Human luxury at the cost of Sumatran Rhino
This is one another story of human led extinction of rare species.This time the victim is Rhinos of Sumatra,an island of Indonesia.Government plan to cut thousands of hectare of forest land for the construction of hudel power dam.Human luxery at the cost of rhino extinction.
Habitats of the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros and the endangered Malayan tiger are under threat from a plan to clear nearly 19,000 hectares of forest in north-eastern Malaysia.
A Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) has revealed that the Terengganu state government has proposed to extract all commercially valuable timber in 12,630ha of forest, adjacent to the 6,130ha of forest reserve currently being cleared for the construction of two hydropower dams.
The Tembat and Petuang Forest Reserves also act as a water catchment area for Tasik Kenyir, the largest man-made lake in South-east Asia. They are currently being logged to build the Puah and Tembat dams and are home to the Sumatran rhinoceros and Malayan tiger. The forest reserves also fall within the dam catchment area.
In addition the DEIA, which was available for public viewing recently, states that 30 per cent of the existing elephant population within the project area will be forced into nearby plantations, creating more human-elephant conflict.
“Evidence on the ground also suggests that logging and clearing of the reservoir area has already proceeded prior to the approval of the DEIA,” said Dato’ Dr. Dionysius Sharma, CEO of WWF-Malaysia. “There seems to be little regard for relevant laws and the DEIA process.”
A survey conducted as part of the DEIA has revealed evidence of the presence of the elusive Sumatran rhinoceros within the Tembat Forest Reserve, and as recently as August 2008 a survey by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks’ Sumatran Rhinoceros Task Force revealed evidence such as feeding trails and horn scratch marks.
Both forest reserves are also habitats for other endangered wildlife like the Malayan tiger and Malayan tapir, which are totally protected under the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972.