25 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/27/2009 15:08
MALAYSIA
Borneo, pygmy elephant at risk of extinction
The animal is very fond of palm oil, a precious resource for Malaysian industry, which kills the pachyderms to protect production. In 2008, exports of palm oil derivatives totaled more than 17 billion U.S. dollars. The WWF is asking for "long term" solutions to preserve the species.

Sukau (AsiaNews/Agencies) - In Malaysia, the pygmy elephant is at risk of extinction. The species - a variation of the common elephant - faces the threat of the Malaysian palm oil industry, which is not hesitating to wipe out the remaining specimens in order to defend the plantations.

Groups of pygmy elephants on the island of Malaysian Borneo are encroaching on the palm plantations, which over time have reduced their natural habitat. The animals eat the heart of the oil palm, leading to genuine battles with farmers.

According to WWF estimates, in the northeastern state of Sabah - crossed by the Kinabatagan river - there are 1500 pygmy elephants remaining: they were once considered the descendants of specimens from a private zoo belonging to the sultan of Sulu; now the dominant hypothesis is that they are a subspecies of the more widespread Asian elephant, from which they differ because they are about half a meter shorter (the pygmy elephant reaches a maximum height of 2.5 meters), have a diminutive trunk and large ears, and are generally of a more docile character.

On an ordinary day, they travel one or two kilometers in search of food, eating about 200 kilos of grass, palms, and bananas. But there is an increasing shortage of food because of the spread of villages, the construction of new roads, the creation of new plantations, so that now the animals sometimes have to cover three times their normal daily distance to find enough to eat.

Conflicts with human beings break out when the pygmy elephant encroaches on the palm orchards to eat the fruits of the plants, which are used for a vast variety of products from cooking oil to cosmetics. The oil palm is one of the main resources for the export sector: in Malaysia, there are 4.3 million hectares planted with palm trees, and in Sabah alone, one of the 13 states of the country, there are 1.4 million. In 2008, the palm oil business amounted to 17.64 billion U.S. dollars.

"Human-elephant conflicts occur daily around the Kinabatangan plantations," says Raymond Alfred of the WWF. In some places, the animals are shot or poisoned. "We still need long term solutions," Alfred says.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
02/06/2013 MALAYSIA
Reward to stop the killing of pygmy elephants
04/20/2009 PHILIPPINES
Scientists warn more than 1,000 species are in danger of extinction in southeast Asia
by Santosh Digal
03/11/2009 INDONESIA
Indonesia rediscovers microbusiness as solution to unemployment
by Mathias Hariyadi
08/19/2004 MALAYSIA
Avian flu blocks poultry exports
03/18/2008 ASIA
Elephants at risk of extinction because of ruthless hunting by farmers

Editor's choices
ITALY - ASIA
Easter, victory over death and impotence
by Bernardo Cervellera
VATICAN
Pope announces a 'festival of forgiveness' for 28-29 March in St Peter's Basilica and churches around the worldPope Francis made the announcement after today's Angelus. "We must celebrate the forgiveness the Lord gives us as did the father in the parable of the prodigal son, who, when the latter returned, organised a party, putting out of his mind all the things the son had done." When Jesus met the woman of Samaria, he "tore through the biased mind-set against women." The pontiff also called on the pilgrims to say, "Every encounter with Jesus changes one's life; every encounter with Jesus fills us with joy." He also sent his greetings to a Japanese school.
VATICAN
One year of Pope Francis: Revolution in tradition
by Bernardo CervelleraSince becoming the “bishop of Rome” on March 13, 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been transforming the Church with his personal witness. His appeal for a Church of the poor, an outward bound Church, ‘the worlds' field hospital’ are the best fruit of the Second Vatican Council. Conservative and progressive interpretations abound, right and left, but this Pope just wants the world to encounter the salvation of Jesus Christ.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.