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WWF Malaysia: Concerted effort needed against illegal wildlife trade

KOTA KINABALU: The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia is urging state and federal agencies and departments to work together to put a halt to the illegal wildlife trade.
Its chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma (pic) said among the ways this could be done was the sharing of resources such as manpower and intelligence.
"We must show to the world that we mean business when it comes to the survival of wildlife," he said in a statement here Saturday.
He said this when congratulating the Customs Department for its recent success in confiscating some RM80.5mil worth of elephant tusks and pangolin scales in Sepanggar port on Aug 29.
"We at WWF-Malaysia remain committed to fighting wildlife crime by providing technical expertise and sharing information with government agencies, such as to the district anti-poaching task forces in Sabah," Dr Dionysius said.
According to news reports, the recent confiscation of the tusks and pangolin scales is believed to have originated from Nigeria and bound for China.
Dr Dionysius said this was a huge crime against wildlife, especially so as elephants and pangolins are also facing habitat loss and low reproduction rates.
He said the adult female for both species can only produce a single offspring at one time, and in the case of elephants, has the longest pregnancy period of all mammals that lasts more than a year and a half.
"The death of even one member of the species has a major impact on the whole population," said Dr Dionysius.
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