Tuesday, July 6, 2010

MNS Hornbill Conservation Project : Hornbill Volunteer Program 2010

Title page of MNS Hornbill Project website http://www.hornbills.org Please checkout the url to find our more about MNS Hornbill Project in Belum-Temengor and how you can make a direct contribution to hornbill conservation efforts.

Older than the Congo; richer in biodiversity. The Belum-Temengor (BT) Forest Complex in Perak is a 130 million year old forest. The BT Forest Complex consists primarily of the Royal Belum State Park and the Temengor Forest Reserve, an area of 288,000 ha in size. It is home to some of Asia’s most spectacular wildlife including tigers, elephants and rhinoceros, and something very special; possibly the world’s largest seasonal congregations of hornbills.

In 2006, the MNS Belum-Temengor Campaign was launched, aimed at securing this large expanse of forested landscape. The Perak Government responded to one of the five actions and gazetted Royal Belum State Park (117,500 ha) in 2007.

MNS continues to advocate for the protection of Temengor Forest Reserve, part of which forms the site for MNS Hornbill Conservation Project. Due to continued disturbance to the forest, logging being one of the main ones, the hornbills of Belum-Temengor are under threat as they require large areas of forested land to feed on fruiting trees as well as large mature trees to nest in.

MNS led the first heritage and scientific expedition to Belum-Temengor in 1993 to document its rich biodiversity. Through this expedition, the mass movement of Aceros hornbills was documented. Over 2,365 individuals in flight were counted on 25 November 1993. In September 2008, the highest count ever recorded was 3,261 birds.

During the second expedition in 1998 (at Sg. Tan Hain, Belum Forest Reserve), the identity of these Aceros hornbills was confirmed as the Plain-pouched Hornbills Aceros subruficollis. This confirmed the presence of a previously unrecorded species of hornbill in Malaysia, making Belum-Temengor the only site in the country with 10 hornbill species to date.

Marking a new country record in 1999, the Plain-pouched Hornbill became a fascinating species needing attention, simply because the numbers in this biologically diverse site were unprecedented anywhere else in the world, putting Belum-Temengor on the map as one of global conservation importance. This served as a catalyst for the MNS Hornbill Conservation Project which strives to gain knowledge and information on hornbills in order to conserve their home, the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex.

For more details, visit http://www.hornbills.org/


We have initiated a volunteer programme to provide the public an opportunity to assist MNS monitor the Plain-pouched Hornbill. This is the first volunteer programme of its kind in the country. In August and September, the season for the Plain-pouched Hornbill, thousands of these birds flock in Temengor, perhaps in search of food. The reasons why they migrate here during certain times of the year are uncertain yet, which is the main reason for this programme – to answer the many unanswered questions as to why these birds are here.

Here volunteers can help conduct the important daily flight census and be a part of a national conservation effort, aiding our staff and experienced members in collecting data. Hornbill census is conducted twice a day, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. This flight census will offer valuable information on population numbers which in turn will be used to advocate for the protection of Belum-Temengor, especially in addressing the logging threats. Join us in our effort to tell the world that the hornbills are a prized asset of our Belum-Temengor forest that must be protected for future generations.

A briefing will be held during which responsibilities and duties are explained and assigned. There are also other duties related to the set up and maintenance of the site.

[Abbreviation: B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner]

Day 1 [D]
1500hrs Arrival in Banding Island Jetty, Gerik, Perak, Boat transfer from Banding Island to Kampung Tebang
1700hrs Introduction and familiarization with the indigenous Jahai community at villageHornbill monitoring in Kampung Tebang

Day 2 [B/L/D]
0645-0900 hrs Hornbill monitoring
0900-1730 hrsActivities in Kg Tebang or excursion
1730-1930 hrs Hornbill monitoring in Kampung Tebang

Day 3 [B/L/D]
0645-0900 hrs Hornbill monitoring
0900-1730 hrsActivities in Kg Tebang or excursion
1730-1930 hrs Hornbill monitoring in Kampung Tebang

Day 4 [B]
0645-0900 hrs Hornbill monitoring
0900-1200 hrs Debrief by Group Leader and Coordinator , Departure to Banding Island Jetty

The local Orang Aslis have helped MNS for years in search for hornbill nests and also guiding and transporting members and guests through unfamiliar territory. Learn what the Orang Asli eat, how they live and what they know about the rainforest they have lived in for centuries.

Activities in Temengor may include camp crafts, hut enhancement and raft building. Excursions in Temengor may include visits to nearby waterfall and Rafflesia sites.

