http://www.mns.my/file_dir/7397984735770c347e3128.pdf

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sarawak International Bird Race 2016

Dear Birding Friends,

MNS Kuching Branch, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak,  is happy to announce  the Sarawak International Bird Race 2016 which will take place as follows:-

Dates:         Saturday 24th &  Sunday 25th September 2016
Locations:  Buntal, Kubah National Park & Borneo Highlands Resort.

Closing date for registration:  23rd August 2016

The race will take place at three different locations and we are also inviting  local teams to participate.  

We attach the flyer, containing the description of the locations, registration form and  notes on  how to participate in the race.

Please read the notes carefully before you sign up your team, which must consist of 
3 team members and  give a team name.

Payment is RM50.00 per team including a tshirt for each of you.
Transport, accommodation and  food (except for packed lunch at Kubah National Park)  are not provided for the local teams. We can suggest accommodation near Borneo Highlands Resort  if you don’t  like to drive up and down from town.
Don't miss this great opportunity as there are some fantastic prizes to be won!


Cynthia Lobato and Audrey Neng

MNSKB  Bird Race Committee
sarawakbirdrace@gmail.com


Monday, June 13, 2016

A tarred climb to the top of Mount Serapi BY SEEDS · MAY 29, 2016 By Patricia Hului @pattbpseeds patriciahului@theborneopost.com

phDSC_0052Serapi
A captivating view of Kuching from the observation tower of Mount Serapi.
What if I told you that you could climb up a mountain in this tropical climate without getting your shoes muddy?
Sounds unfeasible…but at Mount Serapi in Kubah National Park (NP) it is possible!
With an area of 2,230 hectares, the park was gazetted in 1989 thanks to its abundant plant diversity but its doors only opened to the public in 1998.
It is perhaps the most accessible national park in Kuching situated 22 kilometres from the city.
Plus, it is easy to spot Mount Serapi from Kuching; you can identify it by the telecommunications tower located on top of it.
There are seven trails available to be explored in Kubah NP: the main waterfall, Rayu, Selang, summit, Palmetum and Belian trails.
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One can never get lost if you are heading to Mount Serapi, just follow this tarred road.
The most famous trail takes visitors way up to the summit of Mount Serapi; a journey taking three to three and half hours of walking.
Although the trek takes you up a tarred road, it does not mean it is not difficult for those who are physically unfit.
There are sections of the road that slant at 45 degrees, making the climb tiring and hard on the knees. If you do get tired, though, you can take a rest at one of the many shelters located along the road.
Each shelter is uniquely named and comes with a signboard telling visitors how far it is to the next shelter plus how long it should take to get there.
Take it from me, though, when you are tired and getting restless; you wouldn’t care about timing your walk, just as long you get to the top.
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An observation tower made from Belian for a better view.
Once you reach the viewing platform at the summit, take in the spectacular view of Kuching provided if you have clear weather.
From there I could see the ocean, several nearby islands, Mount Santubong and not forgetting Kuching city itself in the distance.
In addition to the summit’s stunning views, personally I found the national park’s strongest appeal is the rich sound of nature.
The beautiful sounds of insects and rustling of leaves, however, are sometimes laced with noise from vehicles going up and down to the communication tower.
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The mountain range which can be seen from the top of Mount Serapi.
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A stunning view of the Sarawak coastline.

Tips and tricks

If you are planning to climb Mount Serapi, have an early start around 8 in the morning.
That was what the park guide told me when I registered at 10am. He warned me the weather could get hot if you start too late in the morning and advised us to drink plenty of water.
Be careful of the cars coming up and down to the telecommunications tower when you are using the summit trail; they can be extremely fast especially when driving down from the summit.
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Visitors know they have reached the top of Mount Serapi once they see this building; the area beyond this building is restricted to the public.
If you have time, stop by at the Frog Pond on your way up to the mountain and try to catch as many sounds as you can, you will be fascinated by Mother Nature’s orchestra.
Yes, the climb up to the top does not get your shoes into the dirt at all but it does not mean you can wear your sandals or flip flops.
Wear comfortable and durable shoes because I have seen a couple of footwear ‘carcasses’ along the road.
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A reminder not to litter.

Fun Facts about Kubah National Park

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Palm tree branches blocking part of the view.
1. Do you know that Mount Serapi was the main film location for Farewell to the King? The movie by John Milius was shot in 1987 starring Nick Nolte, Nigel Havers, Frank McRae and Gerry Lopez.
2. Jessica Alba spent her time in the nearby forest foothills at the park’s border to film The Sleeping Dictionary. She had come straight from her Dark Angel series.
3. Costatolide is a type of chemical extracted from Bintangor tree sap. Initial tests showed that it could halt the spread of HIV. If you walk along the Rayu Trail, you can see some of the Bintangor trees have been tapped for more research on this.
4. Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari, also a friend of James Brooke, spent his time from 1865 to 1868 in Sarawak. He described many of palms found in Kubah area in his book called ‘Wanderings in the Great Forests of Borneo’.
5. Nature recordist Marc Anderson won the Most Beautiful Sound in the World Competition sponsored by The Sound Agency and Beautiful Now in 2014 with a recording he recorded on site near the frog pond of Kubah NP. The winning recording was rich with the sounds of cicadas, frogs, birds and insects.
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The trees located along the summit trail are all majestic-looking.

