Students and government agencies partner together in Borneo, Malaysia to save plants and animals before
they become critically endangered

DMNH Scout and Camp Coordinator Cathy Perrotto is no stranger to tropical rainforests! In 2012, as part of her Master’s degree program at Miami University, Cathy traveled to Malaysia and documented the effects of human activities on plants and animals at the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) in Borneo’s Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.

In partnership with government agencies and Cardiff University, DGFC is researching how proactive conservation efforts positively impact biodiversity, including a wide variety of plant and animal species before they become critically endangered. GPS collar studies, drones and camera trap images are some of the new techniques scientists use to gather information about  the health and population count of particular species.

A wide variety of animal species live in the area, including ten species of primates (including orangutan, proboscis monkey, Bornean gibbon, slow loris), the Bornean elephant, carnivores such as the clouded leopard, other cat and civet species, all eight species of hornbill found in Borneo, more than 300 other bird species including the rare storm’s stork and the endangered Oriental darter, salt water crocodile, monitor lizard, freshwater terrapin, reticulated python, king cobra and many others.

Hopefully, the information gained by the DGFC will be used to develop species and landscape protection plans, raise nationwide awareness of the value of conservation, and foster the next generation of conservation scientists.

Photos of many of the animals of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary are currently on display at the Museum, thanks to a collaboration with DGFC Director Dr. Benoit Goossens.