Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wildlife Murders In Langkawi

Of all the diurnal primates found on Langkawi, they are the shiest and gentle among all. They usually mind their own business and take off when you get close to them. Their shyness and gentleness are the unique traits that draw other primates to admire them and perhaps getting as near as possible to shoot them - with cameras.

This particular gentle diurnal primate is one our island's wildlife attraction, the Dusky Langur (Trachypithecus obscurus), which mostly can be found at the edge of the rainforest, in plantations or even nearby housing estates. 

A Dusky Langur (Trachypithecus obscurus) looking curious

The other primate that I am referring to is us (you and me) which belongs to the homo sapiens species. 

Decent homo sapiens like us would shoot them with cameras, either the pro ones or the not-so-pro ones. However, there is another group of homo sapiens in which I refer them as the evil ones that have shot some of these Langurs with shotguns or rifles.

Yes... with real guns! This news I received today was reported by one of our Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) member in Langkawi. 

This image was taken from MNS Langkawi
Many thanks, Alif Emmes and the informer for sharing this

Click below for the story...

This was reported and posted by one of MNS Langkawi member via Facebook:

"No, this is not a stock image downloaded from the internet. 

This is reality in Langkawi. It shows a dead Langur mother shot by local villagers on the 20th of January 2012 at the foot of the hillside at Pantai Tengah. My informant was on his bicycle when he drove around the corner and the dreadful sight of the dead monkey hanging head down in the tree opened up to him. At the same time he caught the three local culprits by surprise. They were dragging along two injured and blood covered baby Langurs. One of the men carried a brand new 16 gauge shotgun. 

My informant immediately started to question the guys and managed against their will to get hold of the two babies which had strangling roots tight around their neck. Not feeling comfortable with the rifle in his opponent’s hands and worried about the well being of the little orange ones he headed direct towards the animal clinic. While one of the monkey babies died in the first night, the second one seems to be ok so far and hopefully might stay alive.

I am actually wondering that only a few days after a similar incident in Pantai Kok again Lemurs were killed. There are plenty of Macaques to see on Langkawi but Lemurs are rather seldom to see. And these few are destroying the rubber plants on his plantation one of the guys claimed? Is it coincidence or are the "hunters" after the Lemur babies? Is maybe someone paying good money for them? I know quite a few licensed hunters and none of them would ever shoot an animal mother carrying children. It is not only cruel by all means it is also absolutely illegal."

Note: The author wrote "Lemur", in which he was referring to the "Langur".  

The President of MNS, Professor Maketab has sent an email to an officer in the Perhilitan (Wildlife Department), Haji Ramli Ahmad and we all want to see some actions taken.

Dusky Langur is a protected species under our Wildlife Department, click here for the list of protected mammals. Dusky Langur is under item 3. Even though they are protected, however, they are protected only up to a certain extend depending on which schedule that this species is listed under. 

Based on the report, these Langur/s were shot in places like Pantai Tengah and Pantai Kok area, in which these are the highly touristic areas. There was another comment in that same Facebook page reported that gun shots were heard in the area of Seven Wells waterfall. Another touristic spot. These poachers have became so daring. 

The reasons given for the shooting these Langurs are rubbish and absolutely not acceptable. There are other ways to curb this problem should these evil men claimed that these Langurs were destroying their plantation. Or it could be another reason that their plantation is illegal that they refuse to work with the relevant authorities to resolve the issue. Mind you that there is a group of inhabitants here whether they are locals or not, are destroying the gazetted rainforest in conversion to plantations. This is what we refer as "Land Grabbing", which is rampant and uncontrollable in Langkawi. When Dusky Langurs remaining habitat is destroyed by these evil ones, where else can they go "cari makan" (looking for food)? 

While tomorrow is Friday, which is the start of the weekend for all government agencies. From the informer's report, the murder incident happened on the 20th January 2012, which happens to fall on a Friday. Do you notice the pattern or the modus operandi of these poachers? 

First the Hornbills and now the Langurs (and of course there are a lot more wildlife been trapped, shot and yet to be reported), I wonder what will be the next drama that will bring down Langkawi's image as an eco-tourism destination?

I am looking forward for some answers from our Perhilitan and will update all of you should I have any. Should anyone out there sees suspect/s as such, please shoot them with camera as evidence. Even shooting their getaway vehicle registration number will help.

Note: Thank you to Kathrin Loffler, Vanessa and Pam Hill for the alert...yeah.. I love the power of Facebook!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Life On The New Year Eve

A lot of cicada species found in our region here usually produce high frequencies. They are so loud and yet it is difficult to spot them. When they sensed your presence, they usually take off in flight. Unless they peed, then it will be easy to spot them. Attempting to spot a cicada on a tree is like a one in million chance, what about seeing a cicada coming out of its shell then? One in a trillion chance??

On the note,  in some countries cicadas can be spotted easily when they are out periodically. 

That night was my last evening nature walk for the year 2011. Shining that torch around and this little critter on a tree caught my eyes. At that moment, it has emerged more than half way out of its exoskeleton. It didn't move at the beginning and when we got near it to have a closer look, it was twitching as if it was struggling hard to come out.  

Another half way more to come out
I rounded up my walk and decided to return to that same spot to witness the rest of the wonderful event. The second part of the event was recorded about twenty minutes after the first shot. 
"Look ma... I can do the upside down thing"

Notice how this cicada did its first "sit-up" exercise. Looks like it has used tremendous strength to do this exercise. 
Thank you for being patient with this shaky video. While videoing this amazing event, I had to balance with a big torchlight on one hand and my camera on the other. p/s: if you like this, click LIKE :)


This cicada was transformed on the eve of 2012. Unlike those robotic Transformers, this cicada transformed very, very slowly. I am not sure how long the whole process took because I was not there from the beginning.

Could this be a symbolic event for me? Or a symbolic in nature? Whatever it is, I cannot help to ponder if this could be a sign or something. A new hope for conservation? I do hope that this is for real and yet I strongly feel the conservation efforts on Langkawi is diminishing. With the upcoming development of resorts, hotels, another port and uncontrollable illegal poaching on Langkawi, the preservation of her natural heritage does not seem promising at all. Not even the NGO here can protect her. Alright, enough of my yakkety yak on conservation issues for this post.

On a happy note, this live event was meant for me to witness and I was so thrill that I have to share this to everyone. This blog post is dedicated to all my blog followers, readers, supporters and nature lovers. 

May the Force and the Blessing of Eywa continues to guard our precious Rainforest and her biodiversity. 

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