Published on: Saturday, October 05, 2013
"Once the list is announced, it would be an offence to bring these insects out of the country and offenders can be fined up to RM30,000. Currently, there are only two families of insects under the list," said State Wildlife Department Deputy Director, Augustine Tuuga.
"We need to do this because there are many foreign tourists who come to Sabah, they see some rare insects in the forests and they bring them back to their own countries.
There is no law against this, so we need to stop them."
Regarding the recent discovery of a Sumatran rhino in Kalimantan, Tuuga said both the Malaysian and Indonesian government would be working together to ensure the safety of the critically endangered species.
"These animals would surely cross the borders into our country at some point.
If that happens, then it would be our duty to protect them," he said, adding that currently, there are only about ten rhinos in the State not including those in captivity.
Earlier, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said Sabah remains a stronghold to the orang-utan population as proven by its large number in the wilderness.
"Although many condemned us claiming that the decrease of wildlife in Sabah was due to agricultural development and logging, we still have more than 13,000 orang-utans in our jungles.
"Regarding the population of rhinos, the Government through my ministry will not give up in our efforts to save this species from extinction.
"Other than protecting them in their natural habitat, we are also trying to breed them in a semi-natural facility in Borneo Rhino Sanctuary," he said during the opening ceremony of the 50th Anniversary of Wildlife Conservation in Sabah at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, here, Friday.
His speech was read by his Assistant Minister Datuk Kamarlin Ombi.
Masidi added that in the 50 years of wildlife conservation effort in the State, the Government worked closely with various parties including NGOs, research institutes, universities, private companies as well as domestic and international corporate sectors.
"The conservation and protection of wildlife in its natural habitat would not succeed merely through the enforcement of laws. The public also should be aware of the importance of wildlife conservation," he said.
The event also saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Wildlife Department and two tour operators in Semporna; The Reef Dive Resort and Tour Sdn Bhd at Pulau Mataking and Sipadan Pom-Pom Island Resort and Tours Sdn Bhd.
The MoU showed the cooperation between all parties in conserving turtles in Semporna, particularly in Mataking and Pom-Pom islands. This is because turtles flock to beaches in Semporna due to the suitability and food availability in the area.
All parties will be responsible for the management of turtle eggs such as building hatcheries according to the guidelines set by the department, which would also monitor the implementation of the projects.
Data such as the quantity of nests, eggs and hatchlings will be recorded and shared for analysis.
The department is also welcoming other parties interested in turtle conservation to work together with the department to increase the population of the species in the State.