Rhino : In the News
: News From The Field : MONTHLY
MONTHLY FIELD REPORT
||SOS Rhino Borneo
In March 2004, two surveys were undertaken in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. On 11th - 13th March, a minor expedition was undertaken to check out certain part of the Tabin river. Dr. Edwin Bosi together with four field assistants, Julie Burns a Chicago-based volunteer and Dr. Thayaparan, a Sri Lankan research volunteer were in this expedition. Previous surveys have indicated the presence of rhinos along the riverbank and in this case, we surveyed the lower parts of the previous site.
Unfortunately, we have not seen any sign of rhinos. We heard the usual gibbon calls in the morning. The local considers the gibbon ëweathermaní as calls made before 9.00am means a good sunny day. The earlier they make the calls the better. Strangely this observation is accurate!
We also stumbled on a tiny red head with red-tailed (at the tip) snake. It is yet to be identified. As usual there are hoof prints of sambar deer and wild pigs. We saw at least three species of hornbills - black, rhinoceros and helmeted. On our way back to the base camp at Utik we saw four river otters and many long-tailed macaques.
A short river cruise along Segama river from our base camp Utik we saw a good number of Proboscis monkeys, grey leaf monkeys, macaques and a huge male orangutan. Although we have seen many orangutan nests along the Segama river, this was the first sighting and was approximately 300 meters from Utik base camp. In the early morning, one can sometimes hear the orangutan calls that sounded like groaning, from the Utik base camp. We use to joke about ëhimí that he must be feeling cold.
including Julie and Thayaparan pushing the boat along a shallow rapid.
photographs of elephant hoof prints on the riverbank.
Rhino base camp at Utik, along the Segama river.
SOS Rhino field
team with Julie and Thayaparan having dinner at Utik.
A second excursion into the Tabin forest was made from 17th to 23rd March 2004. Team Leader Sarinus Aniong together with three field assistants and research volunteer from Sri Lanka Dr. Thayaparan went for this survey. One has to take a boat upstream for two hours and then walk through tough terrains to reach the particular location of the second excursion There are four camps to be reached and would take at least 3 days for a new person. This location has been identified as rhino haven. It is within the reserve and all three sightings of rhinos were made around here.
Sarinus team was fortunate to find rhino hoof prints. There were many but only two were clear and estimated to be about a month old.
Other animals encountered were proboscis monkeys along the river, otters, hornbills, serpent eagle, monitor lizards, river terrapin, jungle fowl, moose deer, orangutan, elephants and gibbons. The team also found hoof prints of Tembadau or banteng, wild pigs and sambar deer.
Primary school toilet
While the other team was in the forest, the second team led by Tinju Isa went to assist the village primary school to repair its toilet. Out of six toilets only one was functioning. This toilet has to accommodate at least 47 children and five teachers. Sometimes the villagers use the facility. All six toilets are now functioning.
of the schoolís toilet. We will provide pictures of the repaired toilet in the
The SOS Rhino field team has built another boat. It took the team just under a week to complete the task. The boat will be named ëAnnelisaí in memory of the late Annelisa Kilbourn. The first boat has been named ëNaní. The boats will be painted red, white and yellow. SOS Rhinoís logo will be on display together with ëLindungilah Badak Kitaí or Protect Our Rhino. A local oil palm contractor by the name of Awi has kindly donated a new and second hand 30HP boat engines.
Program Officerís visit to Dagat
On 27th March 2004 the Program Officer and field assistants visited Dagat and meet with the villagers. We were shown the tentative site where we will construct SOS Rhino research quarters. Dagat has a healthy population of about 200 people. They are mainly fisherman.