Flora Survey – Part 1

I was privileged to assist Botanists from Singapore Botanic Gardens Herbarium (SBGH) and Botanical Research Centre (BRC) for the 11 days field trip to Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (LEWS) and Batang Ai National Park (BANP) on 10th until 20th March 2016. The trip was divide into two; the first seven days (10th – 16th Sept) was at LEWS and another four days (17th – 20th Sept) was at BANP. Ever since i involved in my conservation work, i never really participate in any flora study before. Thus, this was my first time and I learn so much from this field trip. Apart from that, i gain more interests in plants after the trip.

Upon our arrival at Ng Talong longhouse, the weather seems to be not on our side. It was raining since the evening until midday the next day. The headman advise us not to continue our journey to the Ng Segerak ranger station because the water level is rise cause by the overnight rain and it will be very dangerous for our longboat. We spent our second night at the longhouse but we managed to walk to the village’s protected forest (Kampung Mali) later that day for our general collections.

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The Engkari River looks very different after the rain with all the yellowish muddy water and rough rapids.

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The kids and elder of the longhouse shows their interests to the identification process by the SBGH Botanists, Dr. Paul Leong and Dr. Michele Rodda.

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Our very own Senior Botanist, Ms Julia Sang from BRC with his passion on Begonias.

On the third day we continue our journey to the ranger station but we decide to walk from Ng Kuap along the Tinting Kuap until we reach the ranger station. It was a continuous hilly range and also an abandon shifting cultivation areas. Not so much of interests but we still found some interesting plants along this range.

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The excitement shows on their faces when we found the Begonia sp. which is one of the species that Ms Julia still describing.

Meanwhile, on the fourth and fifth day, we were working along the Tinting Segerak (Segerak Range) and Ubah Ribu Trail consecutively. For both days i was assisting SBGH botanists and didn’t managed to follow Ms. Julia searching for Begonias in LEWS. I wish if we have more days and good weather in LEWS so i will be able to learn about Begonias from her. When i was assisting SBGH botanists, i gave up on the trees and shrubs identification because i can’t recognized and remember them. Their collections are too general so it is too much for my brain to digest all the information in one time. Even so, i still have interests to know more of gingers, ficus and few shrubs species because these are food source for my little buddy friends, squirrels, rats and treeshrews.

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The misty morning along the Tinting Segerak trail.

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The longhouse folk, Mr. Tukang Ak Chandong which we hire as our general worker for this trip. A very hardworking and passionate worker.

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Our group photo before leaving the station to Ng Talong longhouse. Not in the photo is Ms Julia since she was taking this picture.

We leave the ranger station on day 6th because we will unable to reach Batang Ai dam on time if we didn’t leave the station earlier. So, we have to stay overnight at the longhouse again before we continue our next trip to BANP.

The field trip to Ng Segerak ranger station is really time consuming and it even worst if it is during the wet season. The river gets very rough until we can not pass through it and we will end up stranded at the longhouse or at the ranger station or we will unable to start our journey from Batang Ai dam. This is how challenging it is to work within the southern part of LEWS but still it is worth it!

 

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