Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stolen riches

Photo By: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomsaint/

Poachers are plundering the forests of Belum and Temengor

WILDLIFE at the 3,000sqkm Belum-Temengor Forest Complex in the upper reaches of Perak is fast vanishing due to rampant poaching. Even the gazetted 1,175sqkm Royal Belum State Park within the complex has not been spared, despite it being a protected forest.

The poaching problem has been highlighted over the past year by nature groups but in October, received “royal” attention during a conference to develop an Integrated Master Plan for Belum-Temengor in Ipoh.

The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, when opening the conference, noted the problem of poaching in the area and attributed it to inadequate laws and ineffective enforcement.

Rangers of the WWF Wildlife Protection Unit (WPU) and the Wildlife and National Parks Department who patrol the jungle along the Grik-Jeli highway, have nabbed 10 poachers and removed 102 snares since January, according to WWF senior programme officer Ahmad Zafir Abdul Wahab.

He said the WPU, comprising orang asli youths, also discovered 37 access points into the forest on both sides of the highway.

“A camp used by poachers, seladang bones, pangolin scales, bags of gaharu, an elephant carcass and a snared wild boar left to die by poachers were found 20m to 100m away from the highway. The unit also helped rescue a tiger caught in a snare,” he told reporters during a media visit to the forest in early November.

Ahmad Zafir said several bags of rice and weapons have also been recovered from the camps and from the


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