Please note that the programme itinerary above is subject to change due to local weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Obviously you must love nature and the wild outdoors. Facilities in Belum-Temengor are basic and you’re as close to nature as it gets. There are NO shops within the vicinity of the village, so please purchase whatever you need and bring it along with you. The nearest town is Gerik and once you pass through this town, you will be heading on a highway to the Banding Island Jetty, 40 minutes away from town.

Accommodation is in the form of a wooden shelter. Bathing and toilet facilities are provided in the village area and the water source is from the lake surrounding the village. Those uncomfortable with this source of water may resort to baby wipes or use a damp towel to ‘wash up’.

There is no electricity in this village.

Local daily temperatures range from 21 – 30 degrees C.

We provide:
• kerosene lamps
• foam mat (for sleeping)
• mosquito nets• stationery
• cooking and eating utensils

First and foremost you must be ...
• Enthusiastic and open minded
• Interested in Malaysian natural history and biodiversity
• Nature appreciators
• Fit and adventurous
• Able to live under very basic conditions
• 18 and above of age
• Willing to work with others

Note: To get out of this area for any emergency purposes requires a minimum of two (2) hours.

• Gather and report data as required as accurately as possible
• Act as tally counter
• Participate in available activities when off-duty in order to fully enjoy the opportunity/ experience
• Provide constructive feedback to coordinator/ review experience with media and other volunteers (if requested)
• Cooperate and coordinate with other volunteers/ group leader with regards to travel arrangements/ duties on-site OR arrange for own transport to transfer site (or car-pool with other volunteers if available)
• Take responsibility for own supplies/ needs/ safety/ health
• Prepare for volunteer stint: attend/read guidelines provided

(Package 1 [4D/3N])

Category and Price
Malaysian students RM170.00 per person
MNS Members RM230.00 per person
Malaysian residents (non-MNS members) RM300.00 per person + 1 year MNS membership
International residents (visiting volunteers) USD150.00 per person + 1 year MNS membership

(Package 2 [5D/4N])

Category and Price
Malaysian students RM220.00 per person
MNS Members RM280.00 per person
Malaysian residents (non-MNS members) RM350.00 per person + 1 year MNS membership
International residents (visiting volunteers) USD180.00 per person + 1 year MNS membership

Book a slot on the Volunteer Application form, downloadable on the MNS Hornbil Website:


Please note that expenses relating to getting to Gerik and Banding Jetty including transportation, meals, etc are NOT covered in volunteer price.

Please also make sure you are properly insured. Payments made are non-refundable and will be donated to MNS Hornbill Conservation project. Should there be unavoidable cancellations, please let MNS know four (4) days in advance so we can find suitable replacements to fill vital slots.

Binoculars (essential)
CamerasExtra batteries
Good walking shoes or hiking boots
Leech proof socks (can be purchased at MNS headquarters)
Long sleeves and pants (earthy colors as bright colors can scare birds away)
Sweater for night and early morning and cooling clothes for the afternoon
Medication you are currently taking. (A basic medical kit is available on site)
Mosquito spray/insect repellent
Reading material
Sleeping bag or blanket
Sun hat
Sunscreen lotion

Optional items:
Fishing rod
Inflatable sleeping mat (e.g. Thermarest)
Inflatable pillow
Spotting scope
Video camera
Wet towels or baby wipes

1. There is no electricity supply in Kampung Tebang. Please keep this in mind when bringing any electronic equipment in.
2. Cell phone reception not available in Kampung Tebang. Cell phone reception is available at the Banding jetty.
3. Ensure your belongings fit into one rugged piece of luggage preferably waterproof backpack.
4. Please note all volunteers who join our programme will be given a limited edition Plain-pouched Hornbill T-shirt and Hornbill poster, as well as a certificate of appreciation for the work they have done for the MNS Hornbill Conservation Project at MNS.

We hope to see you in Kampung Tebang!

Special note to employees of Shell:
Shell Malaysia has adopted this program as part of Project Better World - Malaysia program, Shell staff are eligible to apply for a stint at Belum-Temenggor counting hornbills with other volunteers under supervision of MNS. All expenses for the program are covered by Shell as part of Shell's commitment to Project Better World.

To apply please contact Shell Malaysia focal point Yoong, Agnes via Shell internal email.

Some details are provided at the Shell's internal PBW-MY website.

[All the information above is taken from the Hornbill Volunteer Program 2010 Factsheet provided by the Malaysian Nature Society.]
Nazeri Abghani/MNS Miri/Jul 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment