May 21, 2017

Taking stock on Endangered Species Day

Taking stock on Endangered Species Day

A helmeted hornbill soars in the sky over Borneo. Photo Credit: Pinterest

Malayan tigers. Malayan sun bears. Bornean orangutans. Bornean pygmy elephants. Sunda pangolins. Clouded leopards. Marbled cats. Helmeted hornbills. Hawksbill turtles.

The list goes on. The list of endangered animals in Malaysia, that is.

May 20 is Endangered Species Day, which has been held for a dozen years worldwide by conservationists and nature lovers to raise awareness of the plight of wild animals that have been pushed to the brink of extinction as a result of habitat loss, poaching, hunting and wildlife trafficking.

Each Endangered Species Days is a good opportunity to take stock of the past year’s successes and failures in Malaysia. There have been both aplenty.

Malaysia continues to remain a global hub for wildlife trafficking. Yet locals authorities have also made headway in their fight against traffickers by seizing several large shipments of ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales and other illicit fare smuggled into the country.

The situation of many endangered wildlife species in the country is grim what with their habitats getting lost to logging and fragmented by rampant development. Yet we could all breathe a collective sigh of relief when a planned bridge and road inside the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary was cancelled after long and vocal protests by conservationists.

Yet, as we have often said, conservation isn’t an event; it’s a process. If we keep up the good fight on behalf of endangered species across Malaysia, we can make a big difference for the better. The wild tigers, bears, elephants, pangolins, hornbills and turtles need all our help. Let’s make sure they are going to get it. They deserve no less.



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