Monday, February 15, 2016

Authorities to look into wildlife crossings over highways, says minister

The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) is prepared to work with the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) on a detailed study for the construction of wildlife crossings over highways. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said if the study was approved and there were sufficient funds, the ministry was ready to construct the crossings estimated to cost from RM3 million to RM4 million. "I have discussed with the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, LLM, and other departments on wildlife roaming grounds shrinking due to deforestation. "The federal government through PERHILITAN has decided to create wildlife corridors where animals can move more freely to find food, and shelter," he told reporters after visiting a coastal management project at Pantai Tok Jembal today. He said wildlife was now being threatened due to construction of roads, dams and hydro-electricity power plants, and this had resulted in elephants and tigers being forced to migrate in search of food and shelter. According to him, if places where accidents involving wildlife usually occur could be identified, they would most likely be the wildlife crossing routes. He said LLM should constantly check on fences along highways for holes and gaps so that livestock such as cows and goats would not wander onto the highways and to ensure that highways were safe for motorists and other road users. Junaidi expressed sadness over the recent road accident which killed a pregnant tiger in Kemaman, saying he hoped such incidents would not recur. He said he would also advise PERHILITAN and the relevant authorities to stop issuing new hunting licences as this too affected the source of food for wildlife. – Bernama, February 15, 2016.]]>

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