2,444 wildlife snuffed out by motorists in 5 years

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Wan Junaidi says various initiatives have been taken to reduce the number of wildlife killed. (Facebook pic)

PUTRAJAYA: A total of 2,444 cases of road accidents involving 36 species of wildlife was recorded between 2012 and 2017.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said various initiatives had been taken by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) to reduce the number of wildlife killed.

They included putting up 280 wildlife crossing signboards, 24 units of amber lights, and 37 sets of transverse bars at selected locations nationwide.

Tunnels, viaducts and wildlife crossings had also been built at wildlife accident hotspots and government project sites that disconnected the Central Forest Spine.

“The extinction of wildlife can occur drastically if wildlife roadkill continues,” he said in his message in conjunction with the World Wildlife Day 2018 celebrated last Saturday.

Wan Junaidi said the celebration, themed “Big Cats: Predators Under Threat”, focused on the extinction threat to big cat species, such as the lion, tiger, cheetah, clouded leopard, puma, jaguar and leopard.

It is estimated that the current tiger population in the peninsula stands between 250 and 340 at the main wildlife habitats, like the National Park or the wildlife reserves, he said.