Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tabin Wildlife Reserve has potential to be tourism magnet

AFTER a moment of silence, the bright light from a handheld beam pierced through the darkness to put a leopard cat under the spotlight.

It was at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Sabah and guides expertly point out animals for awestruck guests at the back of an open truck during its nightly safari.

That particular night there was a special guest, state Assistant Finance Minister Donald Peter Mojuntin, who was there on an official visit to inspect the Tabin Wildlife Resort, a government-owned facility.

“Seeing the common palm civet, banded palm civet, Malay civet (tangalung), greater mousedeer, the leopard cat, pig-tailed macaque monkeys, black flying squirrel, thick-spined porcupine, tree monitor lizard, yellow-bellied prinia (a bird d size of a thumb) and wild boars (sometimes in groups of 13) on merely one night drive made the trip worth its while even for me as a local,” he said of the 112,000ha wildlife reserve that is twice the size of Singapore. It is the biggest wildlife reserve in Malaysia.

“There was even an Asian Black Hornbill which flew against my chalet window as I was packing my bag on the morning I left. I was told by a staff that it probably thought its reflection was another bird. No harm done. Maybe it wanted its picture taken!” said the Moyog assemblyman who believed the reserve was a gem of an attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.

“The reserve with its unique feature of primary and secondary forests sandwiched between oil palm plantations has strong potential to be a tourism magnet,” he added.

As far as the secondary forest is concerned, it is not fully canopied by trees yet, thus allowing sunlight through. This means that all kinds of food plants grow on the ground where there are clearings, which in turn attract insects, bugs and various wildlife.

This is also an ideal habitat for grazing animals such as the Borneo pygmy elephant, sambar deer and wild ox, as well as their predators.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Tabin Wildlife Reserve has potential to be tourism magnet

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