Camera trapping viable tool in conservation works June 12, 2016, Sunday Danielle Sendou Ringgit, seeds@theborneopost.com

Hon receives a memento from MNS Kuching committee member Ann Armstrong (centre), witnessed by Tanu Patodia of Swinburne University.
Hon receives a memento from MNS Kuching committee member Ann Armstrong (centre), witnessed by Tanu Patodia of Swinburne University.
KUCHING: Camera trapping has been proven to be a highly useful tool as far as conservation works are concerned.
According to Worldwide Fund For Nature (WWF)-Malaysia programme leader (for Sarawak) Dr Jason Hon, the technology has been helping him and members from WWF Sarawak in their works in gaining quantifiable data and information over several years, especially on elusive animals in that they are able to study their activity pattern, abundance and behaviour.
Hon said by collecting data from camera trapping, it could be used for wildlife conservation purposes in wildlife habitat areas.
“What we hope to do at some point soon is to be able to use this information to tell or present the data to the government and relevant agencies that we need to do something about the areas,” he said.
With regard to reaching the goal of one-million hectare of Totally Protected Areas (TPAs), Hon said by presenting the data about animals, especially the endangered species, living within an area, it could help in pushing for better protection of the wildlife.
“So, this is why this set of data is important — we need to be able to support or justify why this area is important,” he said.
The state government has set the target to achieve one-million hectare of TPAs by 2020 — it is reported that for now, the state has achieved 0.85 million hectares.
On Friday, Hon delivered a talk ‘Caught on Camera! Camera Trapping Activities in Sarawak’ at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus here, which was a collaborative programme between the university, WWF-Malaysia and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Kuching Branch.
Hon received his doctorate degree from Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University in Japan and his Masters in Science (Ecology) from Aberdeen University in Scotland.
Hon delivers his talk, in which he highlights the findings from his camera trapping activities.
Hon delivers his talk, in which he highlights the findings from his camera trapping activities.



Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/06/12/camera-trapping-viable-tool-in-conservation-works/#ixzz4BR4ZtEvQ


Pictures taken by Nafisah Tahir — at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

Pictures taken by Nafisah Tahir — at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

Pictures taken by Nafisah Tahir — at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

photos to be credited to WWF-Malaysia.— at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

photos to be credited to WWF-Malaysia.
Audience checking the camera traps
 — at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

photos to be credited to WWF-Malaysia. — at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

photos to be credited to WWF-Malaysia.— at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Catching animals in action on camera


The Sambar deer setting off the camera trap as it wanders in the jungle at night.
The Sambar deer setting off the camera trap as it wanders in the jungle at night.
Camera trapping has a long history of use in the conservation world to obtain quantifiable data on elusive, hard to see animals.
On June 10, WWF-Malaysia Sarawak Programme Leader Dr Jason Hon will be presenting a talk, ‘Caught on Camera! Camera Trapping Activities in Sarawak’ at Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus, Kuching at 7pm.
Dr Hon, in his talk, will highlight the findings from the camera trapping research that has been undertaken by WWF staff Sarawak over the past several years. This talk will enable participants to see the natural world which is usually hidden.
These cameras are set up in areas where zoologists anticipate animals, such as along animal trails or salt licks. The animals literally take their own pictures because they set off motion sensor device that snaps them in action.
This sounds easy, but it is not. Scientists must know the animal, their habits and needs. Then, they must predict where and when the target animals will be on the move.
The animals themselves present challenges. Elephants, for example, have destroyed cameras that were set up to record their actions.
The landscape presents difficulties too. The remaining natural habitats of many Sarawak’s animals tend to be remote. To set up camera traps scientists must forgo the comforts of the 21st century and trek sometimes for two or three days to research sites. However, the benefits are huge.
The data gathered by camera traps is critical as it allows conservationists to document the population of the wildlife in remote places, while previously it was based on guesswork. Also the impact of deforestation and habitat destruction is immediately visible. The infrared technology behind camera traps records all this data with minimum intrusion to the wildlife, and it has also led to the discovery of many species.
Dr Hon prefers to experience nature in real time rather than through the lens or magazines and his research takes him into these remote and pristine landscapes of Sarawak.
Unfortunately not everyone is able to experience nature in real time. This talk is an excellent opportunity for young and old alike to understand and value Sarawak’s diverse biological landscape.
WWF-Malaysia would like to get more people interested in conservation and it does this through engaging with students at all levels of education, as well as working in the Youth Green X-Change programme, a Natural Resources and Environment Board initiative. They also have internship programmes.
Dr Hon’s talk will explain the challenges and rewards of Camera Trapping Activities. The talk is jointly organised my Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch, WWF-Malaysia and Swinburne University of Technology.
Dr Hon received his doctorate degree from the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Japan and his MSc in Ecology from Aberdeen University, Scotland.
For more information or to register for the talk contact the Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch at mnskuching@gmail.com or https://www.facebook.com/mnskb/.