, food, mates and habitats,” he said. He advised motorists to be careful and pay attention when driving near forests.

At the rate these animals are being killed due to human callousness, more than advice is needed. A more comprehensive plan to prevent roadkill must be considered in the context of the National Policy on Biological Diversity, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak two years ago during the opening ceremony of the fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Kuala Lumpur.

As recently suggested by Malay-sian Nature Society president Henry Goh, “A concerted effort, involving government agencies and departments, namely the
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), the Forestry Department, police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers, is vital to find a long-term solution to the issue.”

The number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and other animals killed by vehicles each day is hard to imagine. The official roadkill numbers in Malaysia surely underestimate the true toll.

Widely reported insurance industry statistics, for example, reveal that United States drivers hit an estimated one million to two million animals every year, the equivalent of a collision every 26 seconds. Note that those are just the incidents reported for insurance purposes, usually involving a large animal and serious vehicle damage. Uncounted are the millions of smaller animals crushed by tyres or hit by windshields.

European authorities estimate that as many as 27 million birds are killed by vehicles each year. A Brazilian study estimates 1.3 million animals die every day under cars and trucks.

The effectiveness of some well-known measures to reduce roadkill has been widely documented. These include animal bridges or tunnels — viaducts for animals to safely cross over or under highways — and other human-made barriers. A recent Canadian tunnel and fencing project reduced by 89 and 28 per cent respectively the number of turtles and snakes venturing onto a road in a Unesco World Biosphere Reserve. Other helpful innovations include solar-powered alert panels that line a highway and help nighttime drivers see animals more easily.

Our authorities are certainly aware of the problem. Just last February, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar directed Perhilitan and the Forestry Department to step up surveillance and preventive measures along highways and roads identified as hotspots for animal crossing. Identified now are 126 roadkill hotspots nationwide, with plans by the ministry to build viaducts at 37 hotspots to facilitate the movement of animals. This is an encouraging start.

Ultimately, however, the rakyat must take collective responsibility. We cannot leave it to the government or “nature champions” like Henry Goh or Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma, chief executive officer of WWF Malaysia, who rightly opined that Malaysia has failed to sufficiently protect its fauna. A paradigm shift in attitudes is needed immediately.

First, we must accept the right of fauna to coexist with humans. This is not to say that we should regard them as domesticates, but rather that we develop a healthy respect for their continuous survival in this country, one of the most biodiverse areas on Earth;

Second, the term “wildlife” or “wild animals” (binatang liar or worse, binatang buas in Malay) has threatening, human-unfriendly connotations. Let’s simply refer to our fauna as animals or haiwan; and,

Finally, and most importantly, our deference to animals that find their way onto our roads and highways must be at the same level we would accord a child crossing the street on the way to and from school. Then, and only then, can roadkill be reduced or prevented altogether.

Source: New Straits Times

Malaysia: Two dead Dolphins washed up in Penang in under a week

Photos: Department of Fisheries Malaysia Twitter

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Photos: Pulau Parasit Facebook

By Audrey Dermawan, 4th January 2018;

Two Dolphins have been found dead at the Tanjung Bungah beachfront in less than a week.

The first death was reported on Dec 29 while another death was reported today.

The double deaths have raised concern among environmentalists, who have called for a thorough probe into the incident.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia said the deaths of the mammals should be investigated.

The non-governmental organisation said that the earlier death was reported to the Fisheries Department but the department did not take any follow-up action.

“They just buried it instead of conducting an autopsy.

“We would not know the cause of death unless the department or the Fisheries Research Institute of Malaysia carries out a post-mortem,” said a SAM representative.

The death of the mammals was first posted in the Pulau Parasit Facebook page.

According to the page, the dead dolphins were of the Indo-Pacific Humpback species (Sousa chinensis).

Dolphins are a rare sight in Penang waters, but have been spotted around the island in recent weeks.

A local claimed to have seen several dolphins in the waters off Teluk Bahang on Christmas Eve, while another allegedly spotted a couple of dolphins near the Penang Bridge last Saturday.

Source: New Straits Times

An adult Sun Bear was struck and killed by a motorcycle at Km347.5 of the East Coast Expressway 2 (LPT2) near the Kuala Dungun interchange here last night.

