Malaysia: Conserve river banks for proboscis monkeys’ future

MUGUNTAN VANAR The Star 17 Apr 17;

KINABATANGAN: There is a need to rehabilitate and conserve river banks especially in Kinabatangan, which have been badly degraded, for the sake of Sabah’s iconic proboscis monkeys, said Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) research student Danica Stark.

Stark, who led a study on the home range of the proboscis monkeys along the Kinabatangan River, said 10 proboscis monkeys were collared to allow researchers to estimate their home ranges.

The study, which was funded by Yayasan Sime Darby and Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, was jointly carried out by the DGFC and the Sabah Wildlife Department.

The value of a home range size of proboscis monkeys in a riparian habitat ranged from 24ha to 165ha, Stark said.

“Further work will allow us to ascertain the movement patterns and habitat selection within the home ranges, with other factors affecting range size differences and differences between ranges.

“It will contribute towards the conservation of this endangered and totally protected species in Sabah, with better understanding of its needs in highly disturbed habitats,” Stark added.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens said the study showed the importance of riparian reserves for the survival of proboscis monkeys in Sabah.

“Proboscis monkeys rely on such reserves for feeding and sleeping at night. They do not venture into oil palm plantations, even if they have only a narrow strip of riparian forest between the river and the plantation.

“This shows the importance for oil palm estates to stop encroaching riparian reserves and to surrender non-productive land for conservation,” added Dr Goossens.

The state wildlife department and DGFC are drafting a State Action Plan for the proboscis monkeys and to identify the correct actions to be taken to ensure the monkeys will strive.


Proboscis monkey highly dependent on riparian areas for survival: study
BRANDON JOHN New Straits Times 16 Apr 17;

KINABATANGAN: A new study by Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) revealed key details about the proboscis monkey including its dependence on riparian or riverside areas.

The centre's director Dr Genoit Goossens said in a statement that those riparian areas were important habitat that provide food and shelter fot the monkeys.

"The study also revealed that the monkeys did not venture into oil palm plantations, even when there was only a narrow strip of riparian forest between the river and the plantation.

"This shows the importance of oil palm estates to stop encroaching riparian reserves and to surrender non-productive land for conservation," said Goosens, who is also a lecturer at Cardiff University.

The study, conducted last year, was funded by Yayasan Sime Darby and Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation.

He added such studies were necessary as the data obtained allowed researchers to figure out Sabah's carrying capacity for proboscis populations - which can determine their long-term survival in the state.

“Similar data was used in our recent population and habitat viability analysis workshop, held last February at Gaya Island Resort.

"State-of-the-art scientific data are of importance to identify the correct actions to be undertaken in order to ensure that proboscis monkeys will strive,” Goossens added.

As follow-up to the research, SWD and DGFC are currently drafting a State Action Plan in hopes of securing a future for Borneo's enigmatic monkeys.

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