Best of our wild blogs: 30 Jul 11

Yesterday, I was smitten by dinosaurs!
from wild shores of singapore and The long road to the new natural history museum

Little Terns hovering before plunge-diving
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Lornie Trail On 16 July
from Beauty of Fauna and Flora in Nature

Saving the wrong rhino in Indonesia?
from news

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Work begins on Eco-Link@BKE

Channel NewsAsia 30 Jul 11;

SINGAPORE: Work has started on Southeast Asia's first ecological corridor, Eco-Link@BKE, that links two nature reserves across the Bukit Timah expressway (BKE).

The National Parks Board (NParks) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) broke ground on Saturday to mark the start of construction.

Eco-Link is part of Singapore's efforts to conserve biodiversity in its urban landscape.

The hourglass-shaped Eco-Link will be built across the BKE to connect Singapore's largest primary and secondary forests, as well as the Bukit Timah and central catchment nature reserves.

NParks and LTA said it's important to preserve the habitats in the nature reserves because they're home to three quarters of Singapore's native plant species and more than 1,000 animal species.

Linking two high points on opposite slopes of the nature reserves and measuring 50 metres at its narrowest point, Eco-Link will be a forest habitat in itself.

When ready in 2013, populations of native animals such as flying squirrels, monitor lizards, palm civets, pangolins, porcupines, birds, insects and snakes, will be able to travel between the nature reserves to find other food sources, homes and mates.

This will also help plant species to propagate through pollination and dispersal by the animals.

Eco-Link will also benefit visitors.

For the first few years, it'll be restricted to the public while ecological monitoring is conducted to assess its effectiveness as a wildlife corridor.

When ready, NParks will consider public access in the form of guided walks on the bridge and the areas around it.

There are also plans to have educational and outreach activities to raise the awareness and appreciation on biodiversity conservation.

Already, students are helping to carry out various reforestation planting works, plant and animal surveys as well as project work to study aspects of the ecology of the forest.

Since the start of the project, nature groups, non-governmental organisations, tertiary institutions, volunteers and government agencies have been working closely with NParks and LTA to conduct feasibility studies and ecological monitoring surveys.

This close partnership will continue even after the construction of Eco-Link is completed.

The project costs S$17 million, covering construction, survey, research and planting works.

- CNA/ck

Work begins on SEA's first ecological corridor at BKE
Wayne Chan Today Online 31 Jul 11;

SINGAPORE - Work has begun on South-east Asia's first ecological corridor, Eco-Link@BKE, to connect Singapore's two biggest nature reserves across the expressway.

The hourglass-shaped S$17-million Eco-Link@BKE is part of Singapore's efforts to conserve biodiversity in its urban landscape, and will be built across the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) to connect Singapore's largest primary and secondary forests, as well as the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment nature reserves.

The animals in the two reserves, which have been separated for more than 20 years since the BKE was constructed, will be able to travel across a bridge to "find each other" when the link - which will be a forest habitat - is completed in 2013.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Minister of State for National Development and Manpower, Brigadier-General (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin, said there is potential for more of such links to connect the rest of Singapore's parks and nature reserves.

Said BG (NS) Tan: " This is something we will track to see in terms of wildlife, fauna, flora, insects and so on.

"We are looking at other potential projects as well but they can take many different forms - sometimes even a narrow strip, like for small birds. They don't need huge strips, they just need plants along the way and they can flit from tree to tree."

Access to the public will be restricted for the first few years, while ecological monitoring will be continued to assess its effectiveness as a wildlife corridor.

When ready, the National Parks Board will consider allowing public access in the form of guided walks on the link.

Work begins on link for two nature reserves
Sia Ling Xin Straits Times 31 Jul 11;

The idea of building a link to reinstate the connectivity between the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves, conceived six years ago, became reality yesterday as construction on the link started.

It was members involved in the Singapore Green Plan 2012 - a 10-year blueprint towards environmental sustainability - who came up with the idea.

