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  SOS Rhino : In the News : News From The Field : MONTHLY FIELD REPORT MAY 2004

MAY 2004

  SOS Rhino Borneo

Nanís visit o Rainbow Ridge (30 April 2004)

Dr. Nan visited Rainbow Ridge in Sabahmas Plantation at the invitation of Mr. E.M. Khoo, Executive Director, PPB Oil Palms Bhd. She also attended the Annual Dinner of Sabahmas Plantation and Labour Day celebration.

Pix shows Nan at Edwin doing a duet during the Sabahmas Annual Dinner

Nanís visit to Tabin (1 - 2 May 2004)

After the workshop, Dr. Nan Schaffer visited the villagers where SOS Rhino is undertaking the community outreach program or COP. The villages are found along the Segama river and its tributary, north of Tabin Wildlife Reserve. This is an equally important program where we are engaged with the villagers directly, to solicit their support in conservation by explaining to them the rational and benefits of conserving wildlife and their environment.

Dr. Nan met with the Dagat village Chief and his wife. They exchanged views and later tour the village. Nan was fortunate to taste the big river prawns, which are the main revenue earner of the villagers.

Pictures of Nanís visit

Pix 1. Dr. Nan with the Program officer, and staffs of SOS Rhino at Tanjung Utik base camp

Pix 2. Dr. Nan sharing dinner with staffs of SOS Rhino at Tanjung Utik base camp

Pix 3. Dr. Nan visited Dagat and met with Dagat village chief, Mr.Aji Salih

Pix 4. Dr. Nan visited the primary school at Parit and met with the teachers and students

Pix 5. Dr. Nan and Nadia (volunteer) enjoying a boat cruise along the Segama river and viewing wildlife

Rhino Challenge 2004 (3 - 12 May 2004)

Having finished the more technical sessions and the on-hand experience with the villagers at the SOS Rhino community outreach program site, north of Tabin, Dr. Nan moved on to officiate the Rhino Challenge 2004.

There were 12 participants from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia who raised fund for rhino conservation and went through a grueling ëexerciseí by walking towards the sky until the summit of Mt. Kinabalu, 4101 meters high. After conquering the mountain, the participants moved on to cycled to the tip of Borneo covering over 100 km. Then they headed for Tabin where they join SOS Rhino field team to track for Sumatran rhinos. Some participants found hoof prints of the elusive rhinos while others were not too successful as they encountered a herd of wild Asian elephants and attacked by bees. All the participants were not spared from the great tiger leeches of Tabin. Two participants, Kerry and Kate opted for the community outreach program, north of Tabin. They visited Dagat, went fishing at the Segama estuary and met the teachers and school kids at Parit.

Back in Kota Kinabalu on 12th May 2004, seafood dinner courtesy of Dr. Nan and Carlotaís Borneo was indeed a good ending to the Challenge. Later, Dr. Nan handed out souvenirs (cap, t-shirt and wrist watch), courtesy of PPB Oil Palm Berhad. Of course, after dinner the participants went to check out the best disco in town.

Pictures of Rhino challenge

Pix 1. Rhino challenge participants unfolding the banner at the summit of Mount Kinabalu

Pix 2. Rhino challenge participants cycling towards the tip of Borneo

Pix 3. Rhino challenge participants in their mini-base camp at Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Pix 4. Rhino challenge participants and SOS Rhino field assistants studying the area to be surveyed and covered

Pix 5. One for the album- Rhino challenge participants with SOS Rhino field assistants

Imbak Canyon Scientific Expedition

Sabah Foundation organized the Imbak Canyon Scientific Expedition from 9th ‚ 24th May 2004. Imbak Canyon is still a virgin forest within Sabah Foundationís concession area. An area of about 30000 hectares has been recognized not only as a catchment area but also for its flora and fauna diversity. The scientific expedition is therefore vital to assess the area and give its credence as a conservation area.

About 70 scientists, researchers and field assistants were involved during this two-phase expedition. SOS Rhino comprised on Dr. Edwin Bosi, Sarinus Aniong and Tinju Isa. We were airlifted by helicopter on 17th to the study site, Camp E. Our survey team also included Maulana Maul from Forestry Department and Lim Tinggi from Imbak conservation area. On 18th May, we were fortunate to find evidence of at least two rhinos. The hoof prints were about 3-7 days and they were found were about 100 meters apart. This finding is very crucial and hopefully, gives the authority the reason to approve this area as a conservation area. At the moment this area is under commercial forest.

The team left the study site on 20th May by trekking out of the forest. It was a 10-hour trek covering about 25km.

Pictures of hoof prints

Pix 1. Rhino hoof print measuring 23cm diameter

Pix 2. Rhino hoof print measuring 23cm diameter

Pix 3. Rhino hoof print measuring 19cm diameter

Pix 4. Survey team comprising Dr. Edwin Bosi, Sarinus Aniong, Lim Tinggi, Tinju Isa and Maulana Maul

Survey at mud volcano, KM22 Tabin

A survey was conducted around the mud volcano at Tabin reserve from 16th ‚ 23rd May 2004. The team led by Hayro Nuvin (nickname - Opop) comprise of Amit Pilik, Suzali Jaya and Nick Hanlon from New Zealand.

On the way in, they encountered hornbills, black crows, sambar deer and two giant forest tortoises and only saw hoof prints of wild elephants, banteng (wild cattle) and wild pigs. They heard calls made by orangutans when they surveyed the area south of the mud volcano. The team also saw a barking deer, long tailed macaque and trumpets sounds from the wild elephants during the survey.

The survey southeast of the mud volcano was fruitful. Here, they found hoof prints of rhinos about 2 months old. Only one print was obvious and it measured 15cm diameter. This was an amazing finding because this was the smallest print encountered so far. More surveys will be undertaken here to confirm the presence of this calf. The survey east of the mud volcano was also favorable as rhino hoof prints were also encountered, about a month old. Two prints were obvious. The measurement for the left and right hoof prints was 21cm diameter.

Pictures of the survey

Pix. 1. Survey team searching for rhino hoof prints a Mud Volcano, Tabin

Pix 2. Survey team found small rhino hoof prints - a young calf

Pix 3. SOS Rhino field assistants Amit and Suzali with volunteer, Nick Hanlon holding a giant forest tortoise

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