Fieldwork in Borneo
I have just got back from two weeks in Sabah, Malaysia (north east part of Borneo), where I was helping to run a Cardiff University field course on Tropical Biodiversity. Cardiff University runs the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), located by the Kinabatangan River.
Despite a great reduction in the area of Sabah covered by rainforest due to logging and conversion to oil palm plantations, the area is still rich in biodiversity. My role was to run the bird mist netting and supervise student projects on birds. We caught many beautiful birds, but most impressive was probably the black-and-red broadbill:
A 4 m long saltwater crocodile was radio-collared by DGFC, and is providing novel information on the ranging behaviour of these awesome reptiles:
The forest around Kinabatangan also hosts an impressive array of reptiles and amphibians. Many are nocturnal, but green tree lizards could be seen climbing high up into the trees in the day time. I came across this individual on the ground:
There were an extraordinary number of primates in the riparian forests, most easily seen by boat. I have never been anywhere with such sheer quantities of monkeys and apes. Proboscis monkeys have to be one of the strangest looking monkeys in the world. This is a bachelor male, who carried on stuffing himself with leaves while we looked on:
I am already looking forward to next year’s field course!