The $17 million project, set to be completed by December 2013, is the first ecological corridor that connects two nature reserves over an expressway in South-east Asia.

When the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) was completed 25 years ago, movement of wildlife in the area was cut short. Animals often turned into roadkill while trying to venture out in search of food and mates.

Since then, conservationists have bemoaned the potential loss of bio-diversity, as species like the rare banded leaf monkey were cut off from their counterparts on the other side of the BKE.

The eco-link will enable animals, birds and insects to move around freely in the area.

All these, in the longer term, will help 'restore the ecological balance in these fragmented habitats and provide a conducive environment for our bio-diversity to thrive,' said Brigadier-General (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development, who attended the project's ground-breaking ceremony yesterday.

He operated an excavator and dug into the earth as a symbolic gesture of the beginning of construction.

The minister added that while it was still early days, the Government was exploring the idea of creating more linkages, such as connecting the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to the Bukit Batok Nature Park.

While public access to the link will be restricted in the initial years as experts need to monitor and assess its ecological benefits, there are plans to allow the public to view the link through guided walks in future.

Construction begins on Ecological Corridor
Business Times 2 Aug 11;

THE National Parks Board (NParks) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) held a groundbreaking ceremony late last week for Eco-Link@BKE, South-east Asia's first ecological corridor that will connect two nature reserves over the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE).

The Eco-Link is part of Singapore's efforts to conserve biodiversity in its urban landscape, and will connect Singapore's largest primary and secondary forests: the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment nature reserves.

The Eco-Link will join the two high points on opposite slopes of the nature reserves and will measure 50 metres at its narrowest point.

'These two nature reserves have been separated by the BKE for more than 20 years . . . When completed, the Eco-Link will enable animals, birds and insects to move freely along the connecting bridge, allowing for the effective exchange of native plant and animal genetic materials between the two nature reserves,' said Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State for National Development and Manpower.

Eco-Link will not only benefit wildlife; visitors will also be able to enjoy guided walks later. The option is currently being considered by NParks. However, for the first few years, access will be restricted to the public while ecological monitoring is conducted to assess its effectiveness as a wildlife corridor.

The total cost of the project is $17 million and it includes construction, survey, research and planting works.

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Progress in shark conservation, but ...

Letter from Jennifer Lee Today Online 30 Jul 11;

I refer to the commentary "Moral progress measured by animal welfare" (July 18).

On top of the progress cited for land animals, shark conservation has also taken a turn for the better this year, a result of the growing recognition of the importance of apex predators.

In the first quarter, California - one of the largest consumers of fins outside Asia - pushed for a ban on shark's fins. The regulation is pending approval.

Earlier this month, Fiji announced intentions to review and amend its fishing management laws to ban the trade of all shark products.

Meanwhile, the Bahamas banned shark fishing and Chile placed a ban on shark finning, the inhumane practice of throwing the lower-value shark carcasses back into the water once they are de-finned, in order to save space on board vessels for more valuable fins.

Taiwan also announced plans for regulations early next year that would require fishermen to land sharks in port with their fins attached. This will aid in species classification, counteract the issue of wastage and may reduce the amount of fins harvested, as more fishing trips would be needed.

However, there are more underlying issues than meet the eye. Firstly, the Taiwan regulation does not protect endangered sharks.

Although the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies a third of the world's sharks as "threatened", the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora sets trade restrictions for only three species.

The issue of sustainability is left unaddressed because a quota is not set to limit the number of catches in Taiwan to sustainable levels, to allow time for populations to recover. There are also no measures to stop fishermen from docking at other ports to unload their stocks.

The effectiveness of this new regulation remains in question if complementary measures, such as setting catch quotas and trade restrictions for threatened species are not in place.

Ultimately, as long as demand exists, fishermen will fish accordingly, and the most important role falls back on consumers, who control the power with their dollars.

Moral progress measured by animal welfare
Today Online 18 Jul 11;

Mahatma Gandhi acutely observed that "the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated". To seek to reduce the suffering of those who are completely under one's domination, and unable to fight back, is truly a mark of a civilised society.

