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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Publication updates 23 & 24: New Malaysian land snail genus and species named after the late Dr. Tony Whitten

In honour of the late Dr. Tony Whitten, the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology has just published a special Memorial Issue showcasing articles celebrating Tony’s career and new species or genera named after him. Project Limestone researchers named one new genus and one new species after him.

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 2.27.06 PM.png

Tony was an avid supporter of Rimba’s Project Limestone. Up to his last day, Tony was still trying his best to bring scientists like us and the cement industry closer together to explore how limestone biodiversity can be better protected (see Tony in action in this video: min 27:37 onwards). Continue reading