Thursday, 1 January 2009

Oil palm plantation owners’ help needed to keep out poachers

The Star online, Malaysia

Published: Thursday January 1, 2009

Oil palm plantation owners’ help needed to keep out poachers

JOHOR BARU: The Johor National Park Corporation (JNPC) has called for cooperation from owners of oil palm plantations located near its parks to prevent poachers from entering the forest areas.

Its director, Abu Bakar Mohamed Salleh, said the cooperation from the oil palm owners was necessary due to the large area of the parks, especially the Endau-Rompin National Park, which made it difficult for the corporation to monitor the area alone.

Besides the Endau-Rompin, the other national parks in Johor are at Gunung Ledang, Mersing, Tanjung Piai and Kukup, covering a total of 48,905 hectares.

"It is because of the huge area of the national parks that we believe there are secret paths which are used by unlicensed hunters to enter the area," he told Bernama.

Asked whether exotic dishes, like that using tiger meat, served in restaurants in Kahang and other places in Johor, are from wildlife hunted in the Johor national parks, Abu Bakar said there was no proof to indicate that the meat supply obtained by the restaurants was from animals hunted in the Endau-Rompin National Park.

However, he did not rule out the possibility that the exotic animals were caught by poachers in forests located at the edge of the Endau-Rompin National Park. This, he said, was based on the discovery of various animal traps found in the area.

He said poachers were able to make a lucrative earning by trapping the exotic animals, adding that a tiger could fetch between RM150,000 and RM200,000. - Bernama