Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Megapodes of Sabah (Revisited)

It was exciting to be able to publish an article in the local or international journal. I was encourage by my ex-superior to write an article about the interesting bird which i first encounter in Bengkoka Peninsular, the Tabon Megapode (Scrubfowl), Megapodius cumingii.

Worldwide c. 22 species, 1 in Borneo. Robust, chicken-like terrestrial birds with strong legs and very large feet. Most incubate eggs using an extraneous source of heat such as thermal energy or rotting vegetation; many species build mound of vegetation. Males construct the mound in which the females lay large batches of eggs. The chicks receive no parental care and are totally independent upon hatching. - excerpt from A Field Guide to The Birds of Borneo by Susan Myers.

This bird is amazingly have a very strong feet that can built a very huge mounds. I myself surprised to see it with my own eyes. As far i work with birds i never seen a nest like this before. It was amazing!


I was a co-author for this journal together with my ex-superior, Mr. Rob Stuebing and ex-CEO of my present employer, Mr. Johari Ho. Our article was published in Sabah Society Journal, Vol. 30 (2013).

The article is about our encounter on the distribution of its nesting sites within the Bengkoka Peninsular, Pitas, Sabah. When i recall back our field trip searching for the nest is quite fun and what an adventure! We drove on a muddy road to get to the nesting sites and even ride on a boat on coastal lines because no road access to the sites. The most extreme is when the rain is heavy and we are on the boat in the sea. Shivering cold because of the wind in the boat. But, it is worth to do so when we found the super huge mound.

So, if you interested to read our article, please don't hesistate to contact me via my email add: rose.ragai@gmail.com.

Cheers!
Rose Ragai

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nature Entry Challenge ~ NEC 2014

It has been a while i am keeping myself sleep in a big hole in the jungle which i end up not update my blog.Well, the truth is that i hate my previous layout and after i change to that layout i don't have time to fixed it. Therefore, i procrastinate and end up, no updates at all until today i decided to go back to BASIC layout. Easy solutions and no fancy things on my blog anymore. Just good enough for me to get back writing and shared my amazing adventures exploring the jungle of Borneo.

Wanna see some of my adventures? Well, let start slow. I will dig up piles of my photos and share it one by one. Because each photos have its own story. That is why i came out with this Nature Entry Challenge. Just want to challenge myself from today till end of the year. How many nature related posts that i can put up on my blog for the rest of the days remaining in this year of 2014.

I left this entry with this photo. My friend Mr. Broadbill say hi to all my readers out there!


Cheers! 
Rose

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Environment vs Conservation

I have this arguments with my management. Oh, not yet with my management but i am in a mission to convince my management to change my department name from Environment to Conservation. If you ask me, why i think Conservation is more appropriate, i will give you this reasons:

  1. I work in two different companies before and doing wildlife research and awareness. Both company have Conservation Department and the function are the same as my present company. 
  2. I think this explanation will also helps you to understand more of the definition of both terms (because it did help me to understand more)...   
Environment: Any factor which influences an organisms chance of survival and reproductions including predator/prey/parasite ... species (biotic factors) and non living factors e.g. weather, wind, soil type, pH (abiotic factors) (year 12 biology course)...

Conservation: Conservation, sustainable use of natural resources, such as soils, water, plants, animals, and minerals. In economic terms, the natural resources of any area constitute its basic capital, and wasteful use of those resources constitutes an economic loss. From the aesthetic and moral viewpoint, conservation also includes the maintenance of national parks, wilderness areas, historic sites, and wildlife. In certain cases, conservation may imply the protection of a natural environment from any human economic activity. Natural resources are of two main types, renewable and non-renewable. Renewable resources include wildlife and natural vegetation of all kinds. The soil itself can be considered a renewable resource, although severe damage is difficult to repair because of the slow rate of soil-forming processes. The natural drainage of waters from the watershed of a region can be maintained indefinitely by careful management of vegetation and soils, and the quality of water can be controlled through pollution control (Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005 © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved).

I am not satisfied yet, so i post it in FB and i get several replies from my friends and my ex-boss. Here are what they think:

Mr. Anthony - Environment is the area of focus while Conservation is the task that your pursuing to take up....

Mr. Faizal - Environment wide n conservation the sub activities.

Mr. Mlano - Spelling definately. Environment envy living being and conservation con habitants.

And my favourite answer will be my mentor, Mr. Rob. Here is what he thinks:

In my experience, Environment is a general term for all that's out there, animal, vegetable, mineral. Environment departments in most cases are preoccupied primarily with water and air quality, doing little to nothing about species. Conservation is an older term that used to mean "wise use", which is what I still adhere to. Conservation implies action, and wise use requiring MANAGEMENT, in other words, protection or sustainable use. It's like this: collect the empirical information so that you know what to conserve and why you should conserve it. Not just its "intrinsic" value (just because it's there), but for a range of values, including aesthetic, physical, ecological, cultural/traditional or (yes!) commercial. Commercial can be consumptive, as with sustainable harvest of birds' nests, or non-consumptive, such as ecotourism. (Ecotourism needs some close attention to conservation, since some beautiful sites have been ruined by a lack of conservation management.) Using the word "Environment" implies that the person never thought much about conservation. As Grahame Webb once said, the only qualification for most people to be an environmentalist is emotional commitment; to be a conservationist requires a good bit of relevant knowledge and a lot of hard work.

