Malaysia Cultural Exchange & Study Tour 2018

Go Wild in Sabah 2018

3 – 8 July 2018
Tour Coordinators: Dr. Alan Leung & Dr. Karen Woo

Students were using their binoculars to observe the wildlife along the forests of the Kinabatangan River.
Stork-billed kingfisher is a fish hunter lived in forest area.
Selingan Island is also called Turtle Island, which is an important nesting site for marine turtles. While it is a beautiful island, the number of visitors is under control to ensure the disturbance from visitors are minimised and well managed.
The sun bear plays important roles in the rainforest, such as helping seed dispersal and keeping termite populations down.
Students were on a canopy walk 28 metres above ground to explore the biodiversity in the rainforest.
After the green turtle laying its eggs, the conservation staff will carefully transfer the eggs to a protected hatching sites to prevent them being attacking by natural enemies, such as the monitor lizards. The baby turtles will be released back to the sea.
Proboscis monkey, or long-nosed monkey, is an endemic species to the island of Borneo. They can be found along lowland rivers.
Night safari provided opportunities for students to explore wildlife active at the nighttime.

For a third time in the past few years, the Division of Applied Science, has led students to Sabah for exploring the concept of ecotourism. Through visiting the protected area of Malaysia, students can learn to appreciate the nature and understand the importance of balancing the economic benefits of tourism and the needs for ecological conservation.

The student first visited the Selingan Island, one of the three most important turtle breeding grounds in Malaysia, which has been listed by the government as the protected area. They were very grateful to see the green turtle's mother laying eggs, the turtle hatching sites and the turtle babies returning to the sea. This was certainly an unforgettable experience to all of them!

Students visited Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and Rainforest Discovery Centre. For the first time, they saw the Malayan sun bears, the smallest bear species which feed on mainly fruit, insects and honey, were protected in well managed conservation area. In addition, they saw orangutans in the rehabilitation centre were trained to prepare being reintroduced to the wild.

Besides, students stayed in the hostel in Bilit village along the Kinabatangan River. There are rainforests on both sides of the river. The hostel enabled students to see different types of birds, proboscis monkeys and macaques, and all of them were very excited to see the orangutans inhabiting the rainforest. Led by local villagers, the participants also conducted night-time jungle walk near the hostel and had a chance to see creatures such as owls, hornbills, bats, frogs and stick insects.

Towards the end of the trip, students gathered in a community hall and discussed the meaning of ecotourism. They exchanged their ideas with one another and everyone enjoyed a great time in reflecting what they have learnt.

*Photo credit: Dr. Alan Leung