If you’d like to learn more about bats, don’t miss out on downloading this brand new, open-access book on bat conservation edited by Tigga Kingston and Christian Voigt: ‘Bats in the Anthropocene: conservation of bats in a changing world’. Thanks to partial funding from SEABCRU, this online book is completely free to download, either in whole or as separate chapters. Continue reading
The Belum-Temengor Rainforest Complex (BTFC) in the State of Perak covers a cross section of Peninsular Malaysia’s terrestrial ecosystems from lowland rainforests at the foothills to tropical montane cloud forests in the highlands. This 300 sq km of wilderness is home to healthy populations of mammalian megafauna including the critically endangered Malayan Tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni. In fact, the remarkable state of ecosystem preservation in BTFC makes it one of the most critical regions in Peninsular Malaysia for the conservation of almost every group of rainforest flora and fauna. However, it was a cherry-sized snail that particularly caught the attention of Reuben, during one of his routine mammal surveys in BTFC one morning in February 2009. Continue reading
Hey folks, remember this publication update?
In that article, we talked about how we shared a facebook post that featured a turtle being abused, reached around 63,000 people within a few hours of its posting. The moral of the story was that sensational news such as those on animal abuse appeared to garner more attention from the public than news on conservation issues.
That article was led by one of Rimba’s researchers, Lahiru Wijedasa. But that wasn’t the last word…
Hi folks, we have another publication update to share. A little late, this interesting observation was originally shared in the IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group‘s spring newsletter by Laurie and Sheema. It has something to do with the photo above…can you spot the pangolin in the shot??
While going through Reuben’s camera trap photos for the database, Sheema first noticed this particular bear exhibiting some strange behaviour over several consecutive shots. Things got really interesting when she realised what it had in its mouth… Continue reading
Many of you have been following us on our Facebook page (the blue Facebook widget tucked into the banner at the top of this site will take you there), which we set up 2 years ago to raise awareness and concern about biodiversity conservation. Over time, we noticed that certain posts got a lot more attention and ‘likes’ than others. When the viral attention received by one particular post we shared shocked even us, Lahiru decided to conduct a little experiment…
Read more about our results and conclusions below, which we submitted to The Scientist, and are now available online:
It’s always a treat to find a species new to science.
But finding a new species of snail from Terengganu isn’t surprising.
One reason is that before the second half of the last century, malacologists (scientists who study snails) mainly looked for snails in the Federated Malay States, which consisted of Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak and Selangor.
Finding a new species in Malaysia also isn’t that surprising. According to a study by Giam, one of Rimba’s researchers, tropical moist forests of the Neotropics, Afrotropics, and Indomalaya (this includes Malaysia!) are likely to harbour the greatest numbers of undescribed species.
Just last year, Reuben and his colleague, Tan Siong Kiat, described a new genus and species of snail in Terengganu. This snail is now known as Kenyirus sodhii. That was the first snail ever described from Terengganu and one of the first few animals to be named after Kenyir.
Now Reuben and another colleague, Mohammad Effendi bin Marzuki, are proud to announce another new species of snail from Terengganu: Pearsonia tembatensis.
Just for the record, this is the first time scientists have found this genus (Pearsonia) in Malaysia! You can read more information on this discovery here, which was published in the recent issue of the journal Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.
If you look closely at the shell of this snail, you will notice a snorkel-like protuberance (circled in red) on the shell. For now, nobody knows yet what the function of this ‘snorkel’ is for.
You might find the name tembatensis familiar, as this snail was named after Tembat Forest Reserve, where Reuben conducted his camera trapping work under the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project.
The snail was also named after Tembat to highlight the environmental destruction befalling this forest reserve due to the construction of new hydroelectric dams. We hope that we’ll still be able to find this snail in drier parts of the forest once the dam begins operating, because in the flooded areas, even its snorkel won’t be able to keep this air breather alive for long…
There was a time when people used to think that saving the environment was all about – well, the environment. Some people even confused it with ‘saving the trees’, ‘saving the animals’, or ‘saving wildlife’. Many conservationists nowadays know better. We’ve learnt that the environment has been shaped and nurtured by the many indigenous and local people who revere it, care for it and ultimately depend on its resources for their survival. Focusing on saving the environment, or wildlife, alone is meaningless if we don’t take into account the forest-dependent or sea-dependent peoples who are critical in ensuring nature’s well-being – and for whom, in turn, nature is a critical part of their lives. Sometimes they can be a part of the problem, but often they can be part of the solution too. This is why more conservationists need to start recognising the important role played by indigenous peoples in conservation, and also start considering and incorporating indigenous peoples in conservation efforts. Continue reading