Best of our wild blogs: 9 Mar 18

Chek Jawa - Easy Family Adventure!
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

FOLLOW US! - Instagram Sea Slugs of SG
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

Read more!

Singapore authorities seize 1,800 ivory pieces worth S$3.3 million

Today Online 8 Mar 18;

SINGAPORE — A shipment brought into Singapore from Nigeria was declared to have contained groundnuts. But upon closer inspection, the authorities instead found 61 bags containing close to 1,800 ivory pieces worth about US$2.5 million (S$3.3 million).

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Thursday (March 8) that the ivory pieces — which weigh about 3,500kg — were discovered after the shipment was detained at the Pasir Panjang Scanning Station for further checks by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority on Monday.

It had originated from Apapa in Nigeria, and was to be re-exported to Vietnam.

“AVA seized the ivory and the importer is currently assisting with our investigations,” said the AVA in a statement. “The illegal shipment was detected as a result of inter-agency risk assessment and collaboration”.

Since elephants are labelled as protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), AVA said that it is an offence in Singapore to illegally import or export, possess, sell, offer and advertise for sale or display to the public any illegal wildlife species protected under Cites.

Those convicted of such an offence face a fine of up to S$500,000 and/or two years imprisonment, and forfeiture of the animals or items.

The same penalties apply to transit or transshipment of illegal wildlife species, including their parts and derivatives, said AVA.

Stressing that the Government takes a “zero-tolerance stance on the use of Singapore as a conduit to smuggle endangered species and their parts”, the AVA said that it will take stern enforcement action against illegal wildlife smugglers.

This is not the first time that shipments containing ivory pieces have entered Singapore. Between 2014 and 2015, the authorities seized a total of 7.9 tonnes of illegal elephant ivory shipments worth about S$13 million.

The ivory pieces were destroyed in June 2016, when they were pulverised by an industrial rock crusher and compact roller. They were then incinerated at an eco-waste incineration plant and the ashes were used as landfill at Pulau Semakau.

Singapore has been labelled as a country of “primary concern” by wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic in its 2016 report for its role as a transit point for ivory trafficking. The report had stated that illegal ivory consignments that went through the country grew far more prominent between 2012 and 2014.

Singapore has rejected the ignominious title, and raised doubts over how the conclusion was made.

S$2.5 million worth of elephant ivory seized in Pasir Panjang
Channel NewsAsia 8 Mar 18;

SINGAPORE: About S$2.5 million worth of elephant ivory was seized at the Pasir Panjang Scanning Station on Monday (Mar 5), Singapore authorities said on Thursday.

The shipment from Apapa, Nigeria, was declared to have contained groundnuts, but an inspection by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) uncovered 61 bags with a total of 1,787 pieces of ivory, weighing about 3,500kg.

The ivory, which was to be re-exported to Vietnam, was seized and the importer is assisting with investigations, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and AVA said in a news release.

It is against the law in Singapore to import or export any illegal wildlife species, including their parts and derivatives under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Elephants are protected under CITES and international trade in elephant ivory is prohibited.

The same penalties apply to transits and transhipments, ICA and AVA said.

Offenders face a fine of up to S$500,000 and two years' imprisonment, and the forfeiture of the items or animals.

Source: CNA/aa

Read more!

Malaysia: 69 complaints on wild boar activity in Sungai Buloh between 2012 and 2017

Awaina Arbee New Straits Times 8 Mar 18;

KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has received 69 complaints on wild boar activity in Sungai Buloh from 2012 to 2017.

Responding to the latest wild boar incident in Kampung Sg Plong, Sungai Buloh, Perhilitan said in a statement that five operations were held from January to February this year to eradicate wild boars.

"In the operations, eight were shot dead by Perhilitan. A total of 451 complaints involving wild boars were received from 2012 to 2017 of which, 69 were from Sungai Buloh.

"Based on the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716), a threatening animal posing danger to humans can be killed and then, reported to Perhilitan.

