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  SOS Rhino : In the News : News From The Field : Monthly Field Report for October 2004
 
MONTHLY FIELD REPORT
OCTOBER 2004
  The Program Officer was in Dagat on 27th September to pay overtime for the field staffs. On 11th - 14th October were spent with the owner of Sabahmas Plantation in his plantation. This is one plantation that has seriously undertaken to develop a conservation area within the plantation. Interestingly, the conservation area is about 1000 ha and is connected to Tabin reserve at the western boundary. Wildlife is freely roaming in this conservation area where full protection is provided by plantation security. SOS Rhino is engaged with plantations around Tabin reserve and at times, provide technical advise to these plantations on matters pertaining to conservation. A farewell party for the Manager of Sabahmas plantation was held on 22nd October. It was also an opportunity to meet up with the new Manager.

One of the highlights of this month was the visit by the Director of Fisheries, Mr. Rayner Stuel Galid to Tanjung Utik and Dagat. Prior to that, he was received by the Manager of Sabahmas plantation and to learn more about the oil palm industry. At Dagat, the Director was well received by the villagers. According to the village chief, this is one occasion where not an officer but a Director of a government agency came visiting their village. The village chief thanked SOS Rhino for making his visit possible. In return, Rayner has assured the villagers that he will provide cast nests for them and to build a jetty for Dagat under his department's fisherman support program. He will also look into gazetting of the fishing area solely for use by the villagers in this area.

This trip was also the first for Laura Bazan and Bryan Lo from Carlotas Borneo Holidays. They were visiting the area to gauge the tourist potential and logistics.


Pix shows the Director of Fisheries, Rayner Stuel Galid (with cap) shaking hand with the Chairman of the Village Development and Security Committee and later, had a dialogue with the villagers at Dagat.


Pix shows Laura Bazan and the wife of the village chief having a conversation over lunch. Their topic was on the recipe of the day.


Pix shows Fisheries Director, Rayner Stuel Galid (with cap) on a boat cruise and wildlife viewing along the lower Segama river. Also present were Dr. Edwin, Dr. Petra Kretzschmar, Anne Lajuat, Laura Bazan, Bryan Lo and Lanjuk.

Field report from France Bianus (7th - 26th October 2004)

France Bianus is in-charge of RPU 4 and is assigned to support Dr. Thaya, SOS Rhino-sponsored Masters student in Tabin. During this period, France has the support of Marniah Sapran and Justin Lanjang. The team left Dagat on 7th and headed for the survey site via Tabin river.

The logbook indicated the following:

Date Rhino finding Other findings
7th Oct.   Found hoof prints and dung of elephants and Tembadau (wild cattle)
8th   Saw hoof prints of elephants, sambar deer and wild pigs
9th   Team stayed in camp as one of the members, Marniah was bitten by an unknown insect, which caused her leg to be swollen.
10th   Only saw prints of elephants, deer and wild pigs
11th    
12th   Rest day
13th-15th   Nothing uncommon seen
16th   Paw prints of Clouded Leopard were seen.
17th   Observed prints of wild pigs, deer, barking deer and Tembadau dung.
18th 2-3 day old rhino hoof prints. Not very clear as rain has erased its contour.  
19th   France saw a 8-foot crocodile basking in the sun along the tributary of Tabin river
20th Found rhino hoof prints - 2 days old. Feed samples and hoof measurement were taken.  
21st-26th   Nothing spectacular were observed.


Field report from Nayro Nuvin (7th - 26th October 2004)

Nayro Nuvin is in-charge of RPU 3. He led a team comprising Frederic Micheal and Husrin Osop to re-do a transect. The team entered the forest together with RPU 4 via Tabin river.

On 12th October, Nayro's team has reached their destination. As they surveyed the area, they found rhino dung on 14th October, which is about 4-5 days old. They also took as many measurements as they could find. They heard elephants trumpeting about 100 meters from their camp. They also heard orangutans calling. The team arrived at another site on 16th October and then headed for Awi's camp. After resting at Awi's camp, the team went into the forest on 24th to re-supply ration to RPU 4 and Dr. Thaya. On 26th the team has proceeded north and returned to Dagat.

Field report from Sarinus Aniong (7th - 21st October 2004)

Sarinus Aniong is leading RPU 2. From the base camp at Tabin, his team comprising Amit Pilik, Rajimah Kasran and Lusry Basri entered the forest from the western boundary to re-established the transect along the rugged hill, north of the reserve.

Wildlife commonly encountered during this trip was the orangutans, gibbons and hornbills. Tracks of Tembadau, elephants, wild pigs and deer were common. Of interest is the finding of spring water on 11th October. The team heard gunshots during the night but not inside the reserve. On 12th, the team stumbled upon a sambar deer carcass in a stream with gunshot wounds. In the evening a herd of elephants passed the camp along the Tagas-Tagas river.

On the 17th the team found evidence of encroachment at the Tagas-Tagas river. A 5-day old transect was found and leftover such as batteries and papers. The team knew that a new plantation has opened up along the Tabin boundary. While investigating the boundary, many transects were observed.

A follow up report will be submitted to the Wildlife Department in Tabin concerning this new plantation and the transects. Also, RPU 1 under the leadership of Tinju Isa will be making a spot check on the new plantation.

Field report from Tinju Isa (6th - 25th October 2004)

Tinju Isa of RPU 1 led a team comprising Bendis Atak and Suzali Jaya to Awi's camp. The team collected wildlife department's posters and went around the estates and gates to paste the posters. These posters inform the public of the penalties if they are caught hunting without a license. The team also covered several villages in the south and east.




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