Monday, 2 November 2009

Recce 26 October - 3 November 2009 - Part II

In the temporary base camp:
Sleeping quarters for recce participants
Participants reaching temporary base camp

Setting up temporary base camp

Matt trying our make-shift toilet

The recce participants: Dr. Matt Struebig (Bat Expert), David (boatman), Hj Saifullah (boatman), Angus (Chief Guide), Monica (Matt's assistant), Samhan Nyawa (Field & Camp Coordinator)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Research Projects to be conducted in the Sg. Ingei Faunal Expedition

Dr Joseph Charles

The status and distribution of mammals, primates and hornbills in the Sungai Ingei Protection Forest Reserve
  • Small mammal diversity in Sungai Ingei (by cage traps and pitfall trapping)
  • Surveys of endangered cats & larger mammals in Sungai Ingei by camera trapping
  • Primate diversity in Sungai Ingei
  • Hornbill diversity in Sungai Ingei
  • Overall avian diversity in Sungei Ingei

AP. Dr Zohrah Hj Sulaiman

Biodiversity of Freshwater Fishes of Sungai Ingei, Brunei Darussalam

AP. Dr Ulmar Grafe

Survey of Amphibians and Insect Biodiversity in Brunei Darussalam

  • Survey of Amphibians in Brunei Darussalam
  • Survey of Insect Biodiversity in Brunei Darussalam

AP. Dr David Lane

Biodiversity survey of forest-dependant bats and Heteroptera (water bugs) in Sungei Ingei Forest Reserve

  • Studies of Forest-dependent bats and their diversity in dipterocarp forests of the Sungai Ingei Forest Reserve
  • Investigation of Heteroptera (water bug) diversity in the head water streams of the Sungai Belait catchment at Sungai Ingei Forest Reserve

and many more exciting research projects to be conducted by HOB scientists!

Recce 26 October - 3 November 2009 - Part 1

Sungai Ingei Conservation Forest is situated in Ulu Belait and is considered to be one of the most pristine forests in Brunei. The place is quite inaccessible hence a recce trip was conducted deep into the heart of Ingei to determine possible camp sites and to establish research trails for the actual expedition.

The first recce trip to Sungai Ingei was conducted on 26 October – 3 November 2009. A team of 7 people was involved in the trip, headed by Awg Samhan Nyawa (Field & Camp Coordinator). A research fellow from UBD, Dr. Matt Struebig was involved in the recce to conduct preliminary research on bat diversity in Sungai Ingei Conservation Forest.

The group met up in Sungai Mau before taking a 5 hour boat ride to Sungai Ingei

Matt with his harp traps for trapping bats

Angus (our chief guide)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Sungai Ingei Faunal Expedition Press Release

14 October 2009, Bandar Seri Begawan - Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with WWF, today announced it's sponsorship for its second Heart of Borneo Brunei project whereby a faunal biodiversity survey of the Sungai Ingei Protection Forest will be conducted.

The survey project is supported by the Heart of Borneo Council and WWF. On hand to speak about the project was Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Awang Haji Hamdillah bin Haji Abdul Wahab, Deputy Minister of Industry and Primary Resources and Chairman of the Brunei HOB Council; Danny Quah, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank; Dr. Glyn Davies, Director of Programmes of WWF-UK and Dr. Joseph K. Charles, Senior Lecturer of Biology, Faculty of Science as Expedition Leader.

Standard Chartered Bank's funding for this Heart of Borneo project is part of the US$500,000 prize donation from the Race For A Living Planet Environment Challenge which Brunei won earlier this year.

(extracted from SCB press release)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Brunei HOB Project Implementation Framework

The Sungai Ingei Faunal Expedition will address the following strategies and interventions:

Strategy 1 - Biodiversity

3.2.2. Enhance biodiversity conservation
B1 - Enhance legal and management framework for biodiversity conservation

3.2.3. Improve understanding of biodiversity
B4 - Survey of endangered cats (and other mammal)
B5 - Surveys of amphibians in Brunei
B6 - Survey of insect biodiversity in Brunei
B7 - Large mammal survey in the inter-riverine zone
B8 - Survey of fish and aquatic invertebrates in Brunei

3.2.5. Forestry and biodiversity
B7 - Large mammal survey in the inter-riverine zone

3.2.8. Cross-border issues and co-operation
B19 - Sungai Ingei/Gunung Mulu Transboundary Park

Strategy 2 - Niche Nature Tourism Enhance nature tourism products
T1 - Formulate the National Ecotourism Master Plan Develop niche tourism products
T4 - Facilitate Birdwatcher Tourism
T6 - Facilitating Macro-photocopy tourism: Brunei in close-up

Strategy 4 - Environmental Education & Awareness Develop environmental education
E5 - Establish the Brunei HOB Biodiversity Field Course

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Heart of Borneo Project Implementation Framework

The Brunei Heart of Borneo Project Implementation Framework (PIF) was developed to help Brunei to acheive its HoB vision (PIF Final Report 2008). 4 strategies and various interventions were formulated to guide Brunei towards better planning, management and conservation of Brunei's nature resources.

Sungai Ingei Administrative Team

Project Executant/Project Leader: Dr. Joseph K. Charles

Project Manager: Dato' Dr. Mikaail Kavanagh

Project Administrator: Ms. Ang Bee Biaw

Field & Camp Coordinator: Awg. Samhan Nyawa

Chief Guide: Awg. Simmons Benalai

Scientists in Sungai Ingei

Scientists from Universiti Brunei Darussalam:

Dr. Joseph K. Charles (Expedition Leader)

AP Dr. Zohrah Hj Sulaiman

AP Dr. Ulmar Grafe

AP Dr. David Lane

Dr. Matthew Struebig (UBD Research Fellow)

Selected scientists from Malaysia, Indonesia & Singapore will be invited to study specific species.

Where is Sungai Ingei?

The Sungei Ingei Protection Forest (18, 491 ha in the Labi Hills Forest Reserve) in the upper catchment of Sungei Belait abutting the Gunung Mulu National Park is a spectacular mosaic of three forest types – pristine mixed dipterocarp forest, areas of upland Kerangas and patches of freshwater swamp in the lower valleys – with an extremely rich fauna especially in the low-lying alluvial valleys.

Sungai Ingei Faunal Expedition

There is a severe lack of wildlife survey information in Brunei Darussalam – there may be species yet undiscovered and new to science, possibly vulnerable to extinction; we know that there is a high degree of endemicity as seen in the herpetofauna of Belalong as well as in other taxa- all these are of extreme conservation value both locally and globally, in need of special management consideration and important to ecotourism and other economic significance.

To address this problem, a team from the Biology Department of Universiti Brunei Darussalam will lead a Brunei expedition linked to the Brunei Heart of Borneo Project Implementation Framework to Sungei Ingei Conservation Forest starting July 2010 to unravel the secrets of this forest. In the true spirit of transboundary scientific and management co-operation within the context of the HOB initiative, a few scientists from Malaysia and Indonesia will be invited to participate.

By Dr Joseph K. Charles

(Biology Department, Faculty of Science, University Brunei Darussalam)