| Hamidah Ismail |
MAKING a quick buck out of endangered species continues unabated in Brunei Darussalam.
Local endangered species are usually sold through social media such as Facebook and Instagram and also at the Jerudong market.
Recently, 1stopbrunei Wildlife Club came across two individuals selling a pangolin on one of the social media sites. Their rescue mission, however, failed as they found out that one of the pangolins was already sold. The other one was handed over to them five days later but was injured. Unfortunately, it proved too late as the pangolin succumbed to its head injury.
These keratin-scale-covered mammals play an important role in the ecosystem as they feed on ants and termites, thus contributing to the nutrient cycles and keeping the dominant ant species at bay. Pangolins are classified as endangered and CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) has prohibited the trading of pangolins. But they are still widely poached due to the false belief that their meat and scales have medicinal values.
TRAFFIC, a global network for wildlife trade monitoring, reported that 20,000 pangolins
were illegally poached in Sabah between 2007-2009 alone.
Members of the public should report any pangolin poaching and selling activities to the relevant authorities.
1stopbrunei Wildlife Club has previously rescued and released many endangered animals including pangolins and slow lorises. It is also actively involved in giving lectures to schools and colleges to raise awareness on the endangered flora and fauna and the need for conservation. The club can be found on the Facebook page at 1stopbrunei Wildlife and Instagram @wildlifeclub.