Sabah won’t let another species go extinct

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ANN/THE STAR – Wildlife advocates in Sabah are ready to ensure no other species go extinct following the 2019 extinction of the Sumatran rhino.

Efforts are underway to ensure that Borneo pygmy elephants, banteng (wild buffalo) and pangolins, among others, continue to thrive in the wild of Sabah through specific breeding programs and prepare for the scientific assisted reproduction in the future.

Sabah wildlife department director Augustine Tuuga said they don’t want to see other species disappear, especially when there are “ways and means” to avoid it.

“I think the main lesson is to be proactive and not let any species become so depleted that recovery becomes very difficult, if not impossible. It was the tragedy of the hairy rhino (the Sumatran rhino),’ he said at the launch of the book The Hairy Rhinoceros by renowned conservationist Dr John Payne yesterday by the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Environment Jafry Ariffin.

Tuuga’s speech was read by Sabah Wildlife Deputy Director Roland Nun.

He added that another lesson was that “active interventions” were sometimes needed to conserve critically endangered species.

“Protection and law enforcement are also vital. We can now see that some form of habitat management or even of the animals themselves may be needed to maintain or recover the most endangered wildlife species,” he said.

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