Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No hunting of sambar and barking deer for two years

Dept: No hunting of sambar and barking deer for two years
July 22, 2009

PETALING JAYA: The hunting of sambar and barking deer will be stopped for two years, in a move to safeguard their numbers and ultimately, that of the Malayan tiger.

Wildlife and National Parks Department enforcement director Saharudin Anan said the two-year moratorium on hunting will start this November, when the annual one-month open season for both game species usually kicks off.

He said no hunting licences will be issued for deer this year and next, to allow the declining deer population to rebound and provide a food source for wild tigers.

Wildlife scientists have said that tiger densities depended very much on the abundance of large preys such as the sambar and barking deer, but they have been overhunted in recent years.

Sambar deer numbers have plunged drastically, prompting the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to list the species as endangered last year.

The Perhilitan 2007 annual report revealed that 221 sambar deer and 315 barking deer were captured by licensed sports hunters that year, the bulk of them in Pahang.

The department issued 574 hunting licences for both species that year, which brought in a revenue of RM81,500.

The licence costs RM200 for the sambar deer and RM100 for the barking deer, and permits the capture of one animal.

In Kuala Lumpur, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said the ministry has sought military assistance to help curb illegal wildlife trade in the country.

“The border is so long and the areas are so wide. And many people realise that our jungles are rich in resources and all kinds of flora and fauna.

“But all hope is not lost. We are working with the military to come out with more effective enforcement,” he said when launching the forum, Mainstreaming Biodiversity with a Focus on the National Tiger Action Plan yesterday.

“We have a masterplan and our commitment is to achieve that plan,” Uggah said.

He added that a task force, consisting of enforcement agencies, would also be formed to look into matters pertaining to wildlife poaching and smuggling.

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