Bioluminescent Fungi: Nature’s Night Light

Looking for bioluminescent fungi takes a certain kind of personality. In short, you have to be comfortable in the dark. Recently, my friend Piper and I went on a quest to discover bioluminescent fungi on a night hike in the forest around the KOPEL ecocamp along the Kinabatangan River in Malaysian Borneo. We are part … Read more

Problems for Proboscis!

On Saturday, June 8th Gretchen, Heather, and I visited the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary in Sepilok, Sabah. Gretchen had given us ample warning that the way the monkeys are treated at the so called “sanctuary” would break many American animal rights laws and ethical guidelines. It was important that we understood the good, the … Read more

Borneo’s Bear Necessities

Say hello to Fulung! Fulung is an adult male sun bear who has the pleasure of calling the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC), of Sepilok Borneo, home. Sun bears are the world’s smallest bears with the longest tongues. Sometimes referred to as honey bears due to their affinity for honey or dog bears for … Read more

The Tungog Task

Tungog Lake, a 15 minute boat ride from the dock at Batu Puteh on the Kinabatangan River, presented the 2018 TRE class with a plethora of obstacles. Tungog Lake is one of the 20 oxbow lakes on the Kinabatangan river and like many of the lakes in Borneo suffers from an infestation of an invasive … Read more

Perplexed by Palm Oil

Have you heard of palm oil? You probably have, it’s known in the western world as an evil industry that’s destroying forests, killing wildlife, and any product that contains it should be boycotted. This unfortunately carries a lot of truth about the impacts of the industry, it just doesn’t paint the full picture however. Yes, … Read more

Could One Tiny Weevil Solve This Big Problem?

Salvinia molesta is a fast growing, invasive, aquatic fern that is native to south-eastern Brazil. Instead of attaching to the soil, it free floats and remains buoyant on the body of water that it inhabits. Salvinia molesta thrives in slow-moving waters that can be found in lakes, ponds, and ditches. The fern is dangerous to … Read more

Nursing Sabah Rainforests Back to Health – One Tree at a Time

Day 9: “Tree Planting Kinabatangan – Sabah’s ‘Gift to Earth’”. I saw this statement on shirts for sale at the KOPEL gift shop, and I just had to buy one! The truth is that tree planting in degraded rainforests is one of KOPEL’s biggest restoration projects in the Kinabatangan region, with about 700,000 trees planted … Read more

Mangrove Madness

As the barrier between the land and the sea, mangroves play an incredibly important role in protecting land against the physical impact of tsunamis, cyclones, sea level rise, and wave action, just to name a few. This beautiful ecosystem also provides habitat for a myriad of aquatic and terrestrial animals including the Proboscis Monkey, which … Read more

Our Closest Cousins in Borneo

Day 2 – Wildlife Ecotourism Welcome to Sepilok – Salamat Pagi ! (Good Morning! in Malay) It’s day 2 and the TRE Borneo class is off to an amazing start viewing some of the endemic wildlife. Our group visited the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.  The center was found in 1964 in the State of Sabah, … Read more

Experiencing Borneo Wildlife

To put it simply, our time at Kopel has been like real life Discovery Channel. When telling others about my upcoming travels to Borneo, many people were already aware of the incredible array of wildlife present in Southeast Asia. Of course, I understood this to be true as well, but it wasn’t until actually observing … Read more