Malaysia will issue permits to kill aggressive crocs

The Sarawak Forest Department will begin issuing permits to hunt down and kill aggressive crocodiles in 13 rivers in the state in the near future. Its director Sapuan Ahmad said local residents would be given priority to apply for the hunting permits. According to him, rivers with the highest population of wild crocodiles in Sarawak, around 14 per kilometre, were Batang Samarahan, Batang Sadong, Batang Lupar and Batang Salak. He said based on the census conducted by the department, there were about 20,000 wild crocodiles in the rivers of Sarawak.
“At the CITES conference of scientists in South Africa recently, the appendix for the population of wild crocodiles in Sarawak was lowered from Appendix 1 to Appendix 2,” he told reporters at the presentation ceremony for the department's Excellent Service Awards. This means wild crocodiles in the state can now be hunted down and killed while its skin and meat can be sold for export to overseas markets.

Sustainable conservation for Malaysian crocodiles

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Crocodiles in the Malaysian state of Sarawak cannot be hunted or killed indiscriminately although they have been downlisted from Appendix I to Appendix II in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). Sarawak State Forest Department director Ahmad said any activities related to the hunting, trade and culling of crocodiles would require permission or permits from the department. “Besides coming under the international provisions of CITES, crocodiles in Sarawak are also protected under the state’s Wildlife Protection Ordinance. “The Forest Department is committed to ensure that crocodiles – the last relics of dinosaurs – remain protected for future generations,” he said in a statement. He was commenting on the downlisting of saltwater crocodiles in Sarawak by CITES earlier this month, which will allow the reptiles to be harvested for commercial use. To ensure the sustainable conservation of crocodiles, Sapuan said the department would enhance its crocodile-free zones along the Kuching Waterfront, Pasir Panjang and Pasir Pandak and extend them to upriver areas with high crocodile density where the people still depend on the rivers for their livelihood. Towards this end, he said the Kuching Wetland National Park would be turned into a sustainable crocodile sanctuary. “We will also continue our culling activities in rivers which have a high population of cro-codiles to create a more conducive environment and ensure sufficient food sources,” Sapuan said. In addition, the department will carry out campaigns on sustainable crocodile management to raise public awareness and prevent crocodile-human conflict in future.

Malaysia want to submit a proposal to allow international trade of crocodiles

Malaysia has submitted a proposal to allow international trade of crocodiles from the wild at the 17th Conference of Parties, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, CITES in Johannesburg, South Africa. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the goal of the proposal was to enable a strictly controlled population while retaining viable wild populations.Currently, Malaysia conducts the trading of crocodiles from CITES registered crocodile farms, and international trade of crocodiles from the wild is not permitted.Wan Junaidi added that non-detrimental findings, NDF showed wild population of saltwater crocodile had increased significantly over the last 30 years due to successful conservation actions.He also stressed on Malaysia’s high commitment in curbing illegal wildlife trafficking, especially trade of African Elephant ivory, so as to ensure the world’s valuable resources are sustainably protected and conserved.
Malaysia's proposal has been accepted under the following conditions: Transfer the Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in Malaysia from Appendix I to Appendix II, with wild harvest restricted to the State of Sarawak and a zero quota for wild specimens for the other States of Malaysia (Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia), with no change in the zero quota unless approved by the Parties. Download proposal here

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