PETALING JAYA: The endangered Malayan flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus) and island flying fox (Pteropus hypomelanus) will soon be listed as “totally protected species” under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
The Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) is in the midst of amending Act 716 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and plans to upgrade its classification from “protected species” to “totally protected species”.
“The flying fox is currently listed under the First Schedule (protected species) of the Wildlife Conservation Act, but Perhilitan is proposing to upgrade the protection status of the flying fox to the Second Schedule (totally protected species),” director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim told The Star.
Once they are listed as a “totally protected species”, the hunting of flying foxes will be prohibited.
It is currently legal to hunt flying foxes with a hunting permit issued by Perhilitan.
According to Abdul Kadir, only Johor and Terengganu have banned the hunting of flying foxes.
“Since 2015, Perhilitan has stopped issuing hunting permits for flying foxes in various states based on the understanding of the breeding habits of the species and the dramatic population decline,” he said.
This, he added, was to allow a sufficient recovery period for the local bat population.
Abdul Kadir said Perhilitan has no plans to put a blanket ban on the hunting of flying foxes, but will not issue any permits until the law is amended.
The changes are expected to take effect next year.
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