Malaysia: Sun Bear killed in collision with motorcycle on LPT2
By Zarina Abdullah, 25th December 2017;

An adult Sun Bear was struck and killed by a motorcycle at Km347.5 of the East Coast Expressway 2 (LPT2) near the Kuala Dungun interchange here last night.

The incident is believed to have occurred at about 7pm when the animal, known scientifically as Helarctos malayanus, was trying to cross the road.

It was hit by a Yamaha 125z, whose rider was heading towards Kuala Terengganu.

The rider suffered light injuries.

State Wildlife and National Park Department director Rahmah Elias said they received a call about the incident at about 7.18pm.

She said the motorcyclist was sent to the Dungun Hospital for further treatment, while the Sun Bear’s carcass was handed over to the Wildlife Department for further action.

Rahmah has advised LPT 2 road users to be cautious while driving along the highway especially at night, as it is common for wild animals to wander onto the road.

“Watch out for animals such as Deer (F. Cervidae), Tapirs (Tapirus indicus), Wild Boars (Sus scrofa), Sun Bears as well as Goats (Capra hircus), Cows (Bos taurus) and Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) which roam the area, especially near the Kuala Dungun exit,” she said when contacted today.

Source: New Straits Times

Another Elephant was found dead in Sabah yesterday, making it the third such death this year.
Photo: Sabah Forestry Department

Malaysia: Cold-blooded killers: Third Elephant turns up dead in Sabah
By Olivia Miwil, 13th December 2017;

Yet another Borneo Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) was found dead in Sabah yesterday, making it the third such death this year.

The decomposing remains of an Elephant was found by Sabah Forestry personnel at the Kawang Forest Reserve yesterday.

Based on a Facebook post by the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), the Elephant, known as Liningkung, was collared by them in May last year.

Due to conflicts with the community, it was translocated from the Telupid area to the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve.

“He lived happily for 18 months before he was most likely shot by poachers.

"The tusks were still on the animal which leads us to assume that he had escaped from his poachers.”

DGFC provided Lininkung’s location to Sabah Forestry officers when the Elephant was stationary.

In the post, they also lauded Sabah Forestry’s annoucement on setting up a special wildlife enforcement unit to go after wildlife poachers and traders.

Source: New Straits Times

The male Bornean Pygmy Elephant died while undergoing treatment.
Photo: Sabah Wildlife Department

Malaysia: Bornean Pygmy Elephant dies while undergoing treatment at Sabah sanctuary
By Avila Geraldine, 8th December 2017;

A male Bornean Pygmy Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) died while undergoing treatment at the Borneo Wildlife Sanctuary in Kinabatangan, two days ago.

The Elephant, aged between six and seven, was found dead in the morning by veterinary officers of the Sabah Wildlife Department.

Department director Augustine Tuuga, in a statement, said a post-mortem examination was conducted on the same day to establish the cause of death.

“During the examination, a bullet slug was found lodged in its injured front left leg.

"There were also sign of gunshots on the body but they did not penetrate or cause any internal organ injury.

"The cause of death is believed to be due to dehydration as the Elephant was unable to drink due to an injury on its tongue,” he said.

The department’s rescue unit had on Nov 24 captured the Elephant, which is listed as a totally protected species, in Desa Plantation, Ladang Pertama for relocation and treatment.

It showed sign of injury on its left front leg and was aggressive towards estate workers and villagers.

Its appearance at Desa Plantation was first reported on Nov 5.

Tuuga said wildlife personnel were sent to manage the situation because the Elephant was reportedly charging estate workers who came across its path.

The same Elephant was also reported to have caused panic among nearby villages and estates in Telupid for its aggressive behaviour.

“After tracking the Elephant for sometime, wildlife personnel finally encountered the Elephant at Desa Plantation Nov 24 and successfully captured it.

"The Elephant was then taken to the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary for treatment.

"While undergoing medical examination and treatment, its tongue was found to have a serious wound which was believed to have been caused by a gunshot.

"The wound on the tongue left the Elephant unable to eat or drink,” explained Tuuga.

While the department fully understood the problem faced by residents who encounter the Elephant, Tuuga called on people to alert the authorities.

