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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Borneo Wildlife Bonanza

We spent four days along the Kinabatangan River and saw a huge array of wildlife. The primate population there is astounding! The trees along the river's edge teemed with large troops of proboscis monkeys, a species endemic to Borneo. They crash through the trees, making huge, reckless leaps as they fling themselves to adjacent branches. It is an amazing sight! We also observed countless macaques as well as some langurs. The highlight, however, was observing wild orangutans. We followed a mother and her baby through the forest for several hours until she made her night nest. This is just one of the animals that KOCP has studied for the last ten years so the have a huge amount of data on feeding ecology and other behavior.

The bird life of the region is also impressive. We observed four species of hornbills in great numbers as well as water birds. The river also holds many reptiles and we were fortunate to see a viper, mangrove snake, and many water monitor lizards and small crocodiles. The region is also home to a population of 200 elephants but they were further up river so we were not able to observe them.

Next we will be visiting study sites in Dermakot and the Danum Valley so more wildlife awaits!


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