SANDAKAN: The Sunda pangolin has been upgraded to a totally protected species in Sabah, and joins the ranks of the Orangutan, Sun Bear and several other iconic species found in the state.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said this meant that it was forbidden to hunt, consume or sell pangolins or their parts and offenders could face the maximum penalty as provided for in the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.
“The document to upgrade the protection status of pangolins has been approved by the Sabah State Cabinet,” he said in a speech at the launch of a pangolin sculpture at the Sandakan Airport here today.
The text of his speech was read out by Assistant Minister Datuk Kamarlin Ombi, who launched the sculpture built from recycled polycarbonate advertising boards and used bottles.
Masidi said one of the biggest challenges in pangolin conservation was that very little was known about “this highly secretive and elusive creature”.
He said that for millions of years, pangolins have evolved and adapted to enable them to remain undetected and were often found in low densities based on camera trapping studies.
This made them rarely seen and particularly difficult to study, leading scientists to believe this species was in significant danger of extinction, he said.
Despite the existence of wildlife laws in different countries, poaching and illegal trafficking of wildlife species still persisted, he said.
Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Sunda pangolin now totally protected in Sabah.