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

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

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

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

Malaysia: Tapir found mutilated to death in Hulu Langat after footage of its capture raises suspicion
26th October 2017;

Social media was abuzz after the mutilated remains of a Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) was found at Taman Desa Saujana, Batu 14 Hulu Langat yesterday at 1:30am – triggering speculations that the endangered species may have died in a rescue mission gone wrong.

An earlier footage of a Tapir being subdued with ropes while it was wildly thrashing around with a Bomba vehicle spotted in the background has stirred speculation over what had happened.

The incident, which went viral, caught the attention of Channel News Asia (CNA) correspondent, Sumisha Naidu, who took to social media to express her concern and woe over the heart breaking incident.

“This is appalling and heartbreaking. I do not know what happened yet but official investigations are ongoing. I will also say I KNOW there are many good people at Perhilitan – but whatever happened here is just…” she wrote in a Facebook posting yesterday (Oct 25).

“Please remember that most of the time these animals are more afraid of you than you are of them. Tapirs are herbivores, they have bad eyesight, they’re usually harmless unless they feel threatened.”

However, investigations conducted by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) unearthed that the Tapir wandered into a nearby residential area after escaping from a forest reserve, which prompted civilians to contact the Fire and Rescue department.

“The Tapir’s death will affect the population of the wildlife, and therefore we take this matter seriously,” PERHILITAN Director Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim criticised the incident, and reminded that the public should not take arbitrary measures to save endangered animals, Harian Metro reports.

“However, the cause of death will be determined once the post-mortem report is out,” he said.

Additionally, Abdul Kadir relayed that the investigations are currently underway and underlined that the perpetrators will be convicted under Section 68, which carries a fine of up to RM100,000 or imprisoned for up to three years.

Source: Malaysian Digest

Preliminary investigations found that the carcass of the Tapir had some parts of its body such as ears, front leg, trunk and skin, mutilated.
Photos: Khairul Azri Facebook

Malaysia: Mutilated Tapir may have been strangled to death
26th October 2017;

The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) has initiated an investigation into an adult male Tapir’s death that happened yesterday.

Its director-general Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said preliminary investigations by the department found that the carcass of the Malayan Tapir ( (Tapirus indicus) located at Taman Desa Saujana, Batu 14, Hulu Langat had some parts of its body such as ears, front leg, trunk and skin mutilated.

Abdul Kadir said based on interviews with residents of Taman Desa Saujana and the security guard on duty that night revealed the Tapir had initially wandered into the neighbourhood and later fell into a drain.

“In an effort to rescue the Tapir, the residents had contacted the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM), Fire and Rescue Department and the police.

"The rescue operation carried out by the APM and Fire and Rescue Department ended at 1am but had left the Tapir dead and its carcass was abandoned at the scene. Residents were present during the rescue operation,” he said in a statement.

Perhilitan had also voiced its concern over the death of an adult Tapir, as it has an impact on wildlife population in its habitat.

“The Tapir’s cause of death will be determined through a post-mortem.

"However, the initial observation of the Department has hinted that possible cause of death was due to stress and inappropriate rescue methods.

"From pictures sent to us by residents, it can be seen that three length of ropes were used and tied around the Tapir’s neck to pull it up,” he said adding it could have been strangled to death.

Abdul Kadir reminded the public to not take matters into their own hands and contact the nearest Perhilitan branch to seek wildlife rescue assistance especially if they encounter any large mammal or endangered species.

Ill treatment of wildlife is punishable under Section 86 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) and if convicted, the offender can be fined of up to RM50,000 or imprisoned up to one year or both.

“In addition, Tapirs are a fully protected species under Act 716 where taking and keeping a fully protected wildlife is an offense under Section 68 and those convicted can be fined up to RM100,000 or imprisoned up to three years or both,” he said.

Source: New Straits Times