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.

Photo: Forum Konservasi Leuser, on Detik.com

Indonesia: Aceh conservation agency finds dead Elephant while rescuing stranded calf
By M Haris SA, 18th January 2017;

A dead Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) was found in an oil palm concession area in East Aceh on Saturday (14/01), according to Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency, or BKSDA.

“Autopsy results seem to suggest the Elephant died from being shot – but we are not sure if was deliberately hunted or shot accidentally. There might be other factors,” BKSDA Chief Sapto Aji Prabowo told state news agency Antara on Monday (16/01).

“The Elephant was identified as a male adult aged 30, and when we found the carcass, the tusks were gone,” Sapto added.

The autopsy revealed five bullet holes in the Elephant’s neck and back, though no traces of the bullets were found.

The alleged perpetrator of the Elephant’s murder is still on the run. The case is being dealt with by the police.

The dead Elephant was found by BKSDA officers in the oil palm concession area Dwi Kencana Semesta on Saturday while they were on another Elephant mission of a different nature.

The BKSDA officers were on a rescue mission to save a stranded baby Elephant found by local villagers in Banda Alam on Friday (13/01).

The malnourished Elephant calf has been sent for medical care at the Elephant Conservation Center in Saree, Aceh Besar.

Source: Jakarta Globe

Photo: New Straits Times

Sabah Wildlife Dept offering ‘jumbo’ reward for info on Elephant poachers
By Muguntan Vanar, 5th January 2017;

The Sabah Wildlife Department is offering a RM10,000 reward for any valid information leading to the capture of poachers who killed two Borneo Pygmy Elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis), including one with a rare “sabre-tooth” appearance.

“Our investigators have some leads. We believe the reward will bring us more information,” said its director Augustine Tuuga.

The Department has put up notices offering the reward around the Kinabatangan area where the two animals were killed, presumably for their tusks.

The carcass of the “sabre-tooth” Elephant, so named because its tusks grow in a downwards arch, was found on Dec 31.

It was fitted with a satellite collar and is believed to have been killed in November in the Kawag Forest Reserve while the carcass of the other was found on Dec 27.

The Elephant with the “sabre-tooth” tusks was relocated to the reserve about three months ago.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: Wanted! RM10,000 reward for capture of poachers who mutilated two Pygmy Elephants
By Avila Geraldine, 5th January 2017;

Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) is offering RM10,000 reward to those who can assist the department in catching the culprits responsible for the killing of two Bornean Pygmy Elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis), including the beloved ‘Sabre’ recently.

The reward money will be channelled through the State Tourism, Culture, and Environment Ministry.

So far, SWD assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said no one has come forward to provide information with regards to the discovery of carcasses of the two elephants in Kinabatangan.

“We hope with this reward, it will encourage people to come forward and assist the department.

"We will verify information given to us and the reward money will only be given once the culprits are charged in court and punished,” he said, adding the department is taking the case seriously.

On Dec 31, the department’s wildlife rescue unit made the discovery when searching for a Pygmy Elephant nicknamed ‘Sabre’ after it’s satellite collar stopped sending signals.

Elephant bones belonging to ‘Sabre’ were later discovered, along with the remains of a jumbo Elephant, near the Segama river in Kinabatangan – apparently killed by ivory poachers for their tusks.

Based on its condition, ‘Sabre’ was believed to have been killed around Nov 20, but the carcass of the jumbo Elephant, found 1,500 kilometres up the river, was still fresh.

The jumbo Elephant had been horribly mutilated, as its entire face had been carved out, as a way to extract its tusks.

Five months ago, while rescuing and relocating a small herd of Pygmy Elephants out of a palm oil plantation, the wildlife rescue unit came upon a male pachyderm with bizarre-looking, downward-pointing tusks.

It resembled the now-extinct Sabre-toothed Tiger (SubF. Machairodontinae), something rarely, if ever, encountered – and images of the mini-Elephant went viral on social media.

It was lovingly named ‘Sabre’ by the team, which fixed a satellite collar on it to monitor its movements and wellbeing, before releasing it into the Kawag Forest Reserve near Danum Valley.

Source: New Straits Times

Phaya Sua task force chief Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn (black cap) and other officials inspect Elephant bones excavated at Moo Baan Chang in Hua Hin on Wednesday.
Photo: Chaiwat Satyaem

Thailand: Elephant bones linked to wildlife trafficking
By Chaiwat Satyaem, 4th January 2017;

A task force on wildlife trafficking has unearthed the bones of five Elephants (Elephas maximus) which they suspect are linked to the merging of wild animals into domestic populations.

The Phaya Sua task force excavated a site in Moo Baan Chang (Elephant Village) after it received a tip-off that dead Elephants had been buried there without the knowledge of concerned authorities.

In an expanded investigation into the assimilation of wild Elephants in the Western forest complex, the team was tipped off that wildlife poachers had tranquilised wild Elephants in Kaeng Krachan National Park in nearby Petchaburi province and transported them on vehicles to Moo Baan Chang, waiting to merge them with captive populations. However, some of the captured Elephants died from an overdose of tranquilising agents and were buried.

Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn, chief of the Phaya Sua special task force, said Prakorb Chamnarnkij, the owner of Moo Baan Chang, had never reported a single dead Elephant to authorities. Therefore a thorough examination would be needed to conclude if the Elephant remains were linked to the Elephant gang.

The Phaya Sua task force, accompanied by forensic scientists, anti-graft officials and Department of Special Investigation officers, used backhoes to excavate five separate spots in Moo Baan Chang where they had been told the remains of dead Elephants were buried.

The team made the first discovery at 1pm on Wednesday. They found skeleton remains of two Elephants of unknown age buried three metres deep on the eastern side of the attraction’s tourist reception centre.

Officials have held all of the staff for questioning.

The skeletal remains of the third Elephant were discovered at 2.45pm about 200 metres from the first spot. The remains were of varying size and included many parts from the skull, leg and neck.

Mr Chaiwat said the remains were likely to have been buried for not less than two years. Excavation will continue at the sites.

Thanya Netithammakul, head of the National Parks Department, will inspect the sites on Thursday to arrange a follow-up investigation.

The Phaya Sua unit was set up by Mr Thanya in May last year. Its main objective is to arrest major offenders and influential figures behind forest encroachment and wildlife trafficking, launching at least two cases each month.

Source: Bangkok Post