Malaysia: Action plan to save the Sunda clouded leopard

STEPHANIE LEE The Star 11 Jun 17;

KOTA KINABALU: The Sunda clouded leopard will be the next endangered animal to be saved and protected in Sabah, said Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) director Dr Benoit Goossens.

Dr Goossens said an action plan will be drawn up after a three-day workshop organised by DGFC and the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), which will focus on recommendations on how to better protect the species.

The workshop is set to run from June 12 to 14 and will feature local and international scientists, governmental agencies as well as industry players.

“We hope that the state government will adopt the Sunda Clouded Leopard Action Plan for implementation to save the species, which is threatened by habitat loss and forest fragmentation in Sabah,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Dr Goossens said the centre, SWD and collaborators from Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), the University of Montana and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research have been collecting crucial information on Sunda clouded leopard populations in Sabah for the last 10 years.

He said this includes demography, behaviour, landscape ecology and genetics.

“During this project, we carried out surveys using camera traps in several protected areas such as Crocker Range, Tawau Hills Park, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Kinabatangan, Malua, Ulu Segama, and Maliau Basin,” he said.

He added that the research findings showed that there are roughly 700 Sunda clouded leopards in Sabah.

Dr Goossens said these projects and efforts are made possible with a total commitment of RM3.96mil from Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) since April 2011 to conduct research on three species over a six-year period.

The three species are the proboscis monkey, the Sunda clouded leopard and the Bornean banteng.

Meanwhile, YSD chairman Tun Musa Hitam said the Foundation was looking forward to the submission of the state action plan on the conservation of the proboscis monkey to the Sabah government.

DGFC is currently in the midst of drafting the plan to be submitted to the Sabah government.

This action plan is the product of a workshop and conference organised by DGFC and SWD four months ago, which focused on the conservation of the proboscis monkey.

Musa said it was crucial for the state action plan to be adopted and implemented by the Sabah government as it is backed by scientific research and expert opinions as well as input from industry leaders.

He added that he hoped the same would be replicated for the Sunda clouded leopard, which he said is one of his favourite animal species due to its sheer beauty.

"This species, like many others, is under severe threat from poachers, habitat loss and fragmented forest areas,” said Musa.

"We must act immediately and effectively to stop further decline in the population or risk losing a precious species that is vital to the ecosystem it inhabits," he added.


Experts convene in KK to discuss conservation of Sunda clouded leopard
AVILA GERALDINE New Straits Times 11 Jun 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife experts will engage in a long and detailed discussion on how to best protect one of Sabah’s iconic but endangered animals – the Sunda clouded leopard – at an international workshop beginning tomorrow.

Scientists, governmental agencies and industry players are expected to attend the three-day workshop on the issue at the Le Meridien Hotel here, organised by the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and the Sime Darby Foundation.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens said the workshop will see participants proposing recommendations for better protection of the endangered species based on findings of an extensive five-year research conducted by the centre and the SWD.

“I hope the Sabah government will adopt the Sunda Clouded Leopard Action Plan for implementation to save the species, which is threatened by habitat loss and forest fragmentation in Sabah.

“For the past 10 years, SWD, DGFC and collaborators from Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), the University of Montana and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research have been collecting crucial information on Sunda clouded leopard populations in Sabah, including demography, behaviour, landscape ecology and genetics.

“During this project, we carried out surveys using camera traps in several protected areas, and we estimate the population (of Sunda clouded leopards) to be around 700 individuals in Sabah,” added Goossens.

The protected areas are the Crocker Range, the Tawau Hills Park, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Kinabatangan, Malua, Ulu Segama and the Maliau Basin, among others.

Earlier this year, a workshop and conference focusing on the protection of the Proboscis monkey was held, and the DGFC is currently drafting a state action plan on the conservation of the species for submission to the state government.

Meanwhile, Sime Darby Foundation chairman Tun Musa Hitam stressed that the local government must adopt and implement the state action plan, which is backed by scientific research, expert opinions and input from industry leaders.

“We also hope that the same will be replicated for the Sunda clouded leopard, which is one of my favourite animal species due to its sheer beauty.

“This species, like many others, is under severe threat from poachers, habitat loss and fragmented forest areas,” he said.

The foundation has been supporting DGFC since April 2011, with a total commitment of RM3.96 million over a period of six years, to conduct research on three species – the Proboscis monkey, the Sunda clouded leopard and the Bornean banteng.


Move to protect the Sunda clouded leopard
STEPHANIE LEE The Star 12 Jun 17;

KOTA KINABALU: The Sunda clouded leopard will be the next endangered animal to come under protection in Sabah.

This will hopefully be made possible after local and international scientists, government agencies and industry players come together in a three-day workshop on how to protect the species.

The workshop, from today to Wednesday, organised by the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), expects to see recommendations based on findings of a five-year extensive research on Sunda clouded leopards conducted by DGFC and SWD.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens said they expect to have a Sunda Clouded Leopard Action Plan for Sabah drafted based on the recommendations.

“We hope the state government will adopt the action plan to save the species, which is threatened by habitat loss and forest fragmentation in Sabah,” he said in a statement.

Dr Goossens said the centre, SWD and collaborators from Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), University of Montana and Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research have collected crucial information on Sunda clouded leopard population in Sabah including demography, behaviour, landscape ecology and genetics for the past 10 years.

“During this project, we carried out surveys using camera traps in several protected areas such as Crocker Range, Tawau Hills Park, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Kinabatangan, Malua, Ulu Segama, and Maliau Basin,” he said.

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/06/12/move-to-protect-the-sunda-clouded-leopard/~/media/f0f46ce3ff904f50b7515a6df100a18c.ashx?h=413&w=620

Safe and sound: A female Sunda clouded leopard named ‘Rahsia’ rescued during the project. Inset: A Sunda clouded leopard seen at the Crocker Range National Park near Keningau, Sabah.
Safe and sound: A female Sunda clouded leopard named ‘Rahsia’ rescued during the project.
The population is estimated to be around 700 in Sabah.

Dr Goossens said these projects and efforts were made possible with the support from Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) since April 2011, with a total commitment of RM3.96mil over six years, to conduct research on three species – Proboscis monkey, Sunda clouded leopard and the Bornean banteng.

Four months ago, DGFC and SWD organised a workshop and conference on the conservation of the Proboscis monkey, which saw recommendations for drafting of a state action plan to conserve the endangered species.

YSD chairman Tun Musa Hitam said it was crucial for the state action plan to be adopted and implemented by the Sabah government as it is backed by scientific research and expert opinions as well as input from industry leaders.

“We must act immediately and effectively to stop further decline in the population or risk losing a precious species that is vital to the ecosystem it inhabits.

“We have already lost one of our last three Sumatran rhinoceroses, a species on the brink of extinction. Let us learn from this,” he added.

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