Malaysia: Protecting proboscis monkeys

The Star 23 Feb 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Local and international experts are collaborating to come up with a plan to protect the proboscis monkey in Sabah.

Malaysian and international scientists, government agencies and industry players will congregate at the three-day Proboscis Monkey Workshop, which starts today, to draft a policy for the purpose.

The workshop is organised by the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and Sabah Wildlife Department.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens said several experts would propose recommendations at the event for the primate’s conservation based on findings from an extensive five-year research on the endangered species.

A proboscis monkey action plan for Sabah would be drafted following the recommendations, he said.

“I hope the plan will be adopted by the state government to save the species endemic to Borneo, which is threatened by habitat loss and forest fragmentation in Sabah,” Dr Goossens said.

On the research, he said both the centre and department had collected crucial information on the primate’s population in Sabah, including data on demography, behaviour, genetics and health over the past five years.

Surveys were carried out on proboscis monkeys along several rivers such as the Kinabatangan, Segama, Klias and Sugut, with many blood samples collected for genetic analyses.

“Information on genetic isolation, lack of gene flow between populations, risks of inbreeding and extinction will be discussed during the workshop,” Dr Goossens said.

He said the workshop will see input from relevant stakeholders – government department officers, representatives from NGOs, tourism and palm oil industries, local communities, scientists and experts on proboscis monkeys – to formulate pragmatic solutions to preserve the proboscis monkey.

These researches were made possible with the support of Yayasan Sime Darby, which had committed RM3.96mil over six years since 2011.

DGFC’s work on the proboscis monkey is one of three crucial projects being conducted by the research organisation on endangered, endemic species to Borneo found in Sabah’s Kinabatangan area. Its other two vital research projects are on the Sunda clouded leopard and Bornean banteng.


Tackle proboscis monkey habitat loss
The Star 2 Mar 17;

KOTA KINABALU: A long-term conservation plan for Sabah’s iconic proboscis monkeys will be needed to address the primate’s habitat loss in the eastern and northern part of the state.

Wildlife experts agree that the proboscis monkey population was most threatened by habitat loss from the clearing of mangroves in east coast districts of Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau.

Research NGO Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) director Dr Benoit Goossens said a similar habitat loss was also affecting proboscis monkey populations in northern Kudat, Pitas and Kota Belud districts.

“The action plan will have to address other issues affecting them, including illegal hunting,” he said yesterday.

DGFC and the Sabah Wildlife Department held a three-day conference last month to get input from dozens of wildlife experts and researchers for the action plan on the primates.

Goossens said the preservation of mangrove forests must be implemented now.

He said that researchers also agreed on the need for a population survey of the primates in Sabah, which was now estimated to number about 6,000.

DGFC was collaborating with the department in drafting the action plan, which was expected to be launched later this year.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga had said the management plan for the proboscis monkeys would be the latest of the conservation strategies initiated by the state.

The other species that needed to be watched and protected are the Bornean elephant, orang utan and Sumatran rhino.

No comments:

Post a Comment