Friday, July 15, 2011

postheadericon Volunteer field assistants needed for a Clouded leopard survey of the Crocker Range National Park

Borneo’s Clouded Leopards Need You!

We are now busy preparing for what is arguably going to be the most exciting, yet toughest of our challenges to date, an intensive, clouded leopard focused camera trap survey of the mountainous Crocker Range National Park

To help us in our endeavour we are now offering volunteer placements for individuals to help us in the field starting September 2011. If you fancy experiencing the ‘real’ Bornean rainforest, learning new skills and helping us learn about the elusive Sunda clouded leopard, then read on...


Our work is focused on providing basic, yet scientifically sound information regarding the Sunda clouded leopard and other threatened felids in Sabah to help guide viable conservation strategies for these species. As such, one of the core questions that we are attempting to answer is:

What is the distribution and conservation status of Sunda clouded leopards and other felids throughout Sabah, and what factors affect their presence and abundance? 

To help address this question we have developed a research approach primarily constructed around multiple 6-month camera trap surveys designed to estimate clouded leopard densities and felid community structure in areas of forest exposed to different forest management strategies.  Few data exist regarding Bornean felid communities in higher altitude areas, and so from September onwards we will be deploying our camera traps in the hill Dipterocarp and lower montane forests of Sabah’s Crocker Range National Park.


We are looking for volunteers to start as early as the beginning of September 2011, but positions will be available throughout the survey – ending in February 2012.  You must be available to work on the project for a minimum of 1 month, although we will consider taking on candidates for shorter periods if they already have sufficient experience. Get in touch if you are interested and we’ll take it from there.


The Crocker Range National Park is located in the west coast of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. At approximately 75km in length and 15km in width, it is the largest protected area in Sabah, comprising an area of 139,919ha, which is about twice the size of Singapore!  Altitude across the park varies from around 100m to 2050m at the peak of Mt. Alab, and consequently the park is swathed in a dense blanket of primary hill Dipterocarp and lower montane forest, See the Sabah Park's website for further details. 


Volunteers will assist with all aspects of the project (see earlier posts on the blog for an idea of what we get up to), including, but not restricted to: mapping and creation of forest trails and incorporation of spatial data into a GIS, deploying and checking camera traps over an approximate area of 150km2 of forest, questionnaire surveys of local people, and photographic data management. 


We are ideally looking for candidates with (or currently undertaking) at least a first degree in an appropriate Natural Science, although this is by no means a prerequisite and we will happily consider keen individuals with a demonstrated interested in wildlife conservation.  Above all else candidates should have a high level of fitness and a willingness to work in a challenging environment.  The work will involve long and arduous hikes over difficult terrain, and will frequently necessitate camping for up to 6 nights at a time at remote locations, deep in the National Park. Volunteers must be able to carry 50+ litre rucksacks weighing upwards of 15kg. The ideal candidates will have some experience of the activities described above, although this is not essential as full training will be provided.  


We will not ask for any contribution towards project costs but you must be able to cover both your own transport costs to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and your subsistence costs (i.e., food and accommodation costs at field sites).  Contact me for more details of estimated costs. 

Further questions

For further information and to apply please email me


Sean Prockter said...

This sounds like an absolutely amazing experience to be a part of! Thank you Karen for directing me to this blog page!