Illegal hunting is alleged to have taken place in several forest reserves and national parks in Sabah, including the Maliau Basin Conservation Area which is also known as The Lost World.
Also in Crocker Range National Park, Tawau Hills National Park, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Malua Biobank and Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.
This was exposed during the Fifth East and Southeast Asian Wild Animal Rescue Network (WARN) Conference held at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort here on Nov 26-27.
The conference, which was the first to be held in Sabah, was co-organised by Sabah Wildlife Department and Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and sponsored by Malaysian Palm Oil Council, EcoOils, Sabah Tourism Board and Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort.
"We also have evidence of illegal hunting in several forest reserves and national parks in Sabah, including iconic protected areas such as Crocker Range National Park, Tawau Hills National Park, Maliau Basin Conservation Area and Tabin Wildlife Reserve, but also Malua BioBank and Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary," said Dr Benoit Goossens, Director of DGFC, who was the co-organiser of the conference, during a discussion on wildlife trade and poaching in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Sabah. The discussion was also co-chaired by Dr Marc Ancrenaz from HUTAN.
"This (illegal hunting) is extremely serious and we-government, NGOs, research institutions-need to tackle this issue as quickly as possible if we don't want to see our wildlife ending in bowls and/or in medicine products," said Goossens.
"It is paramount that the millions recently invested in our protected forests are used for wildlife protection and wildlife trade and poaching enforcement. Shall we wait for another iconic species (such as the Sumatran rhino) to disappear in Sabah before reacting?" he asked.
Goossens said they also took the opportunity during the discussion to present some recent data from surveys carried out by TRAFFIC in Sabah (and other Malaysian states) on pangolin trade and sun bear bile trade.
"The results were astonishing, out of 21 shops visited in December 2010 in Kota Kinabalu, eight were selling bear bile products. Moreover, in a survey carried out in our State in 2012, 10 out of 24 shops surveyed were selling sun bear products. More astonishingly, a TRAFFIC report published in 2010 on pangolin trade in Sabah, including analysis of trade syndicate's logbooks seized by the Wildlife Department in 2009, showed that 22,200 pangolins were traded by the syndicate in 13 months," said Goossens. More....