Today is Earth Day. Around the world, numerous communities have organised an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues. If you can, dedicate this day, or even this week, to do some good for this planet. Re-use. Recycle. Check to see if your timber, paper, coffee and seafood originate from environmentally-friendly sources. Bring your own shopping bag. Limit your use of plastic. Most importantly, limit your overall consumption. Reduce! If you are followers of our website and Facebook page, you are probably already doing most of this. But if you are not, tsk tsk! Remember, it’s not too late to change your habits
To celebrate this occasion, we are launching a 2-minute video that pays tribute to the forests and wildlife in one of Rimba’s project sites – the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor. The first video is in English and the second is in Bahasa Malaysia. Please share this with as many people as you can to raise public awareness of the threats facing Kenyir’s and Malaysia’s rainforests.
Saving Mother Earth requires more than just changing our lifestyles. It’s also about fighting to ensure we have enough biodiversity left so that our forests can function optimally. Healthy rainforests are needed to stem the tide of climate change and to provide us with important ecosystem services. We need a jungle out there.
In the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project, we are still trying to improve the protection of this corridor by working with the Terengganu state government to gazette the corridor as a protected area and to enhance anti-poaching efforts.
To find out how you can help this and other Rimba projects, click here.
It’s always a treat to find a species new to science.
But finding a new species of snail from Terengganu isn’t surprising.
One reason is that before the second half of the last century, malacologists (scientists who study snails) mainly looked for snails in the Federated Malay States, which consisted of Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak and Selangor.
Finding a new species in Malaysia also isn’t that surprising. According to a study by Giam, one of Rimba’s researchers, tropical moist forests of the Neotropics, Afrotropics, and Indomalaya (this includes Malaysia!) are likely to harbour the greatest numbers of undescribed species.
Just last year, Reuben and his colleague, Tan Siong Kiat, described a new genus and species of snail in Terengganu. This snail is now known as Kenyirus sodhii. That was the first snail ever described from Terengganu and one of the first few animals to be named after Kenyir.
Now Reuben and another colleague, Mohammad Effendi bin Marzuki, are proud to announce another new species of snail from Terengganu: Pearsonia tembatensis.
Just for the record, this is the first time scientists have found this genus (Pearsonia) in Malaysia! You can read more information on this discovery here, which was published in the recent issue of the journal Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.
If you look closely at the shell of this snail, you will notice a snorkel-like protuberance (circled in red) on the shell. For now, nobody knows yet what the function of this ‘snorkel’ is for.
You might find the name tembatensis familiar, as this snail was named after Tembat Forest Reserve, where Reuben conducted his camera trapping work under the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project.
The snail was also named after Tembat to highlight the environmental destruction befalling this forest reserve due to the construction of new hydroelectric dams. We hope that we’ll still be able to find this snail in drier parts of the forest once the dam begins operating, because in the flooded areas, even its snorkel won’t be able to keep this air breather alive for long…