Monday, May 13, 2013

River Watch Unit on beat duty on the Kinabatangan

A special river watch unit has been established to patrol Sabah's Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS) in the state’s latest effort to protect wildlife against illegal activities such as encroachment into forest reserves, illegal logging and poaching.

The Kinabatangan River Keeper Unit was jointly established by the Sabah Wildlife Department, Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (HUTAN) and Danau Girang Field Center (DGFC).

Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said despite the department’s best efforts to enforce wildlife protection, it has limited resources to cover a vast area.

"The establishment of the river patrol unit would bolster the department's efforts to monitor and enforce wildlife protection against threats along waterways, especially in the Lower Kinabatangan region," he said.

Dr Laurentius added that river wardens, Mohd Syafendy Yajit and Sudirman Sawang were entrusted with the responsibility as they have years of experience working with HUTAN.

"Both have vast field-experience in working with wildlife, especially managing elephants. The River Keeper Unit will be working round the clock by conducting day and night patrols to monitor and guard against wildlife threats such as encroachment by land owners in riparian reserves, illegal logging and poaching along the 260 kms of river within the santuary," HUTAN's Scientific Director Dr Marc Ancrenaz said.

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