Publication update 15: The bear and the pangolin

sunbear pangolin
© Reuben Clements / Rimba

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

Photo update 9: Just how important is the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor?

Between 1999 and 2001, Dr Kae Kawanishi recorded 40  mammal species (including humans) on camera traps during her surveys  in Peninsular Malaysia’s largest protected area in Taman Negara.

It’s now 2012. So far, researchers in Rimba have recorded at least 38 mammal species on camera traps in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor (~170 sq km), which is around 4% of Taman Negara’s size!  Of the total species count (from camera traps, sightings and tracks), 6 are ‘endangered’ and 9 are ‘vulnerable’ according to the IUCN Red List.

The selectively logged forests within this corridor are vital habitats for Malaysia’s threatened mammals. However, many of them, such as Rimba’s mascot below, face an uncertain future in Kenyir.

Habitat loss (for dam construction and eco-tourism infrastructure) and poaching currently threaten the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor.  This is the only area in Terengganu  where mammals and other wildlife can still cross from Taman Negara towards the forests in Hulu Terengganu. We hope the Terengganu State Government will spare important areas of the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor from further development, and gazette it as Malaysia’s first official Wildlife Corridor!

We now have the latest list of mammal species in Kenyir, as well as recent camera trap photos that depict the five endangered species, their threats, and the signs of hope for Kenyir. Continue reading

Project update 2: Kudos to Wildlife Department for nabbing pangolin hunters

Rimba would like to give a special shout-out to the Terengganu State Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP or its Malay acronym PERHILITAN) for conducting a successful raid that netted Vietnamese and Cambodian poachers plundering Tembat Forest Reserve, one of the research sites in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project. The poachers were caught red-handed with pangolin meat and scales.

DWNP trailed the poachers for 70 km from Sungai Ketiar Elephant Sanctuary, after the poachers were initially spotted leaving the forest reserve by car. The fact that these foreigners were able to easily access the forest using a vehicle is yet another example of how roads can facilitate entry for illegal hunting and collection of forest produce.

Continue reading