Proboscis monkey highly dependent on riparian areas for survival: study

BRANDON JOHN


KINABATANGAN: A new study by Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) revealed key details about the proboscis monkey including its dependence on riparian or riverside areas.


The centre's director Dr Genoit Goossens said in a statement that those riparian areas were important habitat that provide food and shelter fot the monkeys.


"The study also revealed that the monkeys did not venture into oil palm plantations, even when there was only a narrow strip of riparian forest between the river and the plantation.


"This shows the importance of oil palm estates to stop encroaching riparian reserves and to surrender non-productive land for conservation," said Goosens, who is also a lecturer at Cardiff University.


The study, conducted last year, was funded by Yayasan Sime Darby and Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation.


He added such studies were necessary as the data obtained allowed researchers to figure out Sabah's carrying capacity for proboscis populations - which can determine their long-term survival in the state.


“Similar data was used in our recent population and habitat viability analysis workshop, held last February at Gaya Island Resort.


"State-of-the-art scientific data are of importance to identify the correct actions to be undertaken in order to ensure that proboscis monkeys will strive,” Goossens added.


As follow-up to the research, SWD and DGFC are currently drafting a State Action Plan in hopes of securing a future for Borneo's enigmatic monkeys.