Charting the progress of animal-welfare legislation around the world is therefore an indication of moral progress.

Last month, parallel developments on opposite sides of the world gave us grounds for thinking that the world may, slowly and haltingly, be becoming a little more civilised.

First, the British House of Commons passed a motion directing the government to impose a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

The motion followed the release of undercover footage, obtained by Animal Defenders International, an animal advocacy group, of a circus worker repeatedly beating Anne, an elephant. The measure was, at least initially, opposed by the Conservative government but supported by members of all political parties. In a triumph for parliamentary democracy, the motion passed without dissent.

More controversially, the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament passed a law giving the Jewish and Islamic communities one year to provide evidence that animals slaughtered by traditional methods do not experience greater pain than those that are stunned before they are killed. If the evidence cannot be provided, stunning before slaughter will be required in the Netherlands.

At times, it has seemed that gains for animals in Western countries have been outweighed by increasing animal abuse in China, as growing prosperity there boosts demand for animal products. I found it difficult to watch the videotape of the beating of Anne, but that recording did not compare to videos I have seen of animal cruelty in China.

Sickening footage available online shows bears kept in cages so small that they cannot stand up, or in some cases move at all, so that bile can be taken from them. Worse still (if one can compare such atrocities) is a video showing fur-bearing animals being skinned alive and thrown onto a pile of other animals, where they are left to die slowly.

In light - perhaps one should say darkness - of such images, it is sometimes suggested that animal welfare is exclusively a Western concern. But that is implausible, given that Buddhist tradition places more emphasis on concern for animals than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.

Long before Western philosophers included animals in their ethics, Chinese philosophers like Zhuangzi said that love should permeate relations not only between humans, but between all sentient beings.

Nowadays, China has its own animal-rights campaigners and there are signs that their message is beginning to be heard.

One recent sign again concerns circuses. Chinese zoos have drawn crowds by staging animal spectacles and by allowing members of the public to buy live chickens, goats and horses in order to watch them being pulled apart by lions, tigers and other big cats. Now the Chinese government has forbidden state-owned zoos from taking part in such cruelty.


Welcome as these initiatives are, the number of animals in circuses and zoos is tiny compared to the tens of billions of animals suffering in factory farms. In this area, Western countries have set a deplorable example.

Recently, however, the European Union has recognised that the intensive confinement of farm animals has gone too far. It has already outlawed keeping veal calves in individual stalls and in six months, it will be illegal in all 27 EU countries, from Portugal to Poland and from Britain to Greece, to keep laying hens in the bare-wire cages that today dominate the egg industry around the world. In January 2013, keeping breeding sows in individual stalls will also be prohibited.

The United States lags behind Europe in getting rid of the worst forms of abuse of farm animals. The problem does not lie with voters, who, in states such as Florida, Arizona and California, have shown that they want farm animals to have better protection than the animal industries typically provide.

The biggest problems are in those states that lack a mechanism for citizens to initiate a referendum on how farm animals should be treated. Unfortunately, this group includes the Midwestern and southern states, where the majority of America's farmed animals are produced.

China's central government can, if it so chooses, ensure that animal-welfare laws apply throughout the country. The animal-welfare movement in China should not be satisfied with its small but conspicuous success regarding animal abuse in zoos. It must move on to the far more significant target of better living conditions and more humane deaths for bears and fur-bearing animals, as well as for cows, pigs, laying hens and chickens.

There remains many other countries with deplorable animal-welfare standards. In Indonesia, for example, Animals Australia, a national animal protection organisation, recorded undercover videos showing such brutal treatment of Australian-raised cattle that Australia's government suspended cattle exports to the country. Now, some Members of Parliament are calling for a permanent ban.

The best hope for further progress, it seems, lies in animal welfare becoming, like human rights, an international issue that affects countries' reputations. PROJECT SYNDICATE

Peter Singer is Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Ethics of What We Eat and The Life You Can Save.

