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Thursday, February 11, 2010

DIPTEROCARP IDENTIFICATION WALK on Saturday 20 February at Santubong.

This dipterocarp tree is full of fruit. Each fruit has five ‘wings’, which point downwards and which give the fruit some direction when it falls. During the fall the fruit’s wings make it spin, much like the rotor blades of a helicopter. Picture copyright Hans Hazebroek.

MNS is happy to announce a
on Saturday 20 February at Santubong.

Meet at Permai Rainforest Resort Reception at 8.45am sharp.

First there will be an introduction to identification of the dipteriocarps by Dr Kit Pearce. William Beavitt and helpers will be leading a forest walk on the Resort's waterfall trail, pointing out some of the ways to recognize and identify these trees from their fruits.The word ‘dipterocarp’ can be translated as ‘two winged fruit’ and we can expect to see all shapes and sizes of these fruits, including some with as many as 5 wings. Dipterocarp forest comprises 85% of Sarawak's natural forest area (Sarawak forestry 2009) but how many species of dipterocarp tree can we recognize?
Currently there is a ‘mass fruiting event’ (i.e. most trees of almost all dipterocarp species are bearing fruit), which occurs about every 3-7 years. It has been suggested this may be to satiate the fruit's predators and be triggered by the cyclic El Nino event thus providing seedlings to replace any trees that were damaged in dry weather or strong winds. The guided walk is expected to take about three and a half to four hours, as we will stop and talk about individual trees.
Only 30 registered participants are allowed that day and you can sign up by sending an email with your IC number, full name and telephone number to Cynthia, mnskuching@gmail.com not later than Friday 19 February and this is on First come, first served basis.

This event is free for MNS members and the resort is happy to waive the RM 5 entrance fee but you have to show your MNS membership card.
Non-Members are also welcome but have to pay RM 5 to MNS and also the RM5 entrance fee to the resort but you are welcome to sign up as a member that day and the minimum fee to become a member is RM 70 for Ordinary or RM 95 for Family Membership per year.

The resort discourages outside food but will offer lunch upon return at RM 20 pp which we can order before we set off.
A portion of the Santubong Mountain was gazetted a national park in February 2007 so the event will coincide with its 3rd anniversary.
If you have some forestry experience and would like to help us lead the walk and ID the Dipterocarps please do let us know.

 Don’t forget to bring your membership card!
Remember only registered participants are allowed so don’t forget to sign up before Friday 19 February! mnskuching@gmail.com


  1. Tip for everyone that join this trip:

    We will be following a clearly marked trail. It is through the forest and we will be passing through a couple of slippery streams and past a small waterfall. Good footwear such as rubber shoes (Kg. Adidas) or equivalent are recommended. You will need something to drink also. A small hand lens is useful if you have one for taking a closer look at the leaves. This can make ID easier but is not essential. If you are a note taker then a small notebook and pen would be useful also.

  2. I am all-in for this very interesting walk! This is a unique opportunity to see Sarawak's mixed dipterocarp forest fruiting, a rare event. In addition, it is also a great opportunity to be guided by Kit and William in learning more about the wonderful trees that constitute this forest.