There’s plenty of room at the Hotel Sri Tahjung. Any time of year… you can find it here. But if you want to stay, you’ll need a pair of wings and plenty of saliva. Continue reading
“Boleh makan… Boleh… Boleh.” As I turned the pages of my copy of Mammals of Borneo to reveal more images of wildlife, Siba anak Aji said the same thing each time. “Can eat… Can… Can.”
It was 1998 and I was doing ecological research in Lambir Hills National Park in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Siba, my research assistant, was explaining which of the wild species his Iban community would consider eating. The list was long.
The only animal off the menu was the moonrat. Little wonder — this weird white creature, which is not a rat but a cousin of the hedgehog, stinks of ammonia. Everything else, said Siba, was fair game.
Hunting was of course banned in Lambir Hills and for Siba and many other members of his community the park was a source of jobs not meat.
But for others the forest was a larder. Continue reading
Who’s that hiding in the trees? It’s a Bornean orangutan, an ape with an unhappy history and an uncertain future. Continue reading
If the ground beneath my feet last week could talk, it could tell a long story of land and logging, crime and conservation — the kind of story that defines rainforest politics. Continue reading
Take a look at these two photographs and play spot the difference. Continue reading
The 50-km long log-jam that blocked Malaysia’s biggest river shows the scale of deforestation in the highlands of Borneo and raises fresh concerns about how the state of Sarawak manages its natural resources. Continue reading
The news that Norway has sold all of its shares in a Malaysian timber company it accuses of illegal logging has brought back memories of one of the best experiences of my life, and of a pair of sad brown eyes I wish I had not seen.