According to Bernama, Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Dr. Hamim Samuri said that according to the latest record of wildlife in Malaysia, the Rhinoceros Sondaicus, or better known as Javan Rhino, is now extinct.
He announced the sad news while giving a speech at the Biodiversity Seminar 2017 yesterday. He stated that, “From the latest Malaysia wildlife list records, Javan Rhino are extinct, while four other animals, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan Tiger, Sunda Pangolin and Gaur (Indian Bison) are considered critical species.”
Datuk Dr. Hamim continued to say that the presence of Javan Rhinos in the wild was in a past record from 2010. At that time, the Department of Forestry had recorded three species of Javan Rhino but this year the species failed to be tracked and recorded. Even through monitoring conducted by various methods, including camera installation.
The main three reason for the extinction of the Javan Rhinos are shrinking habitat and roaming area, poaching and illegal trade, and road accidents. Besides the Javan Rhino, 12 species were assessed as endangered, 14 species as vulnerable, and 33 species as near threatened.
He also said, “Our wildlife is facing various threats due to the reduction of habitats and areas due to deforestation. In addition to habitat loss, wildlife populations have also declined mainly for tigers and elephants following wildlife hunting and illegal trade activities that are currently high on the black market.”
“The numbers of Sumatran Rhinoceros, Pangolin and Gaur (Bison) are decreasing as compared to the actually past numbers. For example, the were only two Sumatran Rhinos that were alive, and those two were old and could not breed anymore. As for the Malayan Tiger, there were only 250 tigers when in actuality we should have a thousand more.” he added.
On that note, besides having sympathy over these animals, we need to see the bigger picture. We are often blind to the connection of everything that supports life. A web so complex and interdependent, we are only beginning to understand it. The food chain, from the tiniest little microorganisms to the largest creatures on earth, keep us humans alive too.