And also his ex-student Mr. Joseph. Here is what he thinks:

Rob, you rubber stamped my personal notion about the word 'Conservation'. Its quite difficult to explain to lay people, because they have their own understanding about that word. Conservation to most people means, 'see no touch'. After attending a course 'Conservation Biology" conducted by Prof. John Robinson (UF), I noticed, I learnt that it's more towards management of resources, but before you even think of managing it, lots of base line data are required, so that a proper 'conservation management' could be implemented. So one need to collect data, and I believed that's what Rob has been doing all this while. Rose, young and energetic lass , am sure you could continue such tasks in you new 'Conservation and Environmental Services' within your company. 

So, what i think? I think i will keep on convincing my management about the important of using the right term to show the real function or role of this department to our funders and of course the public. Therefore, i need strong justification right? All of above are my useful weapon to explain my bosses. Wish me luck!

---
Brave-heart,
Rose Ragai


Year 2014 ~ A Good Start!


First of all, apologize for no updates of my blog September 2013. In order to make this blog alive again, i decide to change it's template and layout once again. Well, may the new year brings more adventures and interesting stuff to this blog as well.

I share the above photos taken from my current playing ground. The mangrove forest which i already share in my posts September 2013. Therefore, i will get myself busy in the bush so that i can get more amazing photos to be shared here with you guys.

This year will be my year. Year of adventures with the year of HORSE!! Have a great celebration of Chinese New Year! Till then!

---
Adventure Begins, 
Rose Ragai

Friday, September 13, 2013

#2 ~ What is MANGROVE FOREST?

I know mangrove is a tree that people use for charcoal and also construction. In my previous entry I already mention that I did not know so much about mangrove. So, mangrove for me is only a tree. At this new place, the operational site has lots of mangroves. This makes me realize that I have to polish my knowledge and get the answer “What is MANGROVE?”.

I Google it up and found many interesting articles and information about mangroves. When I was asked by my friend to produce one poster on conservation, straight away I told her, “I want to make a poster about Mangrove Conservation”. So, this is the poster. I am quite happy with this poster because it provides information about mangroves, what we do and what we have inside this forest besides the mangrove tree species.
The Poster!
Let’s me extract some of the information from this poster.

What is Mangrove Forests? 
● Mangrove forests consist of diverse, salt-tolerant tree and other plant species, ranging from small shrubs to tall trees tens of meters high.
● Mangrove trees have various adaptations that allow them to live in saline, tidal areas. Their dense root systems give support in the soft, water-logged sediment. In most species, the roots protrude above the soil to absorb oxygen from the air, as the sediment is oxygen-poor.
● The most extensive area of mangroves is found in Asia, followed by Africa and South America. According to the FAO, the total mangrove area is around 150,000 km2. In Malaysia, mangrove vegetation covers an area of about 577,500 ha, with Sabah having the most extensive coverage of mangroves, accounting for 59% or 341,000 ha of the country’s total whereas, Sarawak has 132,000 ha (23%) and Peninsular Malaysia 104,200 ha (18%). Sabah’s mangrove forests occur largely along the east coast, facing the Sulu and Sulawesi seas.
The Importance of Mangrove Ecosystem: 
● Mangroves are valued for the protection they provide against coastal erosion, flood control, water purification, habitat for all sorts of marine life and also for their biodiversity conservation function. 
● It is considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. 
● The important habitat for wildlife such as mammals (primates), birds (kingfishers, herons), insects (firefly), crustaceans (crabs, shrimps) and reptiles (crocodiles, lizards). 
● The mangrove forests provide natural resources in term of income generation for the fisherman community.
The local fisherman collecting mud crabs.
As a conclusion, before I start to do something I must understand them first. To get the understanding I need to put a big effort in it. This is my 3rd month and I don’t think I know that much yet. There are lots more to be done in order to make a huge impact in conserving this type of ecosystem and realizing that the local communities also play a major role, they are inside the circle as well.

The question now is, HOW? WHO? and WHEN?

Till then! Cheers!

Reference: 
Ng, P. K. L & Sivasothi, N. 2001. A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre. http://mangrove.nus.edu.sg 
Sabah Forestry Department. 2008. Mangrove Forest Management and Restoration, In Annual Report 2008. http://www.forest.sabah.gov.my

Monday, September 9, 2013

#1 ~ The Mangrove Adventure Begins

I came from a village that river is the main transportation. It is located along the Igan River. I put quite a few entries about my village when i start this blog and you can find it by click to this link:
Part 1: My Childhood (mind my grammar in that entry because the main reason creating this blog during that time was "to improve my poor English")
Frustration on Rajang River Disaster (you will find a few links in this entry and i am sure this entry will remind you of the 2010 tragedy in Rajang River). 
So, what i want to share is that, there is a mangroves in my village. This including a few species of mangrove trees such as Nypa fruticans, Bruguiera sp and also Sonneratia sp in my village. Then, when i get an offer from this new company that i am working now, i was excited when i was told to be working in the mangrove. Even though i will be far away from home, miles away, but i will feel like i am at HOME. Why? Because i will be in the mangroves. Sounds crazy to you? Maybe i am am.

So, my first visit to this mangrove forest was way back on 10th of July 2013. We went there through the sea and i found it, this mangrove is SPECIAL and INTERESTING to be explored. To be honest, i don't have any clue of the mangrove species and what else inside there. This become more exciting when i know that i will learn something new here and new findings not like up on the MOUNTAIN. (^___^). Well, it's very warm here compare to the mountain. 

This entry is only my introduction. I will share more after this. It's good to make you wonder, what i found right? I leave you with these photos, till then!

The river mouth, into the mangrove area from sea.

The Rhizhopora forest. Observed the roots!!! AMAZING right?!!

Ignore my chubbiness, just look at what i have in my hands. Its Horseshoe crab, Tachypleus tridentatus.!!! 

 Till then guys! Enjoy!