I don’t think Malaysia realizes the value of their forests. Or they do and they don’t care. In addition to the above, they actively promote the conversion of tropical rainforest into palm oil plantations. I’ve had a tour guide tell me all about their lush and beautiful palm oil “forests”. More like face palm, Sir.
Huge schooling bumphead parrotfish in Sabah/Borneo, Malaysia
by Jürgen Freund
‘Tony’ a rescued pygmy killer whale released back into the wild.
‘Tony’, as the (female) whale became known, was found stranded on Tanjung Aru beach, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia by a member of the Shangri-la Resort’s security team early on the morning of Tuesday 10th January 2012. She was moved to the swimming enclosure at the hotel in order to let her recuperate in safety under the supervision of the Sabah wildlife department with the expert guidance of Marine Biologist Lindsay Porter and assistance from local NGO LEAP and WWF Malaysia.
Volunteers worked around the clock to keep her afloat, monitor her vital signs and try to get her to feed. After 36 hours of recuperation Tony was lifted onboard Borneo Dream’s dive boat and released into deep water off Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Will this be the end of her story?
Video by Scuba Zoo
Pygmy killer whale released into the wild
A pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata) was found on the 1Oth January stranded on Sabah’s Tanjong Aru beach was released back into the wild yesterday.
A group of onlookers cheered when Sabah Wildlife Department, with the assistance of Dr Lindsay Porter from St. Andrew’s University’s Sea Mammal Research Unit, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa Kota Kinabalu, WWF-Malaysia, Borneo Dream and L.E.A.P (Land, Empowerment, Animal, People), successfully guided the whale onto a stretcher and lifted it to a speedboat to be returned to the sea.
The mammal, which has been named Tony, was discovered by a security personnel of Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa Kota Kinabalu at 7am on Tuesday.
The whale was moved to the resort’s enclosed sea lagoon to protect it from boats and fishermen till it could be freed.
Around 30 to 40 volunteers, comprising divers, surfers, students, hotel guests, staff from WWF-Malaysia and and L.E.A.P., took turns for 15 to 20 minutes each throughout the night to try to feed the mammal and keep it afloat under the supervision of the Sabah Wildlife Department.
Photos from ScubaZoo
While palm oil biofuel production is a major source of income for Malaysia, clear-cutting the rain forest for the palm plantations also has dramatic ecological and social costs. Palm oil biofuel production growth is fuelling the rapid clearing of the most biodiverse tropical forest in the world, endangering species that need this habitat. In addition, forests contain large quantities of carbon which are released when they are burnt to make space for farming. Photographer Daniel Kukla started photographing the palm plantations in Borneo in October 2010:
“For me, the word ‘Borneo’ conjured up vivid dreams of lush impenetrable rain forests teeming with life. Upon my arrival to the island of Borneo I was confronted by the reality of this place where huge tracts of old growth rain forest have been cleared for oil palm plantations. After many long drives through the countryside seeing only palm plantations, I wanted to see the landscape might look like from a different vantage point. I took a small propeller plane around the southern part of Sabah to get this aerial shot. Despite the strange beauty to the verdant parallel lines and snaking dirt roads, I felt a sinking feeling while I was photographing. So much has already been lost and the plantations continue to eat away into the landscape.”
Exactly how I felt when I went. Couldn’t believe the expanse of it.
The Borneo’s rainforest is 130 million years old, 70 million years older than the Amazon rainforest in Brazil making it the oldest rainforest on Earth. Borneo is very rich in biodiversity compared to other islands. Borneo is home to the endangered species of the Borneon Orangutan, Asian Elephant,…
Soon there will be nothing left…
Poor Borneo :(
Wow: How to regrow a Rainforest
TED Talk by conservationist Dr. Willie Smits.
Ignore the monotone, what he has to say is pretty damn cool!
More of the pea-sized frog Microhyla nepenthicola
Not exactly a ‘new’ discovery, as specimens in museum collections date back over 100 years, but were always assumed to be juveniles of other species.
The new species was named after the pitcher plant, Nepenthes ampullaria, which it depends on to live. The frogs deposit their eggs on the sides of the pitcher, and tadpoles grow in the liquid that accumulates inside the plant.