Raising awareness on endangered species

KOTA KINABALU: The World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia (WWF) has worked tirelessly to raise public awareness on the endangered species in Sabah.

In the past two years, WWF had held programmes in Sabah. Among them was the Orang-utan Awareness Week at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in November, 2016.

“In October, 2016, WWF held an exhibition on poaching at the Borneo Eco Film Festival. This was a joint effort with the Marine Programme.

“Besides this, an exhibition on wildlife conservation was held at the (annual) Heart of Borneo Conference,” said the organisation.

In August last year, WWF held its inaugural Sabah Elephant Film Festival in conjunction with the World Elephant Day.

To shed light on illegal wildlife trade, WWF also released a YouTube video of the wildlife caught on the Sabah Terrestrial Conservation Project’s camera traps. This was released in conjunction with the World Wildlife Day on March 3 last year.


Source: 365 News

Sabah still strives to ensure Sumatran rhinos’ survival

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 7 — Efforts to ensure the survival of the Sumatran rhinoceros, especially in Sabah, have not ceased, says state tourism, culture and environment minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

He admitted that with the poor health of Iman, the only female rhino in captivity, efforts had become more difficult.

“Considering that she (Iman) is the only one left, to me, that is even more difficult (to save Sumatran rhinos from extinction).

“You know, when you only have one left, sometimes you have to think twice before engaging in a treatment that has not been proven yet,” he said when met by reporters after opening the Camaca Gelato Concept Cafe here today.

Masidi said there had been a lot of suggestions and theories on how to treat Iman, but so far, none were successful.

Nevertheless, he was pleased the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), through its cooperation with various bodies continued to work hard to ensure the survival of the rhino species.

“They (SWD) have probably found and been in touch with someone best in the treatment of rhinos,” he noted.

Iman has been battling uterine leiomyoma tumour when she began bleeding in her uterus on Dec 14 last year.

She is the only female rhino in captivity in the country after the death of Puntung in June last year due to cancer. — Bernama

Source: Malay Mail

Female Sumatran rhinoceros diagnosed with tumour in uterus

KOTA KINABALU: The country’s last female Sumatran rhinoceros is facing a serious health problem.

Sabah Wildlife department director Augustine Tuuga said the rhino, named Iman, is having tumour in her uterus.

“Usually, this can be treated with medication and supplements.

“But Iman is refusing to leave her mud wallow and she has hardly eaten, so the usual treatment has not been possible,” he said in a statement, adding that she charges at anyone who goes near.

Augustine said the bleeding from her uterus started three days ago.

“It is believed that one of the larger tumours might have ruptured and is causing pain and bleeding.

“Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA) veterinarians are constantly monitoring Iman along with the keepers. We are hoping for the best and will keep the public informed,” he said.

Iman was the last wild rhino found in Malaysia. She was captured in Danum Valley and transported to Tabin Wildlife in Lahad Datu in March 2014.

Despite being diagnosed with severe fibroids in the uterus, she still produced eggs for the in-vitro fertilisation attempts.

Iman and another male rhino Kertam are kept at Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu under the care of BORA.

Augustine said Tabin has received nearly six meters of rainfall this year making Iman’s paddock a quagmire and making things even more difficult.

The country lost another female rhino, Puntung, about six months ago.

Puntung was euthanised on June 4 after suffering three months from skin cancer.


Source: New Straits Times

Beautiful Sabah 3.0 contest attracts int’l participants

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism Board’s Beautiful Sabah 3.0 online photography and video contest, ended on October 8 and attracted participation from eleven countries through social media.

The countries were Australia, China, France, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Philippines, UK and Malaysia.

This is the third edition of the contest and has the most submissions from overseas.

A total of 800 photographs and 15 videos were submitted during the two-month online contest.

“The participation from most (of the) international countries is through the power of social media. Through social media, every post shared can lead to a site visit and eventually a conversion,” said Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, chairman of Sabah Tourism Board at the prize presentation ceremony, yesterday.

Winners of the competition were presented with their prizes yesterday at Sabah Tourism Board by Joniston, who urged the participants to use their talents and skills to keep promoting Sabah through their lenses and video making skills.

Also present at the event were general manager of Sabah Tourism Board Gordon Yapp, deputy general manager (support services) Noredah Othman and communications manager Hana S. Harun

The top five winners of the photography competition were Tsen Lip Kai, Rustam Razali, Clement Liew, Tirado Jupirin and Mohd Erwin Mohd Ussdek, and the top five winners of the video competition were Sharif Putra Sharif Ubong, Leon Kuan, Danny Daniel Nguai, Sharif Putra Sharif Ubong and Ivan Ong Jian Hau.

The Beautiful Sabah 3.0 sponsorship, worth about RM15,000 were from the private sector, namely the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort,  Sutera Harbour Resort, Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu, Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, Grandis Hotel and Resorts, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan, Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai, Techfix, Canon Marketing (Malaysia), Syarikat Percetakan Suria, Toppoint Company Sdn Bhd, Ebiz Design & Communications, and Videographics Productions Sdn Bhd.


Source: Borneo Post

Elusive clouded leopard tagged in Kinabatangan

KINABATANGAN: A wild Sunda clouded leopard was trapped and fitted with a satellite collar last week.

“On the morning of October 28, this new male leopard entered one of our purpose-built traps along the Kinabatangan River.

“It was a very healthy male, weighing 24.75 kg. And, we named him Cakar for “storm,” said Meg Evans, a PhD student at Cardiff University and Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) carnivore expert.

Evans said in a statement here yesterday Cakar was the fourth male collared in the vicinity of DGFC. The last clouded leopard (a female) was collared in August 2014.

“We are planning to collar more individuals along the Kinabatangan,” added Evans. This effort is part of a collaborative project between the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), WildCRU (Oxford University) and DGFC.

The project, focusing on research and conservation of the Sunda clouded leopard in Sabah, is mainly funded by Sime Darby Foundation, with additional funding and support from Atlanta Zoo, Houston Zoo, Recanati-kaplan Foundation, Robertson Foundation, Point Defiance Zoo, Rufford Foundation and The Clouded Leopard Project.

Meanwhile DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens said the collaring of this new male was part of an intensive satellite tracking programme to study the spatial ecology and habitat associations of the Sunda clouded leopard in the fragmented landscape of the Lower Kinabatangan.

The area is dominated by palm oil plantations and highly degraded forest.

Dr Goossens who is also Reader at Cardiff University added that the data produced by the first four individuals collared between September 2013 and September 2014 had provided considerable insights into the landscape ecology of this elusive top carnivore.

“Our results are currently being assessed for publication,”he said.

Dr Goossens also said that last June, SWD and DGFC organised an international workshop on the Sunda clouded leopard conservation, and that a Clouded Leopard Action Plan was currently being drafted.

According to him, the information provided by Cakar wold be extremely important for the management of the population in a fragile landscape such as the Kinabatangan floodplain. “The species is currently facing threats from hunting, pet trade and habitat loss,” he said.

Source : New Sabah Times