Renewable Energy Sources can be made Wildlife Friendly

Renewable Energy Sources can be made Wildlife Friendly

The planet’s climate is in trouble, owing to our reckless burning of fossil fuels, and our only hope for improvement lies in transitioning to cleaner and greener energy sources. So far so good. The trouble is, however, that not even renewable energy comes without some environmental and aesthetic costs. To…

The Online Sale of ‘Exotic’ Animals Carries On. It must be Stopped

The Online Sale of ‘Exotic’ Animals Carries On. It must be Stopped

Many Malaysians frequent Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media outlets to keep in touch with friends and relatives. Others, though, do so with a nefarious purpose: to buy and sell protected animals. Many of these animals are illegally traded “exotic” pets, which range from rare turtles to critically endangered hornbills,…

Snow Leopards are on the Rebound

Snow Leopards are on the Rebound

Snow leopards are elusive creatures facing a host of challenges. They continue to be poached regularly and they also have fewer prey animals. It doesn’t help either that many of them live in armed conflict-prone areas in countries like Afghanistan where they are at increased risk of being killed. Yet…

Development can Worsen the effects of Flash Floods in Penang

Development can Worsen the effects of Flash Floods in Penang

In a tropical country like Malaysia where vast amounts of water can pour down from the sky in a few short minutes, flash floods are nothing unusual. Yet the severity of deluges can be influenced by manmade causes. These include mudslides and landslides on hillsides denuded of trees that would…

Are Javan Tigers still Around?

Are Javan Tigers still Around?

The photo, taken with a smartphone, is rather blurry and shows a wild tiger walking at a leisurely pace across a field beside three peacocks and a pair of banteng. There would be nothing unusual in such a sight in areas where tigers still roam, but there is this intriguing…

Corals in the Pacific are in Trouble

Corals in the Pacific are in Trouble

As global warming continues to take its toll, corals in the Pacific Ocean are dying off en masse. Reefs in several areas have experienced alarming mass bleaching episodes, leaving large swathes of coral dead or near-dead. Corals are tiny creatures that live in colonies and require algae to provide them…

Illegal Loggers must be ‘Deterred’

Illegal Loggers must be ‘Deterred’

Despite the efforts of the authorities to clamp down on the practice, illegal logging is going on unabated in Malaysia’s forests. Few loggers end up facing serious consequences for breaking the law. For one thing, few of them are even caught. For another, even those that are caught may escape…

You can, and should, be a Trash Hero

You can, and should, be a Trash Hero

Ah, to be a hero. Don’t we all want to be one? But how? By donning a spandex costume with a cape to fly around skyscrapers while battling villains? That is sheer comic book fantasy. So should it be by scaling an impossibly tall mountain someplace? That’s not everyone’s cup…

Some Rivers in Sarawak are ‘Dead’

Some Rivers in Sarawak are ‘Dead’

Several rivers in Sarawak are as good as dead. They’ve become so polluted that they are no longer able to support well-functioning ecosystems. In effect, they have become little more than open sewers where only bacteria and a few hardy species of plants and animals can thrive. Several other species…

UN: Asian Nations need to stop Burning through their Resources

UN: Asian Nations need to stop Burning through their Resources

Nations in the Asia and Pacific are among the least resource-efficient in the world. In 2015, the region’s countries ended up using one-third more materials to produce each unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than they did in 1990, according to the United Nations. Meanwhile, developing countries use five times…

Malaysian Palm Oil Company agrees to Rehabilitate 1,000 hectares of Peatland

Malaysian Palm Oil Company agrees to Rehabilitate 1,000 hectares of Peatland

If palm oil companies are known for something, it’s deforestation, not reforestation. Yet the Malaysian palm oil company Felda Global Ventures (FGV) is about to rehabilitate 1,000 hectares of peat forest in West Kalimantan, in Indonesia’s section of Borneo. The reason: pressure from consumers and environmentalists. “Corporate ‘no deforestation’ policies…

Kudos to Jackie Chan for being Ready to Rumble for Pangolins

Kudos to Jackie Chan for being Ready to Rumble for Pangolins

Critically endangered pangolins now have a new champion in China and Vietnam, the two countries where “the world’s most trafficked mammals” are sought most for their scales and meat. That champion is movie superstar and martial arts master Jackie Chan. In a short video entitled “Kung Fu Pangolin” and recorded…

Tapirs end up as Roadkill … Again

Tapirs end up as Roadkill … Again

The road carnage must stop. Shortly after an adult elephant died after being hit by a tour bus on the East-West Highway in Perak, two Malayan tapirs suffered a similar fate when a passing car barreled into the animals at high speed on a carriageway in Pahang. The two Malayan…

Plastic Bags are Banned (sort of) in KL

Plastic Bags are Banned (sort of) in KL

It’s on at last. A ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags in the Federal Territories, that is. As of September 1, commercially available cheap plastic bags and food containers will cost significantly more for retailers in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan. The ban seeks to wean retail outlets off handing out…

Pygmy Elephants face an Uncertain Future

Pygmy Elephants face an Uncertain Future

Every now and then reports of orphaned Bornean pygmy elephants being rescued by the Sabah Wildlife Department surface. These baby elephants have become lost while their mothers are nowhere to be seen. In the past seven years 22 baby elephants have been rescued this way. Many of them cannot survive,…