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Why rail track has to be closed to public during removal

Straits Times 30 Jul 11;

AS AGREED with Malaysia, Singapore must remove the railway tracks and ancillary structures along the former KTM railway line, and hand them over to Malaysia by Dec 31 ('SLA should let public enjoy railway walk for next few years' by Mr Liew Kai Khiun; last Saturday).

This is a very tight timeline given the extensive work required: The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) must remove 26km of railway tracks in five months. SLA started removal works on July 18.

During the removal, we try to use existing tracks as access routes for heavy vehicles to move in to disassemble and remove the railway tracks and ancillary structures.

Where this is not practical, SLA has identified, in consultation with the National Parks Board, additional access routes that have minimal impact on existing vegetation and undergrowth. After the completion of removal works, the contractors will reinstate and turf the terrain.

For safety reasons, we must restrict public access to areas affected by ongoing works. The rail corridor will be reopened to the public after removal works have been completed and the area ascertained to be safe for public access. More information on the reopening will be provided later.

As for the development plans for the former railway lands, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is carrying out a comprehensive review that will also consider the plans for the surrounding areas.

As part of its review, the URA will study the possibility of marrying development and greenery, such as applying innovative strategies to maintain a continuous green link along the rail corridor without affecting the development potential of the lands.

The URA welcomes feedback and ideas from the community in shaping the future development plans for the railway lands, and we thank Mr Liew for his suggestions. The public can provide their ideas at

Lee Seng Lai
Land Operations (Private) Division
Singapore Land Authority

Tan See Nin
Director (Physical Planning)
Urban Redevelopment Authority

Preservation fever
Straits Times 30 Jul 11;

'Let the authorities do their job.'

MR LEONG SOW PHONG: 'While I can understand the concerns of many who have a sudden surge of interest in preserving the KTM railway track, let us not forget that this thorny issue of having the Malaysian Customs, Immigration and Quarantine facility at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station has finally been resolved after a stalemate of many years. The railway track cuts across Singapore, hindering development plans for better use of our land, and we should let the authorities do their job of moving our country forward. I am proud of our country's progressive culture that balances nostalgia and development. There is no shortage of gardens, parks, reservoirs, offshore islands and so on for nature lovers to explore. I am also confident that the authorities will look into creative ways of conserving the railway station, after gathering so much feedback from the public on retaining a piece of our history.'

SLA should let public enjoy railway walk for next few years
Straits Times 30 Jul 11;

IN THE fortnight after the last Malaysian train departed from Tanjong Pagar station, members of the public walked enthusiastically along the now-defunct rail route.

They included ministers like Brigadier-General (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin and Mr Khaw Boon Wan, who, impressed with the potential of conserving the route as a promising 'green spine', have been urging the public to come forward with feedback.

However, as much as many would like to continue to contribute their ideas towards this concept that, according to BG Tan, may take years to evolve, several concerns have been raised about public access to this route from next month as well as the existing historical and natural features along it.

Currently, the old Tanjong Pagar station and its surrounding land are closed to the public by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), disappointing many walkers who thought they could start their journey from the southern tip of the route.

The SLA is also silent on whether any construction and redevelopment work would be undertaken that may potentially threaten the existing natural environment and compromise the heritage around the premises.

While we understand issues of public safety and that of protection against scrap metal thieves and souvenir hunters, the relevant authorities can still make arrangements to keep the entire path of the former rail route open to the public to enjoy while discussions are ongoing.

We also hope that any temporary and makeshift construction and demolition work would be minimised, especially on the thick, natural vegetation along stretches from Holland Road to the Bukit Timah station, as well as the religious shrines and gardens that people in the vicinity have built and planted over the years.

It would be a waste if the entire stretch of the route gets fenced off and boarded up from next month, and Singaporeans return to an altered and damaged landscape the day these barriers are lifted.

Hence, with just perhaps minimal improvement work to facilitate public access and some accommodation for safety considerations, we believe that the former railway line can be an instant and temporary park connector for Singaporeans for the next few years while plans for its use are being finalised.

