Monday, June 11, 2012

Warrior names for Sabah's collared proboscis monkeys

KINABATANGAN: Two male proboscis monkeys were given warrior names after they were fitted with tags by the Sabah Wildlife Department’s (SWD) Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) and Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).

Jibius Dausip from WRU and the expert darter of the team, explained the two animals collared in Menanggul tributary and on the Kinabatangan river, near Sukau, weighed 23 and 19 kgs, respectively, and were named Monso (short for Monsopiad who was a Kadazandusun warrior and a famous headhunter) and Gambu (short for Gambunan who was a Dusun group leader from Tambunan).

Danica Stark, PhD student at Cardiff University and DGFC, said the aim of the satellite tagging programme is to understand the ranging patterns of proboscis monkeys and the factors impacting their movements and density in order to determine the adequate amount of habitat available in order to sustain a continuous viable population in the Kinabatangan region.

“As the collars record locations automatically, it is collecting movement data that is completely natural and not influenced by human presence.

“Moreover, the collars are set with a drop-off and therefore the monkeys will not wear them forever.

The drop-off is set to release the unit after 52 weeks,” added Danica.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens said the project was funded by Sime Darby Foundation (Malaysia) and Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation (USA).

“The support for the palm oil industry is extremely important.