Wednesday, February 09, 2011

'Extinct' Otter Civet found in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

SANDAKAN: The Otter Civet, previously thought extinct, has been found in Sabah after a gap of more than 100 years.

The endangered Otter Civet Cynogalebennettii was photographed in the Deramakot Forest Reserve here with a remote camera trap set up by a biodiversity monitoring team of the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) and a German wildlife research institute.

The research collaboration between the SFD and the internationally-renowned Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) also led to the finding of a Sunda Clouded Leopard in the same area last year.

Encouraged by the success, SFD and IZW have agreed to expand the joint research and biodiversity monitoring effort to Forest Management Units (FMUs) throughout the state.

A memorandum of understanding was signed here yesterday by SFD director Datuk Sam Mannan and IZW director Prof Dr Heribert Hofer.

"We know that there are orang utan or elephants living in our forests but our knowledge about other highly threatened wildlife species such as the endangered Otter Civet was very limited," Mannan said.

He said considering more than half of Sabah was covered by forests, wildlife conservation beyond borders of parks or other fully protected areas was paramount for effective and comprehensive conservation of the state's rich biodiversity.

As most forests are commercially used for the production of timber, a sustainable management is of great importance to ensure the long-term conservation of some of the most threatened species.

Mannan is optimistic the collaboration with IZW will boost SFD's aim of getting all FMUs in the state certified as Sustainable Forest Management by 2014.

Continue reading at: 'Extinct' Otter Civet found in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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