baby sun bear
Harapan Rainforest blog – 8th June 2009
I have just returned from this month’s mammal surveys in the western part of Harapan Rainforest. A team of 12 staff from the Research and Conservation team walked over 60km of forest transects, recording any mammal signs found along the route. Mammal species are identified using signs, such as paw prints, faeces, claw marks on the trees and mammal feeding signs and this information is then used to build up a picture of their distribution in the site. During one of these transects we heard a loud rustling in the undergrowth and saw a large adult Malayan Sun Bear running off into the forest. Shortly after a young cub came sliding down the tree directly in front of us, allowing us beautiful views of this stunning animal. Normally a solitary species, two sun bears are only usually seen together when an adult female is with her offspring and a cub will usually stay with its mother for up to two and a half years. The Malayan Sun Bear is the smallest of the world’s bear species. Once widespread throughout Asia, they are now patchily distributed across their former range due to the large scale removal of their forest habitat and poaching for the wildlife trade. Harapan Rainforest provides an important protected area for this threatened species and has recently received funding from the Bear Conservation Fund of the International Association of Bear Research and Management to assess the population size of this species within the site and to look at their preferences for different habitat types.
Jeri Imansyah, Harapan Rainforest Biodiversity Officer
more information can be obtained from http://harapanrainforest.org