Liew Kai Khiun
Project Co-ordinator
Green Coordinator Project
for Singapore Heritage Society and Nature Society of Singapore

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Vietnam to have first international day for tigers

VietNamNet Bridge 30 Jul 11;

The first international day for tigers will be held in Hanoi on July 31, to raise the awareness of protection of this endangered species.

A workshop, games and exhibition with the topic “combating wildlife trading”, including tiger trading, will be held, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

In Asia, tigers are being hunted and traded illegally to meet man’s requirements. In Vietnam, tigers are mainly used to make products that are considered as medicines like tiger bone glue and tiger bone alcohol. Their skin and meat are used to make souvenirs or cuddly tigers.

According to statistics by the Education of Nature Vietnam (ENV) in 2010, there are less than 30 tigers in nature in entire Vietnam.

Nick Cox, an expert of the WWF Greater Mekong Sub-region, said that Vietnam is a hot spot in tiger trading from Southeast Asia to China and also for local demands.

As carnivorous animals, tigers help ensure the numbers of bait animal species in control to maintain the balance and stability of the ecological system, Cox explained the significance of protecting tigers.

Pauline Verheij, manager of the anti-tiger trading program of the TRAFFIC organization, confirmed that there are little evidences about the effect of tiger bones in curing diseases and in all cases, there are replacements that are much cheaper and legal than tiger bones.

According to Verheij, breeding tigers at farms are much costly than hunting them in the nature (around 250 times higher), tigers have become the targets of hunters.

The international day for tiger in Vietnam is jointly held by the WWF, the Biodiversity Preservation Agency and TRAFFIC.

In the brink of distinction of tigers in the nature, Russia held the Summit of countries that have tigers, with the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The leaders of 13 tiger-having countries committed to take action to preserve this species. The goal of these countries is the number of tigers in the nature to double from 3,200 to 6,400 by 2022.

Attending countries in the Tiger Summit included: Russia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.


Vietnam makes great efforts in tiger conservation
VOVNews 29 Jul 11;

(VOV) - A children’s painting awards ceremony and an exhibition on combating the trafficking of wild animals were held in Hanoi on July 29 in response to International Tiger Day.

The celebration is held annually by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Vietnam, Biodiversity Conservation Agency, and the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, TRAFFIC.

Over the years, Vietnam has exerted significant efforts in tiger conservation by banning tiger hunting and putting the animal on the list of endangered species in need of protection.

However, hunting, illegal trade and illicit transport of this iconic animal are becoming prevalent due to the huge potential for economic profit.

According to the 2010 Report from Education for Nature-Vietnam, the country is on the verge of tiger extinction.

It is estimated that only 3,200 wild tigers survive worldwide, their population having decreased by about 95 percent and their range by 93 percent since 1900. This steep decline is mainly due to heavy poaching and the illegal trade in tiger paraphernalia to supply a thriving black market demand. As well as this, loss of habitat due to deforestation and an increase in the number of animals preying on tigers have also led to their decline.

Vietnam is a significant market for tiger products, as illegal medicines made from tiger bone and tiger wines have become popular, especially among the wealthy, because of their supposed remedial powers.

The demand for tiger parts in Vietnam has led to animals being smuggled in from elsewhere in the region. In March and June of last year, three tigers sourced from Laos were seized in Vietnam, believed to be intended for further domestic distribution. The country is also a transit point for a range of illegal wildlife products, including tiger products, being smuggled to China from other countries.

“Tigers are integral to maintaining healthy, balanced forest landscapes, yet they remain at high risk of becoming extinct in the wild. Vietnam has lost most of its wild tigers, so it's most important contribution at the moment is to play a part in halting the illegal international tiger trade and domestic consumption of tigers. It's as simple as that,” said Nick Cox, Regional Manager of WWF's species programme.

