Sunday, February 23

Happy arrivals in jungles of Kinabatangan sanctuary


KINABATANGAN: The Kinabatangan Nocturnal Primate Programme that started at Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) in March 2010 witnessed a couple of happy arrivals in the jungle of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.

“An adult female tarsier that was collared on the 8th of March 2012 turned out to be an expecting mother,” explained Alice Miles, a Cardiff University student leading the programme at DGFC.

“Whilst tracking her the following week, she was observed with a tiny offspring. The baby was thought to be no more than a few days old,” added Alice.

“It will be extremely interesting to follow the behaviour of the mother and her offspring, and document maternal care in the species. This is very exciting,” concluded Alice.

“On 16 March 2012, a slow loris was caught and named ‘Boss’. We fit her with a radio-collar and released her where she was found,” said Saroto Bin Payar, a research field assistant at DGFC, working on the nocturnal primate programme with Alice.

“While finding her sleeping site on the 21st of March, we were surprised to see her resting with an infant amongst vines. The infant was possibly a few months old,” explained Saroto.

“We believe that she hid her offspring while she went on a hunt for insects. She was very nervous during the collaring, we then understood why … she was worried about her infant left behind.

“We released her at the same spot where she was caught, and a few days later we saw her with her infant,” concluded Saroto.

“This programme, fully funded by three American zoos (Columbus, Cleveland and Phoenix), is reaching his climax with four individuals currently tracked in the forest, two female tarsiers, one male tarsier that was rescued in a plantation and released here, and one female slow loris,” explained Benoit Goossens, director of DGFC.

“Little is known about the nocturnal primates in Borneo and this project will provide valuable information on their behaviour and ecology in degraded forests.

“We are also happy to be able to provide good news to the people of Sabah about their wildlife.

“We are convinced that it will raise their interest in protecting their forests,” concluded Goossens.