An environmental report has revealed the Malaysian royal family is requesting permission from the Department of Environment for a new iron ore mine in the middle of one of the few remaining habitats of 15 threatened animals, including the critically endangered Malayan tiger. The proposed project involves the deforestation and excavation of 60.75 hectares (150 acres) in the Som Forest Reserve, part of the Central Forest Spine linking four of Peninsular Malaysia’s key forest complexes. Alongside the Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni), of which fewer than 200 remain in the wild, the Som Forest is home to the Malayan tapir (Acrocodia indica), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) and two different species of leopard. According to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed iron mine, the project poses a direct risk to these species, all of which are fully protected under Malaysia’s 2010 Wildlife Conservation Act. The Department of Environment did not respond to a request for comment regarding the enforcement of this law. Dusky langurs (Trachypithecus obscurus). Surveys in the Som Forest Reserve, part of which will be cleared if the mine proceeds as planned, found the area is home to 26 mammal species protected under Malaysian law. Image by Erik_Karits via Pixabay (Public Domain). The planned mine would destroy an area the size of 113 football fields that comprises these protected species’ habitat. Beyond the “irreversible” loss of habitat, the EIA report highlights that these animals will be at increased risk of human-animal conflict due to…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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