Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Lower Kinabatangan Needs a Wildlife Corridor

AS WE ROUNDED UP a corner of the Lower Kinabatangan River, we spotted them. A herd of Borneo pygmy elephants were quietly grazing, barely 7m from our boat, the bull guarding the group, that includede three calves, a short distance away.

We were at Danau Girang, a 10km boat ride from Kg Batu Putih, near the Mile 32 Lahad Datu-Sandakan junction, mixed feelings of excitement and sadness welling within us. For we knew that these majestic pachyderms face an uncertain future if nothing is done soon to curb the encroachment of palm oil plantations all the way to the river bank, thus hindering their movement.

We were a group of journalists and environmentalists on a wildlife expedition to the Lower Kinabatangan through the Nature Conservation Programme under the auspices of the School of Biology and Tropical Studies, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. The 31-member team was headed by Datuk Rajah Indran, the programme’s adviser.

The 560km-long Kinabatangan River is home to such endangered species as the Borneo pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, orangutans, hornbills, clouded leopards, sun bears and Sumatran rhinoceros.

Continue reading (incl. pic) at: The Lower Kinabatangan Needs a Wildlife Corridor

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