“We will investigate the case further as it involves the death of a totally-protected species,” he said.

This is the second incident involving the death of Bornean Pygmy Elephants this week.

On Tuesday, a bull Elephant was found dead with three gunshot wounds, within the Cenderamata Plantation Estate in Tawau. Its tusks were intact.

Last month, another male Elephant with its tusks intact was also shot dead within the same plantation.

Source: New Straits Times

One of the more recent cases where a female Banteng was shot by poachers in the vicinity of Maliau Basin last October 2017.
Photo: Danau Girang Field Centre

Malaysia: Investigation ongoing into last week’s slaughter of Bornean Banteng
By Olivia Miwil, 1st December 2017;

The Sabah Wildlife Department has carried out an investigation into the shocking killing last week of three endangered Bornean Banteng (Bos javanicus.

Its director Augustine Tuuga said the investigation team went to the ground to collect evidence on the case.

On Thursday, the Sabah Forestry Department disclosed that a plantation manager may be the culprit behind the poaching of one of the animals in October.

The manager was identified in a seized photograph in which he is seen posing with a Banteng carcass.

The three killings occurred in the Maliau basin, Sipitang and the Tabin conservation and forest reserve areas.

“The Maliau basin is a restricted area and not anyone can go there.

"It could (also) be that some villagers had gone into the forest… but there is no evidence of poaching or meat when we conducted checks at their houses,” he said when contacted.

So far this year, four Banteng have been killed. It is estimated that around 12 Banteng are slaughtered every year.

To date, no Banteng poacher has been prosecuted due to lack of evidence, Augustine said.

The Banteng is a “totally protected species” and there are fewer than 400 left in Sabah.

Source: New Straits Times

One of the more recent cases where a female Banteng was shot by poachers in the vicinity of Maliau Basin last October 2017.
Photo: Danau Girang Field Centre

Malaysia: Plantation manager behind one of Banteng shootings, says Sabah Forestry Department
By Kristy Inus, 30th November 2017;

Sabah Forestry Department has identified a plantation manager as a suspect behind the killing of one of the three Bornean Banteng (Bos javanicus last month.

Its chief forest conservator Datuk Sam Mannan in revealing this today said the man was also believed to be involved in the selling of the meat for the Peninsular Malaysia market.

He said with an estimate of less than 400 Bantengs left in Sabah, the species, also known as Tembadau, is the most endangered large mammal in this state and currently listed under the Totally Protected Species.

Authorities had recently revealed that the three killings in October happened at Maliau, Sipitang and Tabin conservation or forest reserve areas. It was learnt that the plantation manager has been identified in one of the photographs seized, where he posed with a Banteng carcass.

“It is no longer a suspicion because we have nabbed the individual… There will be a prosecution later… So this is still under investigation and we believe the person can provide more information,

"We expect more (individuals) from within this (oil palm) industry,” said Sam, after opening the Bornean Banteng international workshop to discuss the conservation of the species.

He described their actions as an “embarrassment” to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) initiative.

Sam added that the department was also looking for a foreigner, who acted as a ‘scout’ for the poachers.

Meanwhile, Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) research and training facility director Dr Benoit Goossens said to shoot a Banteng, one would require a sophisticated firearm with special bullets.

He said this year, four Banteng killings have been identified, but cases were estimated to average around 12 annually including those that went unreported.

“As for transporting or sending it to the Peninsular market, it was easy because the culprits can just put the Banteng meat in cooler boxes and authorities, thinking it to be buffalo meat will just let them through,” he explained.

As for the setting up of a dedicated wildlife enforcement team to face poachers as announced by the department previously, Benoit said a crime analyst would beneficial for the squad.

"Information gathered needed to be analysed, so the enforcement team can go to places they can likely catch the poachers,” he added.

Goossens said due to the limited population of Banteng in Sabah, a captive breeding programme is also being discussed in the workshop.

“We need to increase population for example at Sipitang or Sugut reserves areas where there are not enough individuals to survive there even without poaching.

"We need to start the captive breeding programme from now and the target is not to lose anymore numbers… or else the species will suffer the same fate like the Sumatran Rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatraensis) 20 years down the road.” he stressed.

Source: New Straits Times

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