WildCRU

Monday, May 3, 2010

postheadericon Evolution of a project...

After more than three years of hard work the ‘Bornean Wild Cats & Clouded Leopard Project’ is sadly drawing to a close. The Parangs (local style machete) have been placed back in their sheaths, the camera traps removed from the forest, and we’re now busy translating the hard won data into tangible conservation science.

But alas this is not the end of our project; Borneo’s wild cats remain threatened, and there is still much to learn about them in order to help develop appropriate management and conservation actions. Rather this is the closing of the first chapter, and the beginning of the next, for the project is evolving into the: ‘Bornean Clouded Leopard Programme’.

The Global Canopy Programme have now handed the reins over to the WildCRU, at the University of Oxford, who, having previously been the scientific advisor to the project, will now be the lead partner in our new programme. Please check back here soon for details of our new programme.

So at the dawning of our new endeavour we’d like take a step back and offer a big thank you to all those that have supported the project and shared our desire to help begin shedding light on this unique, but little known guild of Bornean felids.

We thank the many organisations that have provided financial support, and in particular, we thank the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative, who provided the core funding to our previous work in Sabah. We thank our research assistants and the volunteers that helped us with the often challenging fieldwork. A big thank you to the host country organisations that have supported us and given us permission to carry out the project, including the Yayasan Sabah, Sabah Wildlife Department, DVMC, Economic Planning Unit, and of course our project partners at the ITBC, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Sincere thanks go to our project counterpart, Dr Henry Bernard, and the Royal Society SEARRP’s Dr Glen Reynolds, who both provided invaluable logistical and technical assistance, and also a friendly ear.

Lastly we offer a big thank you to the Global Canopy Programme’s Andrew Mitchell and Katherine Secoy, both for doing a sterling job at managing the project and for seeing the potential in two eager Conservation Biologists, desperate to start a wild cat conservation project in Borneo.
 
(Photos: Top: A leopard cat photographed at the Danum Valley Field Station - one of the projects very first cat photos - we now have well over a thousand! Bottom: Andy, Katherine Secoy and Jo, overlooking the Danum Valley canopy.)