Will the bird that dodged a bullet pay the price of peace?
Life and death and the jaguars of the mind
The daredevil, the vanishing green sphinx and the plant that found a friend
Fresh evidence of the power of fig trees to sustain wildlife and restore lost forests
Snakes and ladders and tantalising figs
The empty forest where 100+ bird species are feared extinct
The near empty forest that proves conservation is failing
“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
Borneo’s eco-stranded apes with nowhere to call home
Who’s that hiding in the trees? It’s a Bornean orangutan, an ape with an unhappy history and an uncertain future. Continue reading
Game reveals complex links between poverty and threats to apes
There were 50 ape experts in a room and a quick game to play to break the ice. “If you agree with the statement, go to the left side of the room,” said the facilitator. “If you disagree go to the right.” Continue reading