And here's a brief telling of my time in Sepilok; a remnant tract of primary forest surrounded by thousands of hectares of palm-oil plantations. Indeed, as you drive east from KK, there is little else but palm-oil. Malaysia produces most of the world's palm-oil, and Sabah produces much of Malaysia's stock (and this is growing everyday, as many residents tell me the government's figures are huge underestimates). While economic development in this part of the world, is encouraging, it is extremely sad to see Borneo's famous jungles devastated and fragmented in this manner. It does seem that local and national bodies have realized the potential negative impact this can have on tourism (which is largely of the ECO variety here in Borneo), as well as the dangers of planting a monoculture. The oil-palm is an African species, and grows well in SE Asia because of the lack of natural pests etc. One day however, if an outbreak of disease occurred, it could potentially lay waste to the entire industry, much like the pine beetle in BC.
SO anyway, Sepilok is a small village on the main highway, but it's one of the easiest ways to access some of the remaining native forest in Sabah, plus it's the most famous place in the world to see Orangutans!
|I didn't realize that my camera was all fogged up from the humidity. Anyway, here we see one of the park rangers feeding some of the resident Orangs (or "Mias") some bananas.|
|Pig-tailed Macaques also like to join in. This guy was taking a break on one of the climbing ropes.|
|Here's Jess with a large tree.|
|And here's Jess with a giant isopod. Everything's big in Borneo!|
|The ever-curious Pig-tailed Macaque|
|That's right; another brilliant bird photo from RC. This is a cool bird though--my first RED-BEARDED BEE-EATERS!|
|Thanks to the canopy walkway, I get to look DOWN on this male DIARD'S TROGON|
|This was a nice one to find, as they can be tough to see in Borneo. This is the RUFOUS-COLLARED KINGFISHER. A forest-specialist that mostly feeds on lizards.|