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Tribute to Excellence Award for Danau Girang Field Centre
The School of Biosciences Danau Girang Field Centre has been recognized by the Malaysian State Government of Sabah for its contribution to the conservation effort of its most valued areas of natural beauty. Organised by the State government of Sabah, the "Sabah Tourism Awards 2013, a Tribute to Excellence" are held every two years to "honour individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the development of the tourism industry in the State".
This year, the seventh Edition of the Tourism Awards consisted of 12 categories encompassing 34 awards. The ceremony was officiated by Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, Sabah's Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment. The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary was awarded the Best Natural Destination in Sabah. Special Awards were given to organizations that are involved in the conservation of the natural wonders of this area, namely WWF-Malaysia, HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme, Homestay Associations of Abai, Batu Puteh, Bilit and Sukau villages and Cardiff University's Danau Girang Field Centre. Lead researcher Dr Benoit Goossens, who attended the award ceremony, said “The Danau Girang Field Centre team is very proud that their efforts to study and preserve Kinabatangan's fragile ecosystems and wildlife are acknowledged by the State government.”
First satellite collaring of civet
On the 26th of October, a male Malay civet was trapped and fitted with a GPS collar in Lot 5 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS) as a collaboration between the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), the Kinabatangan Small Carnivore Project (KSCP), Cardiff University (CU), and Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC). The project is led by Cardiff University’s PhD student Meaghan Harris and is assisted by DGFC’s wildlife veterinarian Dr. Sergio Guerrero Sanchez. It is funded by Houston Zoo (Meg Harris' PhD scholarship) and Sime Darby Foundation.
Despite heavy habitat degradation within the Kinabatangan, a widely diverse small carnivore guild persists, which includes six species of civets, three species of small felines, and two confirmed species of otters. The KSCP therefore strives to understand the influences of habitat fragmentation on the spatial ecology and ecotoxicology of small carnivores residing within the wildlife sanctuary.
The 5.5 kgs Malay civet was captured within the wildlife corridor of Lot 5 of the LKWS during the night. In the early morning, the KSCP team safely sedated Tenang and conducted the sampling on site. Morphometric measurements, such as total body length and height at shoulder, were recorded, and blood, saliva, faecal, and hair samples collected. The project hopes these samples will help determine the health of the small carnivore guild within the landscape of the LKWS.
Since then we have collared two more Malay civets, another male and one female, in the same area.
Other News Highlights
Sugud Islands Marine Research Centre and Danau Girang Field Centre
Paper published in the journal Oryx