Thursday, August 27, 2009

Poaching at Belum-Temengor....AGAIN!

August 27, 2009
Groups concerned over poaching at Belum-Temengor forest

PETALING JAYA: Wildlife conservation organisations are concerned over the number of poaching cases at the Belum-Temengor forest in Perak.

Worldwide Fund for Nature Malaysia (WWF) and Traffic, which monitors the trading of protected species, believe that the porous border between the forest and Thailand is a reason for the activity.

The WWF’s Wildlife Protection Unit head Ahmad Zafir said the area was easily accessible via the 80km long Gerik-Jeli highway that cuts across the area.

There were five cases this year, involving Thai and Cambodian nationals who set traps in the area and smuggle protected animals out of the country, he added.

He said the latest case involved a 55-year-old man from Chiang Rai, Thailand. He was caught with scales of a pangolin and six sacks of agarwood, or gaharu, by Malaysian police two weeks ago.

“Intelligence-led investigations are needed to remove the masterminds and backers behind the scourge,” Traffic’s Chris R. Shepherd said.

WWF CEO Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said the Government should form a task force, comprising the army, Immigration, Customs and Perak state parks corporation, and the forestry department to stamp out poaching and cross-border encroachment.

Meanwhile, Perhilitan seized a pair of Malayan honey bear limbs during a raid at a business premises in Kemaman early in the month.

Perhilitan legal and enforcement director Saharudin Anan said: “Investigations revealed that the bear was caught at a nearby jungle and its limbs were to be used in the preparation of soup”.

In another operation on Aug 18, Perhilitan raided another business premises in Seri Kembangan and seized six night herons, three painted storks, two lesser thick-billed green pigeons, two pythons and two water monitors.

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