Press Release: New Public Resource to Assist Limestone Conservation Efforts in Malaysia

Limestone outcrops in Kedah, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, 2 September 2021 – Researchers have just released a publicly accessible online resource that contains the most comprehensive information on Malaysia’s limestone hills to date. Containing detailed maps, photos, and data in the form of 7 separate eBooks, the resource is titled ‘Conservation of Limestone Ecosystems of Malaysia’.

Limestone hills harbour unique biodiversity and provide numerous ecosystem services to humans, but face intensifying disturbances from forest loss, agricultural expansion, and infrastructure development. In the National Policy of Biological Diversity 2016-2025, the protection and restoration of limestone ecosystems are listed as one of the 17 national biodiversity targets.

In order to find out which limestone hills warrant urgent protection, a team of researchers felt the need to create a public database that includes information on their location, biodiversity, surrounding land use and extent of habitat disturbance.

With the help of satellite images, drone technology and ground verification, researchers have now accurately mapped 1393 limestone hills in Malaysia, with 911 located in Peninsular Malaysia, and 482 in Malaysian Borneo.

“After two years of analysis, compiling information, and travelling more than 22,000 km, I think we now have an almost complete picture of how Malaysia’s limestone hills are doing.” said Foon Junn Kitt, Project Coordinator of Rimba’s Project Limestone, who led the intensive field surveys.

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Publication update 26: The critical importance of fruit bats!

We’re super excited to make yet another publication announcement so soon after our first one from Project Pteropus Phase 2!

A massive labour of love first started by Sheema in 2013, this second paper from us is another literature review – this time looking at bat-plant interactions that have been documented for the Old World over the 1985-2020 period (36 years’ worth of research!). Published as part of the special issue ‘Animal Seed Dispersal: An Ecosystem Service In Crisis’, it’s fully open access, which means it can be read online, or the PDF file can be downloaded for free.

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Publication update 25: Bane or Blessing? Reviewing Cultural Values of Bats across the Asia-Pacific Region


Our inaugural publication from Phase 2 of Project Pteropus has been published by the Society of Ethnobiology! Led by Mary-Ruth as first author and Sheema as senior author, this literature review was a regional collaboration involving 13 co-authors from 9 countries across the Asia-Pacific, including Malaysia (Peninsular and Sarawak), China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Samoa. It’s fully open-access, which means you can both read it online or download the PDF, completely for free: https://bioone.org/journals/journal-of-ethnobiology/volume-41/issue-1/0278-0771-41.1.18/Bane-or-Blessing-Reviewing-Cultural-Values-of-Bats-across-the/10.2993/0278-0771-41.1.18.full
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