Photos: camera traps capture wildlife bonanza in Borneo forest corridor

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
September 10, 2012



The Bornean elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis), a prospective subspecies of the Asian elephant, is the world's smallest. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
The Bornean elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis), a prospective subspecies of the Asian elephant, is the world's smallest. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).

Camera traps placed in a corridor connecting two forest fragments have revealed (in stunning visuals) the importance of such linkages for Borneo's imperiled mammals and birds. Over 18 months, researchers with the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) have photographed wildlife utilizing the corridor located in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Malaysian Borneo.

"We have identified 27 species of mammals including the extremely rare otter civet and the charismatic Sunda clouded leopard and Malayan sun bear; and six species of birds including the endangered storm stork," explains the director of SWD, Laurentius Ambu, in a press release.

Forests along the Kinabatangan River are heavily fragmented by oil palm plantations, many of which are planted all the way to the river's edge, making it difficult for animals to move between surviving forests. Nearly three years ago, the palm oil industry and the Sabah government pledged to partner to build wildlife corridors and require all land with 100 meters of the river be left for wildlife conservation, but little progress has been made to date.

Last year Ambu said that the government was ready to go, but that "the oil palm industry on the whole has been very slow to replant riparian areas although they talk a lot."

Lack of forest means that some animals are changing their behaviors to survive.

"Interestingly, we captured a lot of pictures of arboreal primates such as orangutans, proboscis monkeys and langurs (including the very rare Hose's langur) on the ground. It probably demonstrates that there is a lack of tree connection," explains Benoit Goossens, Director of DGFC.

The camera traps, which were provided by several zoos in the U.S. (Houston, Columbus, Cincinnatti and Phoenix), prove the importance of forest corridors in the fractured landscape, says Goossens.

"Without these corridors, most populations would decline and go extinct. If we manage to maintain a link between forest fragments along the Kinabatangan, I believe that we can save the populations of Sunda clouded leopard, Malayan sun bear, Bornean elephant, orangutan, and other species in the area."



The sun bear (Ursus malayanus) is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
The sun bear (Ursus malayanus) is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



The Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), Vulnerable . Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
The Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), Vulnerable . Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



The Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), Endangered. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
The Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), Endangered. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



The crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela), Least Concern. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
The crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela), Least Concern. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



The long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Least Concern. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
The long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Least Concern. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus), Endangered. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus), Endangered. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



The crested fireback (Lophura ignita), Near Threatened. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
The crested fireback (Lophura ignita), Near Threatened. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



A romp of oriental small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea), Vulnerable. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
A romp of oriental small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea), Vulnerable. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



A storm's stork (Ciconia stormi), Endangered. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
A storm's stork (Ciconia stormi), Endangered. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



Bornean elephant take two. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
Bornean elephant take two. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



Sunda clouded leopard take two. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
Sunda clouded leopard take two. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).



Bornean orangutan take two. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
Bornean orangutan take two. Photo by: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (September 10, 2012).

Photos: camera traps capture wildlife bonanza in Borneo forest corridor.

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0910-hance-borneo-corridor-photos.html