Vietnam’s Global Tiger Day activities will focus on reducing the demand for tiger products and promoting the conservation of wild tigers. Events include exhibitions, a tiger film, children’s activities, performances and a workshop with officials to discuss progress thus far and the next steps in tiger conservation.

“Tigers have long played an important role in our culture and in our ecosystems. Vietnam sees Global Tiger Day as an opportunity to increase public appreciation for this iconic species and to further discuss real solutions for its long term survival,” said Ms Hoang Thi Thanh Nhan, Deputy Director of Biodiversity Conservation Agency under the Vietnam Environment Administration.

Following the event, international experts from the 13 tiger range countries will attend a workshop in Hanoi from August 2-4 to discuss the implementation of the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP) which aims to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.

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WWF Malaysia: Wrestle the poachers

Isabelle Lai The Star 30 Jul 11;

PETALING JAYA: There is a desperate need to heighten enforcement efforts against rampant poaching at the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex (BTFC) before tigers and other endangered animals are lost forever.

WWF Malaysia and Traffic claimed yesterday that over 400 wild animals had fallen victim to “relentless illegal hunting” since 2008 due to insufficient enforcement by the Government's district-wide Belum-Temengor Joint Enforcement Taskforce.

They claimed its limited resources within enforcement agencies, nearly non-existent joint patrols and a lack of intelligence-led investigations had resulted in the forest complex “littered with snares and foreign poacher camps, while locals hunt at will”.

WWF Malaysia executive director and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said an increase in enforcement personnel was vital in maintaining constant presence on the ground to prevent poaching.

“We need a set of people who are visibly patrolling and monitoring the area. That is the best deterrent,” he said at the launch of their newly-released documentary On Borrowed Time.

Traffic South-East Asia regional director Dr William Schaedla praised the new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, saying it was one of South-East Asia's best.

However, he cautioned that it would be useless unless tangible enforcement efforts were made.

He pointed out that there were 80-odd entry points along the Gerik-Jeli highway, which enabled poachers to easily sneak into BTFC.

“If we can secure these points, we'd have won the lion's share of the battle,” he said.

The 10-minute documentary, launched in conjunction with World Tiger Day, showed footage of poachers setting up their traps and camps.

It also showed a male tiger that died shortly after being rescued from a trap.

The 130-million-year-old BTFC is older than the Amazon and Congo Basin, and has one of the highest potential landscapes for tiger survival.

Currently, Malaysia is estimated to have around 500 tigers in the peninsula.

On Borrowed Time can be viewed at WWF Malaysia and Traffic's YouTube pages.

New documentary sheds light on poaching crisis in Belum-Temengor forests
WWF Malaysia 1 Aug 11;

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 29 July 2011 – Malaysia must intensify efforts to stop poaching in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex or risk losing one of its most important strongholds for wild tigers and other endangered wildlife, warns a newly released WWF Malaysia-TRAFFIC documentary.

‘On Borrowed Time’, launched in conjunction with this year’s World Tiger Day, trains a spotlight on the poaching crisis in Belum-Temengor and calls for the problem to be put on the national agenda.
These forests in northern Perak are of critical importance for the conservation of tigers and other endangered species, yet research and monitoring by WWF-Malaysia and TRAFFIC Southeast Asia since 2008 have documented decimation of the wildlife by relentless illegal hunting, with little standing in poachers’ way.

In the last three years, 142 snares were discovered and de-activated. Over 400 wild animals, such as Sambar deer (rusa), gaur (seladang), pangolins (tenggiling), serow (kambing gurun), elephants and tigers, were poached in the forest complex. Numerous foreign poacher camps were also found inside a protected area.

“We promote places like these as Malaysia’s green gems but when biodiversity is truly under threat, where are her champions? If the silence and inaction continues, it is only a matter of time before the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex is emptied of wildlife. There’ll be little to shout about then,” said Dato’ Dr. Dionysius Sharma, Executive Director/CEO of WWF-Malaysia.

A district-wide multi-agency enforcement taskforce established to combat poaching and encroachment in the area has taken some steps since its establishment in 2010. However, efforts have been piecemeal at best and ground checks show the problem persists.

