Experts to check on wetlands pollution.
PETALING JAYA: A non-governmental organisation will despatch a team of ecologists to the Paya Indah Wetlands to check possible damage to its ecosystems caused by sand mining nearby.
Landskap Malaysia said 220 species of aquatic plants, fish species (14), amphibians (10 species), mammals (26), reptilians (20) in the wetlands would be affected by pollution.
Already it is feared that some of the 210 bird species have been unsettled by the dust and noise from the sand-mining activities and could have left.
Some are migratory birds — Greenshank, Redshank and various species of sandpiper — known to stop at the wetlands for food before continuing their “journey” to Australia.
Datuk Yahya A. Jalil, who is a member of Landskap Malaysia board of governors, said it would coordinate with other NGOs on matters such as the selection of experts for the Paya Indah assignment.
Sand mining by the Selangor government’s subsidiary Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd is being carried out 20 metres from the southern boundary of the wetlands in Kampung Olak Lempit. The Malaysian Nature Society had said this was “too close for comfort”.
Landskap Malaysia said its own monitoring showed that sand- mining activities had reached the wetland’s buffer zone.
Buffers are stretches of reserved land to protect the interior of the wetlands from neighbouring development.
“Many species in Paya Indah Wetlands rely on the buffer zones to complete their lifecycle. Any pollution, disruption or worse, destruction of the buffer zones will see the disappearance of these unique animals.
“It is important that we do not politicise the matter. This is a matter of natural environment.
“The Paya Indah Wetlands is a national heritage and a sanctuary for wildlife. It is wrong to capitalise on these resources on the expense of the animals’ habitat for the sake of profit,” said Yahya.