Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Popular butterfly habitat destroyed

This is a very sad story. The salt lick of the Rajah Brooke has been known for years. I had the opportunities to see them in many of my visits. The pipeline itself was also an interesting life support for many fauna beside the heritage values. The pipeline had small leaks with spraying water. And these spraying water actually sustain interesting insect and amphibian populations. On our night walks along the pipeline, we saw countless exotic insects and frogs, not easily seen anywhere else. Such were the charm of Gopeng, beside the Rafflesia and Rajah Brooke. Now, minus the pipeline, gone are the exotic insects and Rajah Brooke included. The lifelihood of the orang asli will be affected. Such continuing greed can only destroy our natural & cultural heritage forever. Who cares! Barisan Najis hoi!

Wednesday January 6, 2010
The Star

IPOH: Workers who removed the historical Gopeng pipeline for scrap metal have destroyed the largest site for Rajah Brooke butterflies in Ulu Geroh, a major tourist attraction.

All that remains of the salt lick, where the butterflies used to congregate in the thousands to sip water rich in minerals, is now just muddy ground.

Friends of Ecotourism and Na-ture Conservation (Semai) chairman Ahha Bah Udal claimed that workers removing the pipeline on Dec 24 “literally bulldozed” their way through the salt lick next to the Ulu Geroh access road.

“The ground is flattened and there is mud everywhere.

“Until now, the workers have not bothered to take away the pipes, which they left by the side of the road,” said Ahha.

Semai, a collective effort by the orang asli village to promote ecotourism and their lifestyle, has 19 villagers acting as guides to take about 1,500 to 2,000 tourists annually into the jungles to view the Rajah Brooke butterflies and Rafflesia flower as well as to trek up Cameron Highlands.

Ahha said due to the destruction of the site, which had been gazetted by the state Wildlife and National Parks Department as a protected area, it was no longer possible to see the butterflies.

“The butterflies have flown away. They can’t be seen on the ground anymore,” he said.

Ahha said the villagers were now considering legal action against the contractor responsible.

“Although the contractor has permission to remove the pipeline, they should have informed that they were going to carry out the removal works and we could have advised them on which areas to avoid.

“Now, everything is destroyed and it is impossible to create another site. You cannot recreate nature,” Ahha said.

The century-old Gopeng pipeline, which was once used to transport water from the hills to tin mines below, is being removed and sold as scrap metal.

It was left behind after mining operations in Gopeng ceased in 1985.


Liz said...

Wasn't an impact assessment completed on the flora and fauna of the area, and if not, why?

Admin said...

Malaysia Boleh! EIA or no EIA - Malaysia always BOLEH! $$$$ $peak Ok.