The palm oil industry is funding conservation efforts for the endangered banteng (otherwise known as wild cattle). The Danau Girang Field Centre and the Sabah Wildlife Department received RM1 million funding from the Sime Darby Foundation for a banteng conservation project.
The funding was allocated to the Sabah Wildlife Department and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), and was part of Sime Darby’s “Big 9” programme which aims to protect and conserve nine animal species.
The foundation has committed a total of RM80mil towards conservation of sun bears, orang-utans, Asian elephant and Sunda clouded leopards, hornbill, proboscis monkey, Sumatran rhinoceros and Malayan tiger.
Danau Girang Field Centre director, Dr Benoit Goossens, said the funding would go towards a three-year project to assess the conservation status of the banteng.
According to Goossens, “education and capacity building have always been a priority for the Sime Darby Foundation, and as such, the project will also include training of a Malaysian master student and two local field research assistants.”
Sabah Wildlife Department also commended efforts by the palm oil company, with state director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu commenting that funds from the Sime Darby Foundation were vital for successful government projects that conserve and manage the banteng in Sabah.