Posted by: jameskimborneo | November 27, 2009

Clouds

In the rainforest the clouds are great. Especially big cumulonimbus puffy ones before rainstorms.

Posted by: jameskimborneo | November 14, 2009

Our work at Maliau Basin

We have now finished our work at Maliau Basin. Here is a taste of what we have been doing.

Sitting on Maliau basin (just a model)

Sitting on Maliau basin (just a model)

The first part of our job was to develop a report outlining research recommendations that we feel are crucial to the management of the Maliau Basin Conservation area. We produced a report that prioritised our recommendations e.g. carry out surveys to establish an estimate on the population of clouded leopard in the buffer zones. Every recommendation came with a background and recommendations on how to carry out the research.

step into our office.... working in the conference room

step into our office.... working in the conference room

The second part of our work was to develop education modules aimed at high school/university aged groups who visit the studies centre. We made 5 modules, each focussing on an aspect of rainforest conservation and biodiversity that we found crucial e.g. bird identification, rainforest fragmentation and its associated effects. Each module was developed for a teacher to use, and contained all the information needed for the class, as well as outlined activities and exercise handouts/posters.

The last part of our job was to make interpretive signage for a new trail being developed near the studies centre. The trail runs through primary and previously logged rainforest and eventually reaches a point where the tea coloured Maliau river (that drains the basin) mixes with the brown Kuamut river with spectacular contrast. We made six signs that will each be printed and placed along the track early next year hopefully. It will be amazing to come back here in a few years and see our signs!

The confluence of the two rivers Sungai Maliau and Sungai Kuamut

The confluence of the two rivers Sungai Maliau and Sungai Kuamut

one of the signs we developed for the confluence trail

one of the signs we developed for the confluence trail

A highlight of the work here was when one of our photos (Takob Akob falls from our trek) was chosen to adorn the walls of the VIP suite in the resort! This is being built especially for the Prime Minister of Malaysia to stay in when he officially opens the area next year.  So this is a big deal, and we were extremely complimented by the inclusion of our picture. We were invited to view the picture in the house the night before it was first used!

Our claim to fame in the VIP room!

Our claim to fame in the VIP room!

Posted by: jameskimborneo | November 14, 2009

Scorpions, snakes and other creepy crawlies

We have managed to come across some pretty amazing creatures on our walks. One highlight was a brilliant green snake (most likely a green tree snake), which was sitting in the middle of the road when we were walking to work one day. I immediately reacted like I had seen a massive cobra, but James calmly managed to catch him on a stick as he was slinking off to the side of the road.

Snake on a stick

Snake on a stick

He was probably about 1 metre long, quite skinny and absolutely rad looking. James and our friend Robson picked him up by the tail for some photo opportunities.Then we let him slither away, back to the green grass he so perfectly blended in with.

James with the snake on a stick

James with the snake on a stick

The next amazing creature that we stumbled across was a massive dark green scorpion, crossing the main access road on one of our early morning jaunts. James coaxed him back into the centre of the road with a plank of wood so we could get a good look at him. He didn’t seem to like this, and immediately adopted the ‘fight’ response, transforming from a flat, crab-like object, into a tall, intimidating creature, with stinger pulsating, ready to inject anything that dared to come near his crab-like pincers.

Scorpion preparing for a fight

Scorpion preparing for a fight

Kim cautiously hovering over the impressive scorpion

Kim cautiously hovering over the impressive scorpion

We have also had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with millipedes and centipedes (although always with extreme caution when centipedes are concerned as some are poisonous). Millipedes are very fun to play with, watching them ‘conveyor-belt-ing’ over the forest floor (and my arms!) as well as watching the pill millepede disappear into a little protective ball when prodded.

Pill millipede before being prodded.....

Pill millipede before being prodded.....

Pill millipede after being prodded!

Pill millipede after being prodded!

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