Malaysia: Forest fires can affect wildlife, says dept

The Star 1 Mar 14;

IPOH: Some species of wildlife, including elephants, mouse-deer and barking deer (kijang), could have been affected by the fires in four different locations in Grik, including the Royal Belum Forest in Pulau Banding.

Perak Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department director Fakhrul Hatta Musa said several wildlife species had been known to venture into the affected areas.

“They do not usually go there in herds, but one or two of them had been spotted in some of the affected areas,” he said.

However, he explained that in the case of fire, wildlife would usually escape deeper into the forest.

“They might be affected, but they are seldom harmed because they will quickly move away when sensing a fire,” he said when commenting on the fires in four locations, including Gunung Tujuh, Air Ganda and a stretch of the East-West Highway from Grik to Jeli in Kelan­tan.

Perak Fire and Rescue Department director Yahaya Madis said yesterday that the fires at the forest reserve in Royal Belum, Gunung Tujuh and along the highway had been put out.

However, fire-fighting efforts were ongoing at Bukit Puteri in Air Ganda.