Note - in some browsers the appearance of the blog is corrupted. I do not yet know the cause, but hope this issue will be resolved soon!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Andulau highway

On saturday morning (21/07/2012) I went to Andulau forest with Gregory Teo, a biology teacher from Kuala Belait who is pursuing his Masters degree with UBD. Greg spent the last 6 months surveying the the effect of the construction of the new Telisai-Lumut highway to bird species diversity and he kindly invited me along to share some his field research.

During his masters project Greg surveyed 4 transects running perpendicular to the new road. On each of these he then observed the number of different bird species encountered at roughly 200 m. intervals along the transect. According to Greg the change in diversity along these transects is quite significant. In total he has recorded over a 100 different species in his survey area, with a couple that are still unchecked on my Bruneian list.

What struck me was the width of the new road. The area cleared seems to easily hold a 50 lane highway and it makes you wonder what the additional benefits are for clearing an area this wide. Another concern is clearly the accessibility to the forest this new road will create. Already the amount of poaching seems to be increasing and I expect this only to become worse once the road has finished.

We didn't get very lucky with the bird- and wild life on our morning trip. We saw some red-leaf monkeys on our way in. Inside the forest we had to content ourselves with a pair of rufous-crowned babblers. Only on our way out of the forest we got a little more excitement: a pair of chestnut bellied malkoha's and this velvet-fronted nuthatch, chipping dead bark like an experienced woodpecker.

 Velvet-fronted nuthatch (Sitta frontalis).
Our poor bird count was probably due to the increased forest disturbance, noise from the roadworks and a bit of bad luck. I did really enjoy this morning and learned a lot about environmental control. Thanks Greg, I owe you at least another trip down Labi road.

Folkert, 22/07/2012

No comments:

Post a Comment