Nous transcrivons ci-dessous, sans commentaires – on pourrait en formuler de nombreux ! – un article publié le 6 janvier 2010 dans The Star Online (Malaysia).
(Cliquer sur photos et cartes pour un meilleur effet !)
Au préalable, quelques précisions :
Ipoh est une province de Malaisie.
«Raja Brooke» est le nom commun en anglais de Trogonoptera brookiana WALLACE, 1856.
Sur Trogonoptera trojana HONRATH, 1886, de Palawan (Philippines), voir cette page.
La Rafflesia est la plus grande fleur au monde. Voir cette page Wkipedia.
Popular butterfly habitat destroyed
Ipoh : Workers who removed the historical Gopeng pipeline for scrap metal have destroyed the largest site for Rajah Brooke butterflies in Ulu Geroh, a major tourist attraction. All that remains of the salt lick, where the butterflies used to congregate in the thousands to sip water rich in minerals, is now just muddy ground.
Friends of Ecotourism and Nature Conservation (Semai) chairman Ahha Bah Udal claimed that workers removing the pipeline on Dec 24 “literally bulldozed” their way through the salt lick next to the Ulu Geroh access road : “The ground is flattened and there is mud everywhere. Until now, the workers have not bothered to take away the pipes, which they left by the side of the road,” said Ahha.
Semai, a collective effort by the orang asli village to promote ecotourism and their lifestyle, has 19 villagers acting as guides to take about 1,500 to 2,000 tourists annually into the jungles to view the Rajah Brooke butterflies and Rafflesia flower as well as to trek up Cameron Highlands.
Ahha said due to the destruction of the site, which had been gazetted by the state Wildlife and National Parks Department as a protected area, it was no longer possible to see the butterflies. “The butterflies have flown away. They can’t be seen on the ground anymore,” he said.
Ahha said the villagers were now considering legal action against the contractor responsible. “Although the contractor has permission to remove the pipeline, they should have informed that they were going to carry out the removal works and we could have advised them on which areas to avoid. Now, everything is destroyed and it is impossible to create another site. You cannot recreate nature,” Ahha said. The century-old Gopeng pipeline, which was once used to transport water from the hills to tin mines below, is being removed and sold as scrap metal. It was left behind after mining operations in Gopeng ceased in 1985.
Quelques photos prises dans les Cameron Highlands
Un peu plus au Sud, dans les Cameron Highlands demeurent encore – pour combien de temps ? – quelques sites, peu accessibles, où se rassemblent toujours les Trogonoptera brookiana :
Lepido-france remercie Rosalind, Gaspard et Ong Hock Seng qui nous ont autorisé à reproduire leurs photos.