Earlier in the week, on the bank of the Subayang river getting out of the boat, we saw a paw print of a wildcat, which got one of our days off a good start. Teams have been out to swap over the SD cards in some of our camera traps that were set in place from the last slot. We also secured a school visit for next week in Tanjung Belit, which is the community that has been assisting us through the entire expedition. While in the school Sharon (whose boots had far too many laces to undo) waited on the steps and drew in quite a crowd of students, who were showing off very loudly, how well they could count to ten.
Despite two heavy rain storms, the Subayang river is continuing to drop, making travel in either direction a team effort, having to push our boats over the shallow spots. The locals from Tanjung Belit decided that with the low water levels it was a good time to have a fish harvest that brings the whole community together for a frantic few hours of net throwing and spear fishing. For the team it was a great opportunity to talk to villagers who were all to eager to talk to them. Helen, Mike, Laura and Nicole managed to have a good talk with the head of the village, who was very interested in our project and how it could help the community in the future.
Our expeditioners have also been working hard doing surveys in the forest, setting out camera traps and collecting in SD cards. There has been a lot of animal movement on the cameras set by slot 4, such as wild pig, mouse deer, great argus bird, long tail macaque, leopard cat and sun bear. But the big thrill was seeing a clouded leopard caught by the camera set in cell AA130, set by Febri, Sugi, Sian, Nikki and Helga. While this is not our target species, Febri tells us that the clouded leopard is WWF’s secondary target for this area, as it is an important species that is able to manage ecosystems as a co-predator, after the tiger.