"With that, we thank the villagers there for shooting the wild boar to avoid any untoward incident," he said.

Perhilitan said it will continue to conduct operations in the area as a precautionary measure.

In the 8pm incident on March 6, a man, who was getting ready to perform Isyak prayers was injured when a wild boar attacked him inside a mosque in Kampung Sg Plong.

"Any complaint regarding human-wildlife crisis can be lodged with Perhilitan Hotline at 1800-88-5151 or by e-aduan at

Perhilitan to take measures to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts
The Star 8 Mar 18;

PETALING JAYA: The Department of Wildlife and National Parks Selangor (Perhilitan Selangor) will take precautionary measures to mitigate the number of human-wildlife conflicts in Sungai Buloh, said its director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim.

This came after a wild boar attack at a mosque there.

"Following this incident, Perhilitan Selangor went to the scene to conduct an investigation and to take follow-up action on the human-wildlife conflicts in the area," he said in a statement on Thursday (March 8).

Abdul Kadir said that the Sungai Buloh area is a hotspot for human-wildlife conflicts involving wild boars.

Of that figure, 69 of the complaints had occurred in Sungai Buloh.

Abdul Kadir said Perhilitan Selangor had carried out five operations to eradicate wild boars in the area in January and February this year.

"During the operations, eight wild boars were shot and disposed of by Perhilitan," said Abdul Kadir.

A lost wild boar entered a mosque at Kampung Sungai Plong on Tuesday (March 6) at around 8pm as worshippers were performing additional prayers (solat sunat) after Maghrib prayers, and a mosque-goer was injured by the wild boar amid the ruckus.

The wild boar was later shot dead by villagers.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, wildlife that is a danger to human life can be killed and reported to Perhilitan.

"In this regard, Perhilitan thanks the villagers for taking quick action to shoot the wild boar that posed as a danger to human life," said Abdul Kadir.

Any complaints regarding human-wildlife conflicts can be reported to the Perhilitan Hotline 1-800-88-5151 (Monday-Sunday, 8am to 6pm), or lodge an e-complaint through the website

Read more!

Malaysia: Sun bears Damai and Debbie released back to the wild

muguntan vanar The Star 8 Mar 18;

KOTA KINABALU: Two rescued Malayan sun bears were released back into the wild at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve near Lahad Datu.

The two adult females, named Damai and Debbie, adapted quickly to their new surroundings, said Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) founder and chief executive director Dr Wong Siew Te on Thursday (March 8).

They were once kept as pets by private owners. Damai and Debbie were rehabilitated to life in the forest at BSBCC where they learned important skills like climbing, digging and finding food over the past few years.

"They have learnt so well that they were chosen out of the 44 bears at the centre, as the first releases in 2018," Dr Wong said.

He added that both bears were fitted with GPS satellite collars to help BSBCC monitor their movements.

After a final medical check on Tuesday (March 6), the two bears were transported from BSBCC in Sepilok at about 3am the next day in four vehicles.

They were then taken to a helipad at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve headquarters some 150km away.

A helicopter airlifted the bears to be transported to the chosen release site in the middle of the reserve.

The project was a joint effort between the Sabah Wildlife Department and the Sabah Forestry Department.

"Damai and Debbie may face many challenges to survive but this is the best life we can offer them in the hope they can propagate and maintain a healthy sun bear population in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve," Dr Wong said.

"I am sad to say goodbye, because we have raised them, but they are now where they belong and that makes the team very happy," he added.

Sun bears, which continue to face threat from poachers, is a totally protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.

BSBCC hopes to release two more bears later this year in Sabah.

BSBCC raises money from tourism to care for the bears at Sepilok, but the additional costs of release are very high.

A fundraising campaign opens today. To help sun bears to freedom go to

Two protected Malayan sun bears released into their natural habitat
AVILA GERALDINE New Straits Times 8 Mar 18;

SANDAKAN: Two Malayan sun bears have been released into the wild after undergoing about six years of rehabilitation at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) near Sepilok here.

