Pangolin to be listed as totally protected wildlife

ENDANGERED SPECIES … This unassuming creature and the rest of its kinds are not the most beautiful in the animal kingdom, but their hard keratin scales that are composed of the same substance as human hair and fingernails are so sought after that they easily fetch thousands and thousands of dollars in prices, which explains the great temptation to catch them for sale. The pangolin comes in eight different species — four in Africa and four in Asia. All are protected under national and international laws as some are critically endangered due to over-hunting and poaching. Photos: Sangha Pangolin Project & National Parks Board via AP

KUCHING: The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) is currently in the process of listing the endangered pangolin species under the ‘Totally Protected Wildlife’ category in the Sarawak Wildlife Protection Ordinance.

“It is in the process now as we are amending the Wildlife Ordinance 1998. 

“We will include pangolin as totally protected species in the amendment to the Wild Life Protection Ordinance. Documents on justification to list it as totally protected are being compiled,” SFC general manager Oswald Braken Tisen told the New Sarawak Tribune yesterday.

He was commenting on the WWF’s recommendation for the pangolins to be listed under the Ordinance.

Meanwhile, Wildlife Protection Ordinance WWF-Malaysia head of Sarawak Conservation Programme Dr Jason Hon said the listing was important due to the seriousness of pangolin trafficking which has harmed it’s population in Sarawak.

“We believe the relevant agency is already studying this and WWF-Malaysia looks forward to the positive revision of the Ordinance to grant better protection for the pangolins,” Hon said recently.

He also hoped that a higher penalty would be imposed to curb the smuggling of the endangered species in Sarawak.

On Wednesday, the Sessions Court in Miri sentenced an Indonesian man to a year’s jail and fined him RM50.85 million for possessing 5,058 pangolin scales.

The same court had sentenced another Indonesian man to a year’s jail and  RM27.82 million fine last Friday after he was found guilty of possessing three live pangolins and 2.95kg of pangolin scales.

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