Blessing for humans, but not for wildlife

GROUND AND AERIAL SURVEY AT CROKER RANGE PARKKOTA KINABALU: The opening of new routes in the interior of Sabah has made life easier for poachers.

Three major routes, the Sapulut-Kalabakan gravel link and the Kimanis-Keningau and Sipitang-Tenom roads, have exposed hunting grounds that were hard to reach in the past.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun yesterday said the authorities and stakeholders needed to be more vigilant.

“Now that the routes have been upgraded or sealed, we have found evidence of hunters encroaching into areas they were not supposed to.

“The three main routes are located in prime forest reserves, national parks and conservation areas. With the opening of the new routes, hunters can now hike in from the roadside, or use boats, more quickly than before.”

Masidi said the best defence was stakeholders who are genuinely concerned about the conservation of the areas and the animals within it.

“This does not refer solely to enforcement departments, but also organisations like the Sabah Foundation, Sabah Parks, non-governmental organisations and the rural community. We need some self-imposed enforcement.”

Masidi said there had been reports of encroachment by hunters in places like Danum Valley, and people saying how easy it was to hunt wild boar and deer.

State Wildlife director Laurentius Ambu acknowledged the problem recently and said the authorities and NGOs needed to work together.

Datuk Masidi Manjun says authorities need to be more vigilant
Datuk Masidi Manjun says authorities need to be more vigilant

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