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Type: Journal article
Title: Threats and lessons learned from past orangutan conservation strategies in Sarawak, Malaysia
Author: Pandong, J.
Gumal, M.
Aton, Z.M.
Sabki, M.S.
Koh, L.P.
Citation: Biological Conservation, 2019; 234:56-63
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 0006-3207
Statement of
Joshua Pandong, Melvin Gumal, Zolkipli Mohamad Aton, Mohd. Shahbudin Sabki, Lian Pin Koh
Abstract: In 2015, the Sarawak Government made a public pledge to stop illegal logging in the State, to create more national parks, and to move towards a zero-loss policy of orangutans and their habitats in Sarawak. Conservationists welcomed this policy in view that threat level for the Bornean orangutans under the IUCN Red List has been upgraded to Critically Endangered in 2016. The main threats to orangutan survival include habitat degradation and forest loss which is rapidly driven by large-scale development of unsustainable land-use change. The cultural taboo against orangutan hunting is slowly eroding with evidence of the species being killed in vulnerable areas. We discussed shortfalls of conservation responses in the past 60 years in Sarawak which included unknown rate of illegal orangutan killings, inadequate law enforcement, and incomprehensive community development strategies. The recommendations to address these shortfalls then include: a) inter-agency collaboration for orangutan population monitoring, b) technological application and intelligence networks to intensify enforcement strategies, c) alternative community livelihood development and self-enforcement, and d) increased public support for conservation policies. The implementation of the zero-loss policy is anticipated to emphasize the needs for orangutan protection amid rapid development plans around critical habitats.
Keywords: Bornean orangutans; community livelihood; government policy; hunting; law enforcement; Sarawak
Rights: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.03.016
Grant ID: ARC
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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