HUMAN - WILDLIFE CONFLICT IN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA -
URRENT STATUS AND OVERVIEW
Mr. Salman Saaban (PERHILITAN)
In this presentation, Mr. Salman Saaban of PERHILITAN listed down the main factors contributing to Human-Wildlife Conflicts (HWCs) in Peninsular Malaysia, the types and impacts of HWCs as well as the strategies / recommendations to mitigate the issues.
The main factors contributing to HWCs are habitat loss, degraded/fragmented habitat, poaching and urbanization, which includes the availability of discarded food from domestic wastes and interactions between humans and wildlife (feeding etc). It was reported that long-tailed macaques are often the wildlife species cited in the majority of complaints received by PERHILITAN on HWC (in Peninsular Malaysia). This is followed by elephants and wild boar encroachments.
HWC involves different forms of impacts – from crop damages and attacks on livestocks that causes monetary losses, to wildlife attacks on humans that causes deaths. More than 60% of the wildlife attacks recorded are snake bites, followed by wild boar and macaque attacks. Mr. Salman also highlighted that there is a Wildlife Attack Aid Fund which is managed by the Department of Social Welfare that can render assistance to victims of such wildlife attacks. HWC also involves wildlife road-kills, which frequently occurs in the states of Perak, Johor and Kedah.
In order to mitigate these HWCs, PERHILITAN has conducted several major programmes such as the ‘Elephant Translocation Program” that has captured and relocated more than 800 conflict elephants since 1974. When translocation is not a suitable option, an electric fence system (SPEG) is used to deter the elephants from encroaching. Finally, if there are no other means available, culling becomes the last resort for the Department to mitigate the HWCs. Besides these, PERHILITAN is also active in conducting campaigns to raise public awareness, as well as preparing manuals and action plans for HWC. Finally, as long term strategies, PERHILITAN aims to manage HWCs through species management plans that includes initiatives such as identification of potential wildlife crossings, establishment of a Wildlife Conservation Unit, creation of more buffer zones for wildlife, enforcement of zero hunting in plantations area and establishment of a Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Review by: Michael Ng, Senior Executive, SED
This presentation was presented during “MPOC / SWD Human – Wildlife Conflict Workshop” held on 22 – 23 November 2017 at FourPoints by Sheraton, Sandakan, Sabah. For the complete presentation, please click the link provided.
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Human-Wildlife Conflicts in Peninsular Malaysia – Current Status and Overview