Kota Kinabalu: WWF-Malaysia’s Borneo Species Programme team has captured images of a female Sumatran rhino believed about 20 years old in the Heart of Borneo, further strengthening the need to sustainably manage the forest in this part of the region that is shared by Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia.
Raymond Alfred, Senior Manager of the programme, stressed the importance of strong and coordinated enforcement in the forest reserves involving the Forestry Department, Wildlife Department and Sabah Foundation, with the support of the police, to ensure the survival of this endangered species.
The current enforcement and survey work in this area is supported by Honda Malaysia. Consistent monitoring of the rhino population here has so far identified the presence of two rhino calves.
Raymond said the future of the rhinos in Borneo now depends on how serious the forest reserves could be managed sustainably and how the enforcement and monitoring could be carried out effectively and be supported with appropriate activities.
WWF-Malaysia is now looking into how Forest Management Units (FMUs) could be sustainably managed since the forest stand and condition in most of the FMUs in Sabah are poor.
He said based on long-term field survey data, the rhino monitoring and survey activities in other forests by the programme shows that the home range of the rhinos is also affected by oil palm expansion near the eastern coastline of Sabah.
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