Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Artificial insemination to save Sabah Sumatran Rhinoceros

TUARAN: The Federal Government through the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment has contributed RM100,000 for a project to artificially inseminate Sumatran rhinoceros in Sabah.

Its minister, Datuk G Palanivel in announcing this yesterday, said the funding represents his ministry’s support for the project, which could be the last hope for preventing total extinction of the species.

“The Sumatran rhinoceros is the most ancient line species amongst the five living rhinoceros species, now on the brink of extinction. The only hope for the species now lies in bringing in as many individuals as possible into captivity, closely managed facilities, and to use advanced reproductive technologies,” he said.

He handed over the contribution to the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, represented by its deputy minister, Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, during the ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Combating Wildlife Trafficking at Shangri-la's Rasa Ria Resort here.

Palanivel said the project, if successful, would offer a glimmer of hope in saving the Sumatran Rhinoceros, which researchers believed are surviving only in very small numbers on Sumatra and Borneo.

The ministry, he said, applauded the Sabah State Government and its partners for their tireless effort to conserve this highly valued species.

He also informed that the ministry will present a paper on “Conservation Effort to Impede the Extinction of Sumatran Rhinoceros and Other Endangered Species” in the National Biodiversity Council, the highest government platform to discuss issues related to biodiversity conservation chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister.

He expressed hope that the paper would lead to a stronger collaborative partnership between the federal government and the state government of Sabah to ensure the continuity of the country’s natural heritage.