Project update 23: Project Pteropus wrap-up

Our Fruit Bat Fundraiser by Project Pteropus ends today – and we managed to raise RM43,790, well beyond our original target of RM30,000!!! We’re so deeply grateful to everyone who supported this initiative – those who donated funds to help us complete our research next year, those who bought merchandise to help us widen our public outreach impact this year, and those who helped spread the word. Thank you for helping us to make this fundraiser such a success.

While our public outreach initiatives also end today, the additional funds we’ve raised will allow us to extend this project for an additional 6 months into 2022 in order to complete our durian pollination research that was negatively impacted and delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this extended time period we’ll also be able to finish up our work on monitoring and protecting flying fox populations, which was also delayed due to the pandemic. So we’re on track to successfully complete and wrap up this project as originally planned – just on a slightly later timeline!

Take a peek into the team and our work on fruit bat conservation that you’re helping to support:

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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Video update 8: Malaysia’s Flying Foxes

Today is Bat Appreciation Day!

Bats are wonderful animals, and they do so much for us! Malaysia is home to our very own Keluang, or Flying Foxes — some of the largest fruit bats in the world. Fruit bats are some of the few animals with a dual role of both pollinators and seed dispersers, and function as highly efficient night-time gardeners who can fly across vast distances.

However, their populations are declining at an alarming rate. Prejudiced and misunderstood, flying foxes are often killed despite their importance in maintaining the health of our tropical ecosystems.

This short video introduces you to Malaysia’s wonderful flying foxes and encourages you to support their protection and conservation, highlighting the vital ecological roles of these fascinating animals through never-before-seen footage from the wild.

Written, produced and directed by Ng Wen Qing for Project Pteropus, Rimba. Big thanks also to Sanjitpaal Singh of Jitspics and Xploregaia, and Kapas Conservation Club for contributing footage. Bahasa Malaysia, Cantonese, and Mandarin versions available further below.

This #BatAppreciationDay, let’s all take a moment to #thankthebats and pledge to protect them  🦇

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