First tapir conservation centre to be built in Jelebu

First tapir conservation centre to be built in Jelebu

Malaysia’s first tapir conservation centre will be built in the Kenaboi Forest Reserve, Jelebu, said Negeri Sembilan Wildlife and National Parks Department director Wan Mat Wan Harun.

“The rationale behind it is that Perhilitan has not got a dedicated conservation centre for a comprehensive tapir treatment, rehabilitation and breeding programme yet despite the number of animals being rescued rising every year.

“The state park is ideal for the project. The centre will encourage research and development into the species by local and international researchers,” he told Bernama.

Apart from this, the centre – which was approved for construction by the federal government last year and its site confirmed by the state government – will help realise the Negeri Sembilan Structure Plan (RSNS) 2045, which among other things aimed at promoting eco-friendly tourism.

“According to the overall plan for the 81ha site, 4.05ha will be allocated for infrastructure like an office, clinics, labs, X-ray facility, quarantine centre, store and so on, while the remainder will become a tapir paddock,” said Wan Mat, adding that the project is expected to take five years to be ready.

On the biggest threats to Tapirus indicus, he said it is seldom about satisfying an appetite for exotic food, but more of habitat fragmentation and hunters who trap or shoot them.

“When we hear of tapirs being hit by a car, it is a result of this,” Wan Mat said, adding that technology for breeding and management will enhance conservation efforts, and indirectly protect the tapir from the threat of extinction.

He also said that owing to the colouring of the tapir – black and white which symbolises balance and serenity in certain cultures – the animal receives a lot of interest from countries like Japan and China.


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