Friday, February 11, 2011

Branch February Update

Members of our Branch CFZ Team being hammered by unexpected heavy rain from Pujut 10 all the way to Piasau Boat Club jetty. Photo by Sara Wong.

Dear Valued Members and Friends of MNS Miri,

A very Happy New Year to everyone. The monsoon continued to breeze through the year’s end and well into 2011. Enjoy the fresh air while it's still here, everyone seems to be saying it'll be a drier year later.

Below is an update of Dec’10 and Jan’11 with a quick look into Feb’11 and beyond:


11-12th Dec ’11 : MNS Miri Firefly Survey and Monitