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Friday, December 30, 2011

Trekking Up to Ban Buon Ku Kuot Waterfall

Dear members,
TIME:9.00 - 14.00
WHERE TO MEET: Parking of Information Centre at Kampong Annah Rais

For registration latest Friday 6th January.please contact Kwan or Cynthia at mnskuching@gmail.com. 
You will need to provide IC numbers and to sign an indemnity form. You will agree that he trip will be reported with photos in the MNS weekly column of the Borneo Post. For those who do not like to drive on mountain roads, Cynthia will make pooling arrangements as necessary,
Please send your IC/Passport number and car number with your confirmation mnskuching@gmail.com

Kampung Annah Rais is at about one hour's drive from Kuching. Leave the Serian Road at Mile Ten and take the Penrissen Road. Half an hour later, pass the junction to Borneo Highland Resort and cross the Semadang River. Take a small road on the right after the bridge, follow the River to the South for about two km and arrive at Annah Rais. From the parking at Annah Rais, cross the River again over a Bailey Bridge and drive about 10 km to Sadir. Between Annah Rais and Sadir, drive carefully on a poorly maintained road along a steep canyon. Just before Sadir take a small road on the right sign-posted to Sebakar, Simuti and Sibuang.

There is ample parking space at Sadir. However the access may be quite slippery when it rains!

Please bring along your camera, binocular, pocket-size note pad, hat, flip-flops, raincoat (this is the rainy season), insect repellent, extra clothes, lots of water, pack-lunch or takeaway, biscuits for the trek.
Proper hiking shoes for trekking

Free for Members. Non- members may join the trip but will be required to pay RM5/-. Free for all students.

For more information about the trip please contact:
Georges Schneider at 012-886 0033 or
Jacinta Wong at 012-886 2911

Love Life,Love Nature.
MNS Committee

Monday, December 19, 2011

Boat trip to Buntal and Santubong river

Dear all,

I would like to organize a boat trip for next week Thursday 29 Dec or Wednesday 4th Jan, leaving Buntal at 7 a.m. The trip will take around 3 hours and we are hoping to see the Stork-billed kingfisher, Brahminy kite, other birds, and perhaps dolphins, monkeys or crocodiles. But since it's not a zoo we can't guaranty any of these animals but for sure there will be birds.
The maximum number of people is 20, which is the maximum for the two available boat. The price depends on the number of people that join, and could be around RM60-80 pp. I need the payment in advance to be sure you're coming! Those who would like to come please send me an email before 25th Dec, saying which date you prefer.

For safety reasons this trip is not suitable for kids below 10 years. Priority will be given to MNS members. 
This is based on firtst come first serve base.

Cynthia Lobato

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Rules & Regulations 2011

MNS has a new set of rules and regulations (constitution) which comes into effect on 1 January 2012.
The rules and regulations contained several sections:
• Mission and Objectives
• Membership & Publications
• Management
• Nomination and Elections
• General Meetings
• Branches
The new rules will mostly affect membership and publication. The changes come into effect upon the expiry of your current membership. For example, if your membership expires in January 2012, your membership dues will be change/affected in February 2012. If your membership expires in December 2013, the Society will honour all privileges and will effect the change for this particular member in December 2013. Life Members will not be affected by the changes to the separation of publications payments and membership fees.
MNS Secretariat will be issuing letters informing of the changes upon the expiry of your membership.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Dear MNS Members,

Please be informed that the November 2011 newsletter is out.  You can download a copy from  http://www.mns.my/file_dir/6484038384ecdaa09d3383.pdf
·         Rolling out the new Rules and Regulations
·         The MNS-Boh Centre Appeal for Refurbishment Fund
·         Eco Kids Column – Growing Your Own Crystal Garden
·         Green Living Advocacy: Drafting an effective letter to the editor
·         Green Living Advocacy – Letter to the Editor (Think of All Aspects when coordinating ‘green’ events)
·         Calendar of Activities
Wee Chin
Membership Officer
Malaysian Nature Society
Tel: 03-22879422
Fax: 03-22878773

Pictures and newspaper articles about the Talk on 22Nov 2011

All pictures taken by Peter Lai.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Birding trip to Chupac

Dear Birders and Nature lovers:

We are pleased to let you know there is a trip planned for the Public Holiday on Monday 28th November to Chupak.

If you are wanting to come please register before Friday 25 November  5pm.

For more information about the trip please contact Anthony Wong at 013-8333163 (antwong@sareaga.com)  

For registration : Please contact Susan Teal before 5pm on Friday 25 November 2011
012-8874401  or sueteal2006@gmail.com


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Talk on Raptors in Japan by Professor Yamazaki

Dear MNS members and nature loving friends:

Please find an invitation to attend an interesting talk on Raptors in Japan. Professor Yamazaki has dedicated his life to the research of the Golden Eagle and the Mountain Hawk-Eagle in Japan. He is enthusiastic and wants to spread his story around so we can all follow his advice. 
Venue at USCI hall at 7:30pm 22 November.See map direction below.

  • Please register attendance by Monday 21 November (for the setting up of the room.)to mnskuching@gmail.com or through our FB page or Blog.


Your sincerely 

Direction to UCSI. Don't drive over the flyover but around it since its before the Shell station coming from the Airport.
Talk is at 1st floor and please be on time!.

See you  there!


click to enlarge newspaper page

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Birdrace Programme

Update on Bird Race 2011 - More prizes to be won!

Only 2 days to go before Bird Race 2011, and we have some exciting news!

Our Bird Racers now have a chance to win a pair of top-quality Leica binoculars worth RM3,000! These world-class optics are now part of our prizes as Leica joins us as a sponsor.  The bird race is still open for last-minute entrants.  

We also have a draw worth RM1,900 for a lucky visitor to Permai coming for the Talks and Workshops on the first day of the Event. So come early and register at Permai Rainforest Resort.  Registration starts at the Permai reception desk at 7.30am. The Opening address by YB Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip will begin at 8:30am and the talks will start at 9:15am.

On Saturday, visiting ornithologist  Nils Müller will answer many of your questions about different types of migrating birds.  Come and find out about Bird Migration.  We are very fortunate to be on one of the major migratory flight paths of these wonderful birds.  Flocks of migrating shorebirds can be seen in places like Bako-Buntal Bay, an internationally-recognized Important Bird Area close to Kuching

Our local speaker, Dr Charles Leh, is a recent recipient of the State Award Pegawai Bintang Kenyalang (PBK) for service to the Sarawak Museum as the Department’s Zoologist and Curator of Natural History.  Dr. Leh will talk about one of his areas of interest - The economic value of swiftlets in Sarawak. We invite you to get to know these fascinating little birds. Did you know that swiftlets fly the whole day without landing as they look for food? Did you know that swiftlet colonies can produce over a RM1.0 billion worth of nests a year? Come to find out more!

One of the world’s foremost hornbill conservationists, Dr. Pilai Poonswad, will share her experiences and success stories as leader of the Thailand Hornbill Project, one of the most successful hornbill conservation efforts in the world.  Dr Poonswad is currently a Professor of Biology at Mahidol University, Bangkok. She has received numeroushonors and awards, including the coveted Chevron Conservation Award and the ROLEX Award for Enterprise, for her scientific work and contributions to conservation. We are looking forward to her talk on her ongoing work for hornbill conservation in Thailand .

A famous photographer and writer from Singapore, Mr John Arifrin, will share his expertise on Wildlife picture taking.  His workshop will span two days with a classroom session at Permai on the first day and a practical session at Borneo Highlands Resort on the second day of the event. John Arifin travels across Asia documenting wildlife and culture, in search of a perfect moment to freeze in time. He contributes to local, regional and international magazines. We are very pleased that John has given up his weekend to come to Sarawak and to run a Wildlife and Bird workshop on how to capture those fantastic pictures.

No fees will be charged for the talks and workshops.

The Bird Race takes off on Sunday at Borneo Highlands!

The second day of the bird race will be held on Sunday (30 Oct) at Borneo Highlands.

The Racers will search for different bird species from 8am to 12 noon, recording their sightings in their log books for our three arbitrators to scrutinize.

While the racers are pursuing the birds, Jannie Tan and Dr. Chin will entertain the children. There will be games, arts and crafts, balloon twisting, face painting and many other enjoyable activities, designed so children between 4-10 years old can have fun while learning about nature.  Parents can leave their children with our volunteers in a secured classroom environment while they take part in our other organised activities. Registration starts at 8:00am.

For the general public, we have two types of nature walks (short and long) available for different fitness levels and preferences.  Our short walks will last about one hour, and are suitable for those who prefer to enjoy the beautiful environment and nature of Borneo Highlands along the easier trails.  Our long walks will last about 2 hours, and will be perfect for those who like more challenges and a greater exposure to nature.  Walkers are advised to dress comfortably, wear sturdy shoes and headgear, and bring drinks, sun block and insect repellent. Be prepared for wet weather.  Bring a change of clothes if you like.

Walks will start at 8am, and continue through the morning until 10am when the last walk will leave.

All walks will be led by trained volunteers from the Malaysian Nature Society, Kuching Branch.

Besides nature walks there are other planned activities, including a bird photo exhibition; talks; bird videos; binocular and scope display; and digiscoping demonstration and other events to enjoy throughout the morning.

A special talk on swiftlets will be presented by Dr. Lim Chan Koon at 12 noon.  Dr. Lim has a special interest in swiftlets, and earned his Ph.D working on the sustainable harvest and conservation of edible nest swiftlets (Aerodramus spp.) in Sarawak.  He has also worked in other areas of conservation, and was a senior lecturer in the Department of Zoology at UNIMAS.  Recently, Dr. Lim has decided to put his skills to business use, and has ventured into edible nest trade and production. He will share his experiences with us.

Complimentary return transfers will be available to take bird race participants up to the Resort.  Bird Racers must reach the foothill parking lot for transport to the resort before 7:30am.  Transfers start at 6:30am and continue at hourly intervals.

Non-racers and the general public will be allowed to drive up themselves with no entry charge, and to park their cars at the dedicated car park at the Resort.

For those who do not want to drive up to the resort, the taxi from the foothill parking lot costs RM15 per person each way in car pool system.

Other than the bird race, all the other activities organised will be offered for FREE to general public.

We hope all participants, whether racers or members of the public find our weekend activities worthwhile and enjoyable.  See you at the bird race this weekend!

For registration for the bird race, workshops, talks and other activities please call Susan Teal at 012-8874401 or Bernard Thian at 016-886 0139; you can also email us at sueteal2006@gmail.com or antwong@sareaga.com.  For more details and online registration, visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/sarawakbirdrace.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sarawak Birdrace 2011, 29th-30th October

We would encourage people to register early for the events. Things begin early! 
Plan to arrive at Permai by 8am and if you are taking part in the Bird Race at Borneo Highlands be at the foothills by 7:30am.
There are scheduled shuttles from Kuching to Permai from all the major hotels. The trip from Kuching to Borneo Highlands : Drive towards Serian and look out for the sign on the road for Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. Turn right at the lights into Padawan town and follow the signs to Borneo Highlands. At the Foothills there will be transport available for RM40 return. If you are wanting to drive up in your own transport - you need to talk to Benard and give him your car number plate and IC . 

There are special group prices at the two Resorts over the Bird Race weekend. 
Contact Ian 013 8626487 and Benard  016 8860139 for the details. 

Looking forward to an interesting and busy weekend.

Conservating Nature 
Celebrating Life 

Susan Teal

MNS Kuching Branch
KBBG Secretary

BECAUSE BIRDS ARE IMPORTANT: Hear it from the experts!

It’s going to be a big weekend for birds when the 4th Sarawak Bird Race kicks-off on 29th October 2011 at the Permai Rainforest Resort, and then ‘migrates’ to the Borneo Highlands Resort on 30th October 2011.

It’s also promises to be a big weekend for bird and nature lovers alike.

John Arifin will run a workshop on using photography to capture wildlife and bird pictures. John is a Singapore-based nature and wildlife photographer and educator who travels across Asia to document wildlife, and the culture of Asia in search of a perfect moment to freeze in time. John had been to various parts of Sarawak & Sabah to explore the nature and birdlife of Borneo. One of the highlights of his trip to Sarawak was to photograph the extremely rare Dulit Frogmouth.

John believes that bird races have tremendous value. “They create awareness about birds and nature, they create fellowship between the keen and new birders, and they build friendships among bird lovers internationally,” he says, adding excitedly, “It’s great for tourism promotion!”

As a young lad, Nils Müller was enthralled by the eerie but fascinating Raptors while travelling through the Pyrenees, and his love for ornithology was sealed forever. A Biology graduate from Lund University in Germany, Nils specializes in Bird migration and Genetics, and will share his knowledge and experience about bird migration: why, when and how far they migrate, and how they orientate themselves along their migration route.

Nils believes that bird Races are a great way to draw attention to the diversity of birds that surrounds us. “Birds have the largest range of species on Earth and many of them are found in our own backyard! I like to think that learning about birds means learning to appreciate nature and its value to the society,” he says. Nils believes that having a majestic bird like the Hornbill on the Sarawak Flag shows the inspirational power birds can give. With their capability to fly and cover great distances, birds can serve as a great indicator of the state of nature for example, the effects of global warming and human impacts to the fragile environment. “As we struggle to save endangered birds, we may find that they could possibly provide solutions to save humankind from ourselves,” he concludes.

Other speakers who will be on hand to share their knowledge and experiences include:

a) Dr Pilai Poonswad from Mahidol University in Thailand who will speak about Hornbill conservation and especially about her work on building artificial nesting boxes for these majestic denizens of the tropical rainforest.
b) Dr. Charles Leh, Curator of Natural History & Zoology at the Sarawak Museum will present a talk about the “Sustainability of Swiftlets”.
c) Dr. Lim Chan Koon, an edible nest trader and producer who will speak about ‘Edible Nest Trading”.

Schedule of nature talks & workshops:

Saturday, 29th October 2011, Permai Rainforest Resort
Nils Müller: Bird Migration
Dr Pilai Poonswad: Hornbill Conservation
Dr Charles Leh: Sustainability of Swiftlets
John Arifin: Workshop on how to capture wildlife and bird photos

Sunday, 30th October 2011, Borneo Highlands Resort
Dr Lim Chan Koon: Edible Nest Trading

Friday, October 7, 2011

Trekking Up Bung Jagoi to the Old Kampong

DATE: Sunday 16th October 2011;  TIME:       08h30 - 14h00
WHERE TO MEET: Parking of Mini-zoo & Café @ Turn Red, Jalan Serikin, Bau

Bung Jagoi is a sandstone hill about 360 meters high, half-way between Kampong Serasot and Kampong Duyoh. The Jagoi Bidayuh tribe used to live at the top of the hill in Kampong Jagoi Gunong. Most of them have now moved down to Serasot and Duyoh. When we first visited Jagoi on Sunday 8th February 2009, there were still two families living up there in the old Kampong, but the Head of the Village, Tua Kampong Jagoi Gunong, Mr Odeka anak Dirop, was very sick and the traditional healer from Kampong Stass was visiting him. At our second visit more than two years later on Sunday 7th August 2011, we learned that he had died in the meantime and there was only one single lady, Jema, left by herself in the old Kampong. However, our friend, Miku from Duyoh, keeps a house next to hers and the villagers from Duyoh and Serasot still visit their orchards around the Old Kampong regularly and come back for the various “Gawia” ceremonies.

The trip is an easy trek, close to Kuching. In 2009, the hill was still a fairly wild place, only rarely visited by school-children, as commemorated by a panel reading “Pandu Puteri SMK Lake was here on 29.8.98”, although concrete steps had already been built as early as 23.9.1989! However, Yung Kong Hardware were known regularly taking their staff on visits to the old village.
On our more recent visit, we found a group of tourists brought by boutique hotels from Kuching. Obviously, the place has tourism potential and it is timely for MNS to visit it. The nearby market at Kampong Duyoh, and the zoo and cave at the Turn Red Café are also worth visiting on the way. 