Limited resources within enforcement agencies, nearly nonexistent joint patrols and a lack of intelligence-led investigations have left this forest complex littered with snares and foreign poacher camps, while locals hunt at will.

“The bottom line is, if enforcement is not taken seriously, we will lose tigers and myriad other species. There is no excuse for any agency not doing the job. Sharing a treasure means sharing the responsibility to protect it,” said Dr. William Schaedla, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia’s Regional Director.

Dr. Schaedla added, “If Malaysia is to save tigers and other endangered species, the time to act is now. Zero tolerance towards poachers and illegal wildlife traders is essential.”
‘On Borrowed Time’ calls for a revitalisation of the Belum-Temengor Joint Enforcement Taskforce, the pursuit of poachers and encroachers to the full extent of the law and for all agencies working in the area to show equal effort and commitment towards enforcement.

Filmed by award-winning Malaysian documentary makers Novista, On Borrowed Time can be viewed at the respective WWF-Malaysia and TRAFFIC Youtube pages at :

WWF-Malaysia Youtube Channel
Traffic Network

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Indonesia: Two elephants die of suspected poisoning in Bengkulu

Antara 29 Jul 11;

Bengkulu, Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The bones of two wild elephants which had died of suspected poisoning, were found in a plantation a near an elephant training center in Seblat, North Bengkulu District, recently.

They seemed to have eaten fertilizer like what had happened to four elephants which had been found dead previously, Amon Zamora, the head of the Bengkulu Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) said here on Friday.

Eight elephants had been found dead in Bengkulu over the past two years. Amon Zamora suspected that the animals had died after eating fertilizers provided by unknown persons.

He said the increasing number of dead elephants had something to do with efforts to downgrade the status of the elephant training center (PLG) into an other purpose area (APL).

Many parties wanted to take of the PLG Bengkulu area because the area is rich of coal reserves, he explained.

There are now around 150 elephants inside the 6,800-ha PLG area.

"We are trying to arrest those poisoning the wild elephants by involving various parties including the community and the military," he said.

Supartono, also of the BKSDA said his office has suspected those behind the poisoning of the elephants, but it will need further investigation because the chain also involved local community.

BKSDA would tighten security around the PLG area, he said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH

Bengkulu authorities urged to probe elephant deaths
Antara 6 Aug 11;

Bengkulu, Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Environmental NGO ProFauna has urged Bengkulu authorities to probe the deaths of eight Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus) around the Seblat Elephant Conservation Center (PKG), north Bengkulu.

"We urge the law enforcers to investigate the eight elephant deaths because it is strongly believed that they died not because of natural causes but because they were killed deliberately by poisoning and hunting," ProFauna Bengkulu Representative Radius Nursidi said here on Friday.

The deaths of the eight elephants during January-July 2011 demonstrated that the Bengkulu Natural Conservation Agency (BKSDA) had not optimally protected Sumatran elephants, according to ProFauna.

"We suspect that there is a systematic effort by certain parties to wipe out elephants from the Seblat PKG," he said.

A number of parties had been wanting to convert the forest area into mining and plantation areas.

"By killing the wild elephants around the PKG area, it will be easier for certain parties to use the forest area," he said.

None of the elephant deaths that were reported to the authorities has been dealt with successfully so far and so there was no deterrent factor, he said.

He hoped the local authorities would soon conduct a thorouhg investigation into the elephant deaths.

According to ProFauna data, there have been 17 elephant deaths since 2004 in areas around the Seblat PKG.

In addition to elephants, the Seblat PKG also shelters Sumatran tigers (Phantera tigris Sumatrae) and Siamang gibbon (Symphalangus syndactylus).

ProFauna suggests that the status of the area be upgraded to a wildlife sanctuary in order to protect and preserve the animals in the forest area.

Conflicts between Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) and humans have increased over the past few years claiming lives among both humans and elephants but mostly among the giant animals.


Editor: Suryanto

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