Dredging estroying Pygmy Elephant, Monkey Habitat

Sand dredging in a Borneo wildlife sanctuary is threatening the habitats of endangered pygmy elephants and a rare species of monkey, Malaysian activists said Thursday.Sand-laden barges were once again moving up and down rivers in the Kinabatangan wildlife sanctuary in Sabah state on Borneo island, despite having previously been stopped, they said.

Harjinder Kler from the Hutan environmental group, said the erosion caused by the dredging would affect about 200 pygmy elephants and a few hundred proboscis monkeys living in the sanctuary.”It will cause more and more of their habitat to be eroded and polluted as a result of the siltation from the dredging,” Kler told AFP.

As the Kinabatangan river feeds into the Sulu Sea, she said the silt from the dredging would also pollute the Coral Triangle — a global centre of marine biodiversity spanning Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guniea, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.Most sand dredging works were halted following the creation of the Kinabatangan wildlife sanctuary in 2005, a 26,000 hectare (64,000 acre) area in the north of the state.
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