  • 08.30: Meet on the car park at Mini-zoo & Café @ Turn Red, Jalan Serikin, Bau. Arrange car-pools as required.
  • 08.45 sharp: Leave from the meeting point in a convoy and drive until the SIB Church at Kampong Serasot.
  • 09.00: Regroup and park at the SIB Church. Briefing by William Ding, who will be leading the trek. Safety by Jacinta Wong, Registering of name and car number, signing of indemnity form by Kwan Cheong. From there, we take a small path through the fields to the hill a few minutes walk away. Steep climb up a path with typical Bidayuh wooden steps and rest benches, through tall fruit trees (durian, cempedak) with the occasional majestic tapang. We will also see some pitcher plant along the trail. Near the top, we will refresh at a lovely spring.
  • 10.45: We reach Kampong Jagoi Gunong, take a leisurely stroll in the village and pay our respects at the Shrine of the Skulls.
  • 11.15: Regroup and walk for the last stretch of path (about twenty minutes) to the summit of Bung Jagoi (359 meters) and to the balcony over-looking Kampong Serasot. Enjoy the view of the hills to the North. 
  • 11.45: Walk back to Kampong Jagoi Gunong. Have a well-deserved lunch. Madame Jema has offered to cook us some rice. William will cook Bidayuh delicacies. We will taste the local tuak. Take Group Photo.
  • 12.45: William will lead us back by the same path and on to a lovely stream near Serasot and then back to the car-park. Some of us may prefer to take the easy path direct to Kampong Duyoh and arrange to be picked up there later. The steepest parts on that side have convenient albeit sometimes slippery concrete steps. There is a small waterfall, popular with school-children near the road at Kampong Duyoh. Do not forget to register with Kwan if you choose that option.
  • 14.00: Regroup to check-out, then drive back to the Turn Red Café or go shopping for plants and vegetables at the roadside market in Kampong Duyoh, a typical Bidayuh village near Serikin.

 For your safety, the MNS-KB committee will not leave until all participants are checked out. HOW TO GET THERE
Both Kampong Duyoh and Serasot are easily reached from Kuching since the Serikin Road and the Stass Road have been tarred. The Turn Red Café is at about one hour's drive from Kuching. Take either the old road to Bau from Kota Sentosa or the new N1 road through Batu Kawa and turn left at the T-junction on the Bau-Lundu Road. At the traffic light, where the old and new roads to Bau join, take the Serikin Road (Jalan Station). Keep on the Serikin Road at the junction with the road to Fairy Cave. The Turn Red Café is on the left a few meters after that Junction.

There is ample parking space at the Turn Red Café. The Mini-zoo and the Cave are worth visiting to unwind after climbing Bung Jagoi!

Please bring along your camera, binocular, pocket-size note pad, hat, flip-flops, raincoat, insect repellent, extra clothes, lots of water, your own plates, cups and cutlery, biscuits for the trek.

Participation to expenses of RM5/- will be collected from Members. Non-members may join the trip but will be required to pay a total of RM10/- including that participation and an additional fee to the Society. Free for students.

For registration please contact Kwan at mnskuching@gmail.com. You will need to provide IC numbers and to sign an indemnity form. You will agree that he trip will be reported with photos in the MNS weekly column of the Borneo Post.
For more information about the trip please contact Georges Schneider at 012-886 0033 or Jacinta Wong at 012-886 2911


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sarawak Bird Race 2011

Dear all,

The Bird Race returns for the 4th time with more activities and plenty of fun. The Sarawak Bird Race 2011 is jointly organised by Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) together with Borneo Highlands Resort (BHR) and Permai Rainforest Resort aiming to involve the surrounding communities, promote bird watching, and educate the communities on the importance of birds’ preservation to the environment. This year’s tagline is “Because Birds are Important”.


Friday, October 28 at 2:00pm - October 30 at 3:00pm
Location: Borneo Highlands Resort, Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo

The Sarawak Bird Race 2011 will be held on the 28th October 2011 to 30th October 2011. The launching of the Bird Race will be on the 28th October followed by seminars/workshops on birding on the 29th both at Permai Rainforest Resort and end on the 30th with the race at Borneo Highlands Resort. More details can be found at:http://www.birdrace2011.borneohighlands.com.my/

Hope to see you there.

