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Danau Girang Field Centre


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Established in 2008, Danau Girang Field Centre is a collaborative research and training facility managed by Sabah Wildlife Department and Cardiff University.

Our Vision

To be a 'collaborative research centre for the applied conservation of tropical ecosystems using world class facilities and cutting-edge technological tools for the effective management of wildlife in a fragmented landscape, while providing outreach and awareness programs for multiple stakeholders (local communities, eco-tourism, palm oil plantations) whilst upholding a standard of internationally-recognised expertise and scientific publications'.

Research

Asian biodiversity is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, In order to mitigate large-scale losses, the development of effective conservation strategies is crucial, an action requiring a thorough examination of the relationships between species and landscapes. DGFC aims to determine these landscape-level requirements critical for the viable persistence of tropical species in highly fragmented landscapes. Through the utilisation of advanced technologies such as camera traps, GPS collars, and drones, DGFC will explore the survival mechanisms employed by multiple flagship species, with the aim of developing species action plans and landscape management guidelines for fragmented lowland tropical forests.

Location

DGFC is situated in Lot 6 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah, Malaysia and is surrounded by a mixture of lowland dipterocarp forest types, ranging from primary forest to disturbed secondary forest, in a matrix landscape with significant human impact including villages, small scale agriculture and oil palm plantations. 

Ten species of primates (e.g. orang-utan, proboscis monkey, Bornean gibbon, slow loris) are present in the sanctuary, as well as the Bornean elephant, carnivores such as the clouded leopard, other cat and civet species, sun bear and binturong.

All species (eight) of hornbill found in Borneo can be observed here, along with over 300 other bird species including the rare storm's stork and the endangered Oriental darter. Herpetofauna are also abundant including salt water crocodile, monitor lizard, freshwater terrapin, reticulated python, king cobra and many others.

The invertebrate and plant diversity in the Sanctuary is also very high. In addition to forest activities, other relevant features include the world famous Gomantong cave system, where edible nest swiftlets and bat roosts can potentially be studied, which is an example of the limestone karst system - a strong feature of the landscape in the Kinabatangan floodplain.

It is thus an ideal location to study wildlife and the effects of anthropogenic habitat alteration on biodiversity.

Teaching

The centre provides facilities for field courses from overseas and within the Asia-Pacific region including Malaysia. Training in biodiversity assessment methods for trees, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians, birds and mammals is available by arrangement. The facilities include a basic laboratory, a lecture room and a library (see 'Facilities'). It is our intention that courses, wherever possible, contribute to and benefit from the monitoring efforts that are carried out in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, such that the students themselves can learn biodiversity assessment and monitoring while contributing to the long-term data that are important for understanding the dynamics and stability of fragmented forests in this region. 

For further information:

Dr Benoît Goossens

Email: GoossensBR@cardiff.ac.uk

Field Location: Lot 6, Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, Malaysia

Office and Mailing Address: DGFC, c/o Sabah Wildlife Department, Wisma Muis, Block B, 5th Floor, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Telephone: +60 (0)88 341 527

Fax: +60 (0)88 341 528