Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sarawak Preserves More Habitat

The Malaysian island state of Sarawak is fulfilling its promise to establish new protected areas including all of its remaining orangutan habitat. {12.11.09, The Terrible Cost} As readers know, the orangutan is under severe pressure from habitat destruction and fragmentation.  The state announced it will open a Department of Parks and Wildlife by January and designate 1.1 million acres of new protected areas to add to its collection of 2.2 million acres of parks, reserves and sanctuaries.  Green kudos go to the state of Sarawak for its actions!

credit: AFP
Wildlife Conservation Society reports that Sarawak's population of orangutans has increased.  Some 1600 orangutans are living in Lanjak Etimau Wildlife Reserve, Ulu Sabuyua National Park and Sedilu National Park.  The new department will be responsible for stopping illegal hunting to supply the bush meat trade as well as administering the protected areas.  Palm Oil plantations also pose a threat to the survival of remaining primates.  Currently about 3.7 million acres of former rain forest have been brought under cultivation.  Plans are to limit new permits to established areas, land that has been logged or designated indigenous lands.  To aid in conservation efforts a research center has been established at Batang Ai National Park.