Monday, January 31, 2011

Photos of leopards raise need for more forest corridors in Sabah

News source : The Star online / Sabah Wildlife Department, Danau Girang Field Centre and HUTAN

Photos : Endangered species: An image of the clouded leopard and her cub that was captured at a narrow strip of forest in the Lower Kinabatangan.

KOTA KINABALU 31 Jan 2011:

A sequence of 12 photographs showing a clouded leopard and her cub moving about in the lower Kinabatangan region in Sabah has strengthened calls among conservationists for the setting up of more wildlife forest corridors.

The photographs were captured last November by camera traps that were part of the Kinabatangan Carnivore Programme involving the Sabah Wildlife Department, conservation group Danau Girang Field Centre, French non-governmental organisation Hutan (that conducts conservation projects and research on orang utan) and WildCRU (the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, which is part of the University of Oxford Department of Zoology).

Sabah Wildlife director Laurentius Ambu said pictures of the clouded leopard and its cub were captured in a narrow forest corridor between the Kinabatangan river and an oil palm plantation.

Hutan co-director Dr Marc Ancre­naz said the photographs showed that carnivores were still present in the Kinabatangan floodplain.

“The pictures show that these animals rely on forest corridors for moving around forest patches.

“As already shown for other species such as orang utan, gibbons, proboscis monkeys and elephants, these animals need corridors of forest for surviving in the Kinabatangan area.

“Without these corridors, species population will decline and become extinct.

“It is urgent for everybody to collaborate in order to create more corridors,” Dr Ancrenaz said.

Funding for the programme was started by American zoos in Houston, Columbus, Cincinnatti and Phoenix, as well as private donors from New York.

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