Publication update 17: Kenyirus sheema – a new land snail species from an old rainforest

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Holotype of the new species Kenyirus sheema. Foon, Tan and Clements, 2015.

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

Publication update 10: Publication Bonanza!

Several months have passed since our last update, as Rimba’s researchers have been quietly but feverishly slogging away. Conservation’s not all fun and games – a lot of it is also spent sitting in front of a computer! To make up for our long silence, this particular update features a bonanza of our latest publication efforts (download instructions further below in red). Our conservation scientists are nothing if not prolific!

This is where most of the work gets done

First up, Continue reading

Publication update 9: A lonely snail

Reuben discovered the mysterious snail above in the forests of Kenyir, long ago. It may seem like just an ordinary snail, but to the trained eye of a malacologist (a biologist who specialises in molluscs), it didn’t look like anything he’d found before in Malaysia. In fact, certain distinguishing features set this snail apart from any other snail in Malaysia, so after a lot of research, Reuben and his friend Siong Kiat Tan set about describing it. They discovered that in fact, no other snails in Southeast Asia’s Sundaland shared the same distinguishing features! Not only is it a new species, it’s also a completely new genus! There’s also a possibility that it could be endemic to the Kenyir area.

They’ve named this strange lonely snail Kenyirus sodhii in honour of Kenyir, and also to honour the memory of Reuben’s late university professor and mentor, Prof. Navjot Sodhi. The New Straits Times featured an article about it on Monday (thanks, Sean Augustin!), which you can read here. Also, Continue reading