HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
Malaysia’s tuskers have lost two-thirds of their habitats in just 35 years

cleanmalaysia.com

42 days ago   Article ID# 4042480
Original URL

 

ROUBAIX, FRANCE (cleanmalaysia.com) - Malaysia’s pygmy elephants have lost 70% of their natural habitats in just 35 years, according to the Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) project. Let that one sink in: more than two-thirds of their roaming grounds in a generation. Shocking, yes.

Malaysia’s pygmy elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) have been losing out to relentless development and various forms of human encroachment. That’s hardly news. Yet just how much territory they have lost within a few short decades is still alarming.

“Unfortunately, we still do not know well the elephants’ distribution in non-human dominated landscapes, such as forest reserves and protected areas,” said Caroline Christine Russell, a council member of the Sime Darby Foundation. “We need urgent solutions and initiatives to stop the decrease of wildlife populations in Malaysia, including elephants, before it is too late. We also need better baseline data to monitor the status of their population in the long term,” she added.

In other words, the placid pachyderms are getting increasingly boxed in on all sides by urban settlements and agricultural plantations within their ancestral forests. Because elephants need plenty of roaming ground to forage for food and find mates, they are becoming exposed to a variety of hazards, from coming into dangerous contact with people to getting poached for their ivory.

Recently two wild bull elephants were killed for their tusks only a kilometer or so apart within a protected forest in Sabah. The case has alarmed conservationists, who fear that more of the country’s emblematic pachyderms might fall victim to unscrupulous wildlife traffickers. The two elephants’ tusks may have ended up in neighboring Indonesia.

As if that was not bad enough, Malaysia’s endearing yet increasingly endangered pygmy elephants are also facing the prospect of losing their genetic diversity through increasing inbreeding. As individual herds of them get cut off from one another through the fragmentation of their forests, the animals may become unable to find suitable mates. That increases the risk of homozygosity, which increases their offspring’s chances of being born with birth defects or deleterious traits.

Sustainable forest management may yet save the country’s elephants and other endangered wildlife. It isn’t yet too late. Alongside conservationists and dedicated teams of wildlife officials, MEME is working on saving Malaysian elephants by protecting the pachyderms and their forests. Yet conservationists have their work cut out for them, in the face of relentless logging and deforestation, both legal and illegal. Unless their remaining habitats are spared, however shriveled up they are, Malaysia’s endemic elephants face a very bleak future. Is that a future we want to inherit? We didn’t think so.

Copyright 2017 cleanmalaysia.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 42 days ago   Article ID# 4042480

   

View All Actions >>

Climate
Oceans
Deforestation
Pollution
Wildlife
<< Return To Animal News

Action Center

'Near threatened' beluga whales in danger as Arctic sea ice shrinks due to global warming

Action: Climate Change

Global warming is increasingly becoming a threat not just to humans and to the environment, but to the majestic Beluga whales ...

Stop Mojave Desert water grab

Action: Wildlife Conservation

The Cadiz Valley aquifer is an ancient groundwater basin in the heart of the Mojave Desert. It supplies water to springs and ...

Critical orangutan habitat is in danger of being deforested for palm oil – stop this now!

Action: Stop Deforestation

The population of the Bornean orangutan has declined by over 50 percent in the past 60 years. The reason for this terrible dr ...

Stop Trump's plan to frack California's public lands

Action: Stop Pollution

Four years ago a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity shut down oil leasing on federal lands in California. But now ...

Save the vaquita -- boycott Mexican shrimp

Action: Save Our Oceans

Vaquitas -- the world's smallest and most endangered porpoises -- live only in Mexico's northern Gulf of California. After su ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.