The Sarawak Forest Department has given an assurance that crocodiles will continue to receive protection in the state despite a lower status of protection under an international convention.
The department’s director Sapuan Ahmad said the change in CITES status did not mean that crocodiles could be randomly hunted, sold and killed.
He said crocodiles were protected by CITES as well as the Wildlife Protection Ordinance.
Crocodiles are regarded as the ‘last living relics of dinosaurs’
“Any activity relating to the hunting, sale and killing of crocodiles must first get a permit from the Sarawak Forest Director who is also the Controller of the Sarawak National Parks and Wildlife,” he said in a statement today.
The change in CITES status was hotly discussed and published in several local media recently.
Sapuan said the issue of crocodile management arose because of their conflict with humans for food resources and living space as the population started growing.
He said while hunting and killing aggressive crocodiles which threatened human life and property is allowed in principle on a case by case basis, the public has to report the matter to the Sarawak Forest Department immediately.