KUALA LUMPUR, 20 April 2016:

As many as 35 tapirs were recorded to have died in road accidents between 2010 and 2015, according to Deputy Human Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri.

He said the threats to the animal’s natural habitat such as land-clearing, farming and new settlements projects were the factors causing the tapirs to move into areas close to human dwellings.

“As such, the ministry has undertaken various efforts to protect, conserve and ensure sustainability of the wildlife, including implementing the ‘Safe Tapir Crossing’ programme by putting up signboards of tapir crossings at locations which are often used by the wildlife.

“A total of 24 signboards for tapir crossings, 37 transverse bar sets, and 24 amber light units have been put up in four locations in Johor last year at a cost of RM180,000 under the Central Forest Spine (CFS) project.”

He added that 260 animal crossing signboards had been put up throughout Peninsular Malaysia so far.

On the ‘World Tapir Day’ programme organised for April 27, with the cooperation of the Malaysian Nature Society, a non-governmental organisation ArtSemble, as well as Publika, he noted that about 3,000 replicas of the tapir were made by schoolchildren throughout the country for public display till May 8.

Hamim said the tapir population in peninsular Malaysia was between 1,200 and 1,500, and the animal was a fully-protected species.

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