Malaysia: Tapirs to be reintroduced to Sabah

ruben sario The Star 4 Oct 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Plans are underway to reintroduce the tapir to Sabah, with three to four of the mammals to be translocated to the state from the peninsula as early as next year.

Malaysian Nature Society president Tan Sri Salleh Mohd Nor said there was evidence that the endangered creatures had once roamed the forests of Sabah but have since gone extinct.

“We think it’s possible to reintroduce the tapir, and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has agreed to send some of the animals to Sabah,” he said after a lecture on forestry and climate change at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here on Wednesday.

He said Sabah authorities had also agreed in principle to reintroducing the animals here.

“Now it’s a matter of getting the necessary funding for this initiative to get off the ground,” said Salleh, the former Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) director general.

Earlier in his lecture, he said Sabah was leading other states in the country in the conservation of its protected and pristine forests including the Danum Valley, Imbak Canyon and Maliau Basin.

“The state government’s policies are place to protect these important conservation areas. All these are to be lauded,” he added.

He said it was heartening to see the state engaging foreign expertise in the conservation efforts of these protected areas.

No formal agreement yet to reintroduce Malayan tapirs to Sabah
AVILA GERALDINE New Straits Times 5 Oct 17;

KOTA KINABALU: There has been no formal agreement by the Sabah government to bring Malayan tapirs to the state.

Sabah wildlife director Augustine Tuuga said although discussions on the matter had taken place, no official proposal has been made to the state cabinet.

His statement came about following news reports on plans to reintroduce tapirs to Sabah with the cooperation between the state Wildlife Department and related state agencies.

The report quoted Akademi Sains Malaysia’s (ASM) Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor, who presented a lecture on forestry and climate change at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah here, yesterday.

Augustine, meanwhile, said Datu Rosmadi Sulai, the Permanent Secretary to the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, had clarified that there has been no formal agreement by the state government on the matter.

“We are aware that there have been discussions and communication among Malaysian government officers, scientists and conservationists in Sabah and in Peninsular Malaysia on the matter but there is still no firm agreement among them on the proposal.

“In any case, the decision on such matters should be made by the Sabah cabinet. So far, we are not aware of any official proposal made to the cabinet for a decision,” said Augustine.

The Borneo Post had quoted Akademi Sains Malaysia’s (ASM) Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor as saying that the Sabah government had agreed with the effort proposed by the Pencinta Alam Association.

Salleh was quoted as saying that the Wildlife Department in Peninsular Malaysia planned to hand over three to four tapirs to Sabah. The reintroduction programme, he said, was expected to commence early next year.

According to Salleh, the proposal to reintroduce tapirs back to Sabah was presented to the state government two years ago. He said tapirs had existed in Sabah in the past but had become extinct.

Salleh, who was presenting a lecture on forestry and climate change at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah yesterday, however said a more in-depth discussion is needed before the programme is implemented.