Wildlife Department to work with Waze on roadkill hot spots

This picture taken on January 16, 2018 shows Malaysian mahouts riding rescued elephants through a forest as part of a patrolling exercise at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah, about 100km outside Kuala Lumpur. ― AFP pic
This picture taken on January 16, 2018 shows Malaysian mahouts riding rescued elephants through a forest as part of a patrolling exercise at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah, about 100km outside Kuala Lumpur. ― AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — The Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) is in discussion with community based traffic and navigation app, Waze to include roadkill hot spots affecting wild animals, especially endangered species.

Biodiversity Conservation Division assistant director Gilmore G. Bolongon said the effort is one of the department’s long term strategies to protect wildlife.

“There is a pattern in the frequent occurrences of roadkill involving endangered species. We have a database of the locations where these incidents occurred and the areas with high numbers of wildlife-vehicle collisions.

“Therefore we are making an effort to stop them from happening. We are trying to get Waze to highlight these hot spots on their app so that people will be more aware and will slow down their vehicles as they approach these areas,” he told Bernama after the Big Cats-Teh Tarik Screening Session at Petrosains, here last night.

He said the LPT2 East Coast Expressway connecting Kuala Terengganu from Jabor, is one of the expressways which has recorded high incidence of wildlife roadkill.

It was reported that this was because LPT2 was built across several forest reserves without provisions for overhead crossings or viaducts for animals to cross, resulting in the death of many wild animals, especially endangered species such as tigers, sun bears, and wild cats.

Touching on Big Cats-Teh Tarik session, Gilmore said Malaysia’s tiger population was at 250 to 300 tigers nationwide and the number was based on figures gathered by Perhilitan from 2010 to 2015, adding that the next update on the tiger population would only be known in 2020.

He said the public could assist the department by alerting them on roadkill involving wild animals.

“Should members of the public encounter such as a situation alert us and if they cannot wait for us to arrive, hide the dead animal and inform us where it is hidden to avoid others from stealing parts of the body,” he said. — Bernama

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