KUCHING, Nov 27: World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia (WWF Malaysia) will be hosting a virtual talk on sun bear conservation in Sarawak and Sabah on its Facebook page tomorrow (Nov 28).
WWF Malaysia, in a media release today, said that the talks aim at increasing the public’s awareness and sense of appreciation for sun bear conservation, and garnering more support towards the protection of this species and their habitat.
The one-and-a-half-hour talk to start at 9 am will feature the founder and chief executive officer of Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) Dr Wong Siew Te, who has dedicated his life in conserving the smallest bear species in the world.
Topics to be discussed include sun bears’ ecology and behaviour as well as an exclusive virtual tour of sun bear conservation work of BSBCC, Sandakan, Sabah which takes care of sun bears that have been rescued from illegal collections.
Wong emphasised that sun bear rescue was not easy work as one has to handle a strong mammal.
“This year has been a challenging year for BSBCC. One of our major sources of revenue are fees collected from visitors or tourists but the Covid-19 pandemic has deprived us of this income.
“We need funds to run the centre especially for the care of the rescued sun bears, until things go back to normal,” he revealed.
The Bornean sun bear is also known as honey bear and referred to by the scientific name of Helarctos malayanus euryspilus.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species, sun bears are vulnerable to extinction, but can still be found in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, eastern India and Bangladesh.
Sun bears are keystone species that play many important ecological roles in the forest ecosystems as they act as seed dispersers, engage in pest control, and help in nutrient cycling in the forests.
These sun bears are facing a number of threats, such as habitat loss from forest conversion, unsustainable logging and infrastructure developments, as well as commercial hunting and illegal pet trade.
WWF Malaysia reminded that keeping, trading or killing sun bear are prohibited under the Sarawak Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 and Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.
Join WWF Malaysia’s Facebook live streaming at www.facebook.com/wwfmy to learn more about sun bear conservation from Wong.
For more information on sun bear conservation work, visit BSBCC’s website at www.bsbcc.org.my. — DayakDaily