Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pangolins in Malaysia

As far as I can remember, I've only seen 2 wild, live pangolins in Malaysia. I quite often read news reports about van loads of pangolins that have been captured from the wild and are being taken somewhere where they will end up on dining tables, either in local restaurants or overseas. There is a huge demand for pangolin meat. It is not just the meat however, as the scales are also used in Chinese medicine.

The Star on 4 August 2014 had a distressing report, taken from The Guardian, "Pangolins: Eaten to extinction",

Pangolins are only found in Africa and Asia, and Malaysia has just one species, the Sunda pangolin, Manis javanica. Pangolins are the only mammals to have scales. They roll into a ball when threatened to protect the soft underbody. Their diet is mostly ants and termites.

The Malayan pangolin is now on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered.

The first pangolin I saw was crossing the road at night time. We managed to stop the car in time for me to jump out and take a photo as the pangolin disappeared into the bushes
Note the long tail, which is prehensile so the animal can grip trees and branches when climbing. At the other end is a long pointed muzzle.
My second sighting of a pangolin was during day time in 2007. The animal was in a small public park. There was a group of us so we probably made quite a noise and the pangolin soon rolled into a protective ball
We caught it and after taking photos we took it to a quieter area where we released it

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Haze 2014 part 2

By the end of July and early August the haze was bad - at least it wasn't so much the haze but the stink of the air. It really smelt of acrid burning. I had to have the windows and doors closed which was horrid. Aug 5 was the worst day so far.

Normally Indonesia is always blamed for the haze but it is a known fact that local burning also contributes to it. This was stated in The Sun on 6 Aug :

"Local contributor to haze

Factors occurring within the country may be contributing to the current haze situation.
Figures from the Department of Environment on Aug 4 show that there have been 4,427 cases of open burning this year, with the highest number in Selangor.
These comprise fires at forests, construction sites, landfills and open burning by individuals.
The air pollutant index (API) reading in Port Klang reached a peak of 116 today while 31 areas registered good air quality and 19 other locations had moderate readings.
"The high API in Port Klang is most likely due to opening burning near the area," said Meteorology Department scientist Mohd Hisham Mohd Anip.
A change of wind direction from south-west to east-west is also expected later in the week, he said.
"The change of wind direction will be a good sign as it will blow away the smoke coming from Indonesia and haze will be reduced," he added.
As of Aug 4, there were 18 hotspots in Sumatra, 42 in Indonesia and 33 in Kalimantan.
In Malaysia, there were 24 hotspots in Sarawak, 17 in Sabah and one in Selangor.
All the hotspots in Malaysia will be investigated, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said in a statement."


See Part 1 for the first 6 months of the year.