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Illegal logging threatening Lower Kinabatangan wildlife

November 10, 2015

Within the last six months, wildlife wardens have reported several acts of illegal logging and poaching.

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KINABATANGAN: Illegal logging and forest conversion are threatening the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS).

According to its director Dr Benoit Goossens, animals were still being poached 10 years after LKWS was gazetted as a totally protected area.

Even the forest where the animals lived was destroyed, he said.

“Within the last six months, the wildlife wardens patrolling in lower Kinabatangan have reported several acts of illegal logging and poaching.

“Some of these signs were recorded within Lots 5 and 6 of the LKWS, nearby Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC),” he said in a statement here today.

Goossens said there was evidence of illegal logging in the form of tree stumps and photographs of hunters caught in a poaching activity.

Meanwhile, NGO HUTAN’s scientific director Dr Marc Ancrenaz said several species have disappeared from Kinabatangan such as the rhinoceros and tembadau (wild cattle).

He said other species such as the orang utan, proboscis monkey and clouded leopard although still found in the floodplain were also declining in number.

“They could be gone in the near future. In this case, Kinabatangan would lose its interest as a tourism destination.

“The major reasons for this decline are linked to forest conversion for agriculture, illegal logging and poaching,” he said.

He also commended the government and relevant organisations in supporting forest restoration but said the efforts were useless if illegal logging remained rampant and if forests continue to be converted for “agricultural purposes.”

— BERNAMA


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