MNS Kuching Branch Bird Group

Monday, August 22, 2011

MNS Birding trip to Fairy Cave area

MNS Birding Trip to Fairy Cave Area

DATE : 4 September (Sunday)

TIME : 7:00am – 10.00am

WHERE TO MEET : At entrance of Fairy Cave at 7.00am. Carpool by arrangement – should leave Kuching at 6:15am


The venue is Fairy Cave Nature Reserve, located about 10 minutes drive from Bau town centre. The Bau limestone hill region has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBAs).
Our leaders will be : Yeo Siew Teck and Ch’ien C Lee.

This trip is an opportunity to experience the biodiversity of the Bau Limestone area, comprising a series of low limestone hills, which are covered by mixed dipterocarp forests and also where many fresh water streams run through. The ecosystem includes impressive cave systems within limestone outcrops.
A study by Sim and Kong (2004) reveal the Bau Limestone Area holds at least 129 species of birds from 40 families, eighteen of which are globally-threatened and 34 listed as totally protected and protected species. Some of the more interesting species recorded in the area include Oriental Darter, Chestnut-bellied Malkoha, Red-crowned and Red-throated Barbets, Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Crested Jay, the globally-threatened Straw-headed Bulbul, and many others. One unusual bird occasionally sighted at Fairy Cave is the Bornean Whistling-thrush. This is an endemic species which is normally only found in the higher mountains of northern Borneo, but for some reason occurs here at sea-level.

To learn more about the Area, read the articles in The Sarawak Museum Journal Vol. LIX, No. 80 (New Series); Special Issue No. 6: 235-: Sarawak Bau Limestone Biodiversity (eds H.S. Yong, F.S.P. Ng and E.E.L. Yen).

Bau is located 35 Kilometers from Kuching. It can be reached by two routes. Either using the old Bau - Kuching Road via Kota Sentosa (7 mile Penrissen Road) or the Kuching – Bau- Lundu Road ( part of the Borneo Hwy) via Batu Kawa.

Please bring along your camera, binoculars, bird guides, pocket-size note pad, hat, sun block, umbrella, insert repellent. A torch if looking inside caves. Please remember to wear dull-coloured clothes.

Members : FREE
Non Members: RM5/-
Students : Free
Foreigners: RM20 donation to bird group for conservation

For registration please contact Susan Teal at 012-8874401 or sueteal2006@gmail.com.
For more information please contact Yeo Siew Teck on 019-887 6860 or Anthony Wong on 013-833 3163

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bird Race 2011 Kuching

Dear all,

Greetings from MNS - Kuching Branch Bird Group!
We are pleased to announce the Bird Race 2011 Kuching is on the weekend of the 28-30 October 2011.

We are seeking willing experts to give short topical talks to help raise Nature Awareness  and ' Because Birds are important' which is our theme this year.

Please contact me or Benard by Tuesday 23rd August if you can commit to talks at Permai or Borneo Highlands the end of October. We will arrange a meeting to discuss the Event soon after. 

Feel free to pass this invitation to others you think would be suitable to contribute. 

Visit the website for an idea of what is going on: The itinerary is still tentative -

Thank You.
Sue Teal
Secretary KBBG 


BENARD TIANG MING ZEARL | Assistant Manager, Marketing
Borneo Highlands Resort // Ground & 1st Floor, Lot 11607-11608, Block 16, RH Plaza,
 Lorong Lapangan Terbang 1, 93250, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
T: +6082-577 930 / 578 930 | M: +6016-886 0139 | F: +6082-576 680 |

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BorneoHighlandsResort
Back to Nature, Back to Basics | A joint venture between Country Heights Holdings
Berhad & LCDA

BHR Annual Events: 
BHR Padawan Nature Challenge 2011 : 3rd July 2011
Colours of Nature 2011 : 27th August 2011 - 16th September 2011
Sarawak Bird Race 2011 : 28th October 2011 - 30th October 2011
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

Susan Teal
Lot 17 Taman Ricketts
Jalan Maxwell, 93000 Kuching
Tel +6 082-250021
H/P 012 887 4401
Skype: susan.teal