The adult female sun bears nicknamed Debbie and Damai were released into the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu, yesterday.

The protected species were among 44 sun bears currently cared for by BSBCC.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre founder Dr Wong Siew Te (front right) with his team moving the translocation cage into the forest to release two sun bears.
They were placed at the BSBCC in January and November in 2012 respectively, shortly after being rescued.

Debbie was purchased by a man from Tuaran and was surrendered to the Sabah Wildlife Department while Damai was found wandering in a car park near Kota Kinabalu.

Penang-born wildlife biologist Dr Wong Siew Te, who is also founder of BSBCC, said the bears were fitted with Global Positioning System satellite collars, enabling the centre to monitor their movements on a regular basis.

“On March 6, a final medical check-up was conducted by Dr Nabila Sarkawi. Then the following day at 3am, we left Sepilok in four vehicles and drove to the helipad at Tabin Wildlife Reserve Headquarters.

“The cages (with the bears inside) were transported by cargo net hanging below a helicopter. They travelled high above the treetops to the identified release site at the mud volcano in the middle of the reserve,” he said.

At the release site, the bear cages were moved under the forest canopy where they were opened, giving the two bears their much-awaited freedom, Wong added.

The release was a joint effort between the BSBCC, Sabah Wildlife Department, and Sabah Forestry Department.

“We were very lucky the weather was very favourable and the sun bears were delivered to the release site by helicopter with ease.

“Damai and Debbie may face many challenges to survive but this is the best life we can offer them in the hope that they can propagate and maintain a healthy sun bear population in Tabin Wildlife Reserve,” said Wong.

The sun bear is a totally protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. Offenders are liable to a fine of not less than RM50,000 but not exceeding RM250,000 and a jail term of not less than one year but not exceeding five years or to both for the possession of a sun bear or any of its parts.

Since 2008, BSBCC has cared for 56 sun bears, nine of which died from various causes, while two others were released into the wild after rehabilitation.

Another wild adult sun bear escaped after 16 hours at BSBCC.

Wong said the centre is expected to release another two sun bears this year, adding that BSBCC raised money from tourism to care for the bears.

Read more!

Indonesia: Government committed to reducing plastic waste

Antara 8 Mar 18;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government has committed to reducing plastic waste in its maritime areas, Expert Staff for Marine Ecology and Marine Resources of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries minister, Aryo Hanggono stated.

"The government will reduce plastic waste up to 70 percent by 2025," he remarked here on Thursday.

Currently, he noted that a draft of the presidential regulation on the management of plastic waste at sea was being formulated to ensure coordination between the central and local governments.

He noted that banana peels took two weeks to decompose, while plastic bags took 10-20 years to decompose, and plastic bottles took hundreds of years to decompose.

In addition, he remarked that several studies also indicated that if no significant changes are brought about, the ratio of plastic to fish in the oceans is expected to reach three is to one by 2025, and the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of Kehati Foundation M. S. Sembiring pointed out that Indonesia has the largest biodiversity in the world.

Earlier, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti stated that the volume of marine biomass in the nation`s maritime areas had risen significantly after the implementation of the government`s policy to ban the entry of foreign ships into Indonesian waters.

"The volume of biomass in the sea has risen up to 300 percent. The production of capture fisheries has increased, as foreign ships have been barred from entering Indonesian waters," she remarked here on Wednesday (Feb 28).

According to Pudjiastuti, following a moratorium on the issuance of licenses to former foreign fishing vessels, more than seven thousand ships have left the Indonesian state waters.

The minister expressed belief that the issuance of licenses to foreign vessels to buy fishing concessions in the territorial waters of Indonesia was a wrong decision.

Pudjiastuti noted that the eradication of illegal fishing practices held significance, as a form of law enforcement and state sovereignty, since it benefits the country economically.

Reported by Muhammad Razi Rahman
Editor: Heru Purwanto

Read more!