GIVE SPIDERS A CHANCE: Borneo Edition

From the moment we arrived at KOPEL’s EcoCamp, it became abundantly clear that not everyone was as stoked on the multitude of invertebrates that inhabit Borneo’s rain forest ecosystems as I was. More specifically, there seemed to be a distinct sense of terror surrounding the many (and some of them, frankly, quite large) spiders that … Read more

Salvinia Molesta…The Bane of Tungog Lake

Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta), an invasive water weed, has infested Tungog Lake, located at the Kopel rainforest ecocamp in Malaysian Borneo. This aquatic fern is listed in the top 100 most invasive species on the planet. If you ever have the chance to visit Tungog Lake (hint: you should!), you’ll understand why. Physically, giant salvinia … Read more

Sabah’s Scolopendra Soirée

When the average adventurous traveler plans a trip to equatorial jungles, curious minds usually gravitate to charismatic mammals, like the handsome orangutan or the beloved pangolin; perhaps a beautiful, endemic flower, like the Rafflesia keithii, which has the largest flower in the world. Some excited travelers, such as new scientific researchers, may anticipate local flora and … Read more

Faijan our Jungle Hero!

This USF Tropical Restoration Ecology field class has contained many memorable moments, one of these being meeting the local community here in Batu Puteh. In this post I am spotlighting our good friend and guide here at KOPEL BHD, Mohd Faijan bin Mustapah. Faijan was born and raised in Batu Puteh village here in the … Read more

Sunny Day for the Sun Bears!

In Sepilok, Malaysian Borneo we had the unique opportunity to get a private tour of the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) from the founder and director Dr. Wong Siew Te. The BSBCC was only about a 20 minute walk from the Sepilok B and B were our University of San Francisco Tropical Restoration Ecology class … Read more

An Oasis of Ficus!

On our last day of University of San Francisco’s Tropical Restoration Ecology class, we were graced with an impromptu lecture by Dr. Wong, found and director of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. I was expecting to hear more about sun bears or other conservation topics. It was to the delight of this plant person … Read more

A Night Walk in the Rainforest to Remember

Wildlife in the jungle comes alive twice a day, once at dawn and again at dusk. As the class started our evening hike through the Kabili–Sepilok Forest Reserve at the Rainforest Discovery Center (RDC) on the evening of June 8th, 2019 the rainforest was just beginning to put on its big show. As it was my first … Read more