Sarawak working on system to track crocs in real time

KUCHING: The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) is working with Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd to develop a system to track crocodiles in real time, the state assembly was told.

Deputy state Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh said this database application would allow continuous monitoring of the crocodile population and identify hotspots for human conflict with the reptiles.

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"However, we must acknowledge that we have to share our habitat with crocodiles.

"As such, we need to take suitable steps to reduce the risk of attacks," he told Mohd Chee Kadir (GPS-Kabong) during question time on Wednesday (May 17).

Mohd Chee had asked if the state government planned to use the latest technology to monitor the state's crocodile population.

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Len Talif also said drones and global positioning system data were used to observe and record the distribution of crocodiles and their nests.

On reports of crocodiles being found in drains in residential and commercial areas, he said each report was investigated to identify how the crocodiles made their way there.

"The reported locations and nearby rivers will be monitored periodically and warning signs put up.

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"Residents in the affected areas will be kept informed, including about the factors leading to the animals' presence, to prevent attacks," he added.

Len Talif also said the state government was formulating a comprehensive crocodile management plan which would continue conservation efforts while ensuring public safety.

He said SFC had carried out 107 operations since 2020, capturing 95 crocodiles and relocating 482 eggs.

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"From 2020 to last year, 77 crocodile hunting licences were issued, resulting in a harvest of 133 animals.

"As a long-term measure, SFC will step up collaboration with experts from Australia, South Africa and the United States to strengthen the integrated crocodile management plan," he added.

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