Monday, November 19, 2012

Sabah lauded as a beacon of hope for orang utan

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is becoming a beacon of hope in orang utan conservation in Borneo following the state government’s move to expand the areas designated as the primates’ key habitat.

Wildlife non-governmental organisation research group Hutan co-director Dr Marc Anrenaz said Sabah’s decision to gazette 128,000ha from the lowland Ulu Segama forest reserve in Lahad Datu as a protected area meant that about 60% of the state’s orang utan were now living in conservation zones.

“This is a huge improvement compared to the last decade when only 30% of the orang utan in Sabah were living in protected forests,” he said.

Dr Ancrenaz said this when revealing the findings of a research on orang utan in Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan which he was involved in and which was recently published in the scientific journal PLoS One.

He said the research found that since orang utan were often found in timber concession areas, good management of such areas was important in ensuring the continued survival of the primates.

The fact that Sabah’s Forestry Department now requires all timber concession areas to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) by the end of 2014 was good news for the conservation effort, added Dr Ancrenaz.

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