Wildlife heroes!

Get to know some of our wildlife heroes who work hard to keep our wildlife and protected areas safe from threats such as poachers:-

Albert Sitwain

Albert Sitawin began his career with us at an early age of 21 years old. He has since been promoted to a Programme Assistant whereby his tasks include installing camera traps at Kretam Virgin Jungle Reserve. His worst experience would be boiling muddy water for drinking and cooking food as they had no water supply during a field survey at Danum Valley.

Ronny bin Madius

Ronny have been with our Patrolling and Monitoring team for more than 8 years. He has faced many challenges that tested his physical and mental endurance such as spending days trekking in the forest to install camera traps and monitoring the area for poaching signs such as bullet casings. But the biggest challenge that he faced as a field assistant is fatherhood. As a father to a young daughter and son, he only gets to see them about a week every month. This makes him miss out on some precious moments of his children growing up.

Masrin bin Otoh

Masrin was raised by his father who was a hard core poacher. Fortunately, he turned his life around from being a hunter to working in wildlife conservation. He realised the importance of protecting wildlife for long-term benefits to mankind instead of poaching for quick profits.

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Animals are nature’s architects that keep our forests healthy, not just for them but for us as well. Some of our wildlife that plays a special role in keeping our forests alive are as follows:-

  • Malayan sun bear

Malayan sun bear is a great seed-dispersal agent.

  • Sambar deer

Sambar deer is an important prey for clouded leopard and other predators.

  • Sunda pangolin

Sunda pangolin may increase the decomposition of dead wood and thereby soil fertility by influencing the population of wood-chewing termites. An adult pangolin can consume more than 70 million of insects per year.

Malayan sun bear 
© WWF-Netherlands/Jacob Bours

Sambar deer
© WWF-Malaysia/Christopher Wong

Sunda pangolin
© Stephen Hogg/WWF-Malaysia

Sabah is considered the last frontier for the wildlife population in Southeast Asia, so naturally, it’s a hotspot for wildlife trade.

Poachers pose a huge threat to the survival of Sabah’s wildlife because illegal over-hunting of wildlife may lead to local or even regional extinction of species of animals.

Wildlife poachers in Lahad Datu transporting sambar deer carcass in the back of their truck in April 2014.

© WWF-Malaysia

© Leona Liman/ WWF-Malaysia
A close-up of camera traps

© WWF-Malaysia / Sabah Terrestrial Programme
A poacher was seen carrying a machete caught in a camera trap

 

Patrolling & Poaching Monitoring teams in Sabah
Our field teams often come across poaching activities in protected areas. For instance, in just a 3-month period (April to June 2014), they ran into poachers five times during their patrols.

Our survey cameras also separately photo-captured nine persons entering Sabah forest reserves for poaching activities. These photos showed that the poachers carried dangerous weapons such as machetes and firearms, and even transported carcasses of poached wildlife at the back of their vehicles.

WWF-Malaysia has been working tirelessly in Sabah for over 40 years to protect its wildlife and forests. Your support is sorely needed so that we can reduce illegal wildlife trade in Sabah through the following actions before it is too late:-

  • Funding equipment, training and other resources for rangers;
  • Organising anti-poaching campaigns;
  • Conducting Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) training for enforcement agencies;
  • Collecting information on poachers through our camera traps; and
  • Facilitating the establishment of an anti-poaching task force that involves all law enforcement agencies in various districts.

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  •  Do not consume wild meat or dishes that include parts of endangered species such as shark’s fin soup and turtle eggs
  • Do not buy jewellery or decorative products made from teeth, claws, horns or any other body parts of endangered species
  • Do not buy ‘medicinal’ products that contain parts of endangered species, such as pangolin scales, tiger bone or bear bile
  • If you witness wildlife being sold, mistreated or abused, report the incident to the following authorities by calling one of the following numbers:
    a) Perhilitan (Peninsular Malaysia) at 1300 801 010
    b) Sarawak Forestry Corporation at 6 019 887 9787
    c) Sabah Wildlife Department at 6 012 801 9289

Pangolin scales seized by authorities
© WWF-Malaysia / Lau Ching Fong