Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Wildlife faces threat of poachingSTORY AND PICTURE BY IBRAHIM MOHTAR
KLUANG: The number of wild animals and exotic fish in the Endau-Rompin National Park is decreasing following a rise in poaching activities by hunters and anglers.
Johor National Park Corporation director Mohd Basir Mohd Sali said enforcement personnel had spotted several nets, wire snares and empty shotgun shells in the park recently.
Animals such as tigers, rhinoceroses, bears and several types of monkeys, which had frequently been seen in the park, are hardly spotted now.
We fear the numbers of these animals could be dropping due to poachers.
SIGNS OF POACHING:Johor National Park interpretation officerFrancis Cheong Fook Meng showing some wire snares (left)andempty shotgun shells found by enforcement personnel.
Hunters are warned to stop encroaching into the park. Those found entering the park without permission will be booked and charged in court, he told reporters during a media trip to the Endau-Rompin National Park on Saturday.
Basir said trespassers would be charged under the Corporations Enactment 1989, which carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or a jail sentence of up to six months, or both, upon conviction.
He said besides poaching, there were also signs of illegal fishing, especially for kelisa or Malaysian arowana and kelah.
Enforcement units have found netting left by such irresponsible people along Sungai Jamai, which is a two-day boat ride from Kampung Peta, an orang asli settlement about 56km from Kahang town.
He said the river, one of the most pristine waterways in the state, was rich with arowana, kelah, sebarau, lapam jawa and also freshwater puffer fish.
The puffer fish could not be seen anywhere in the river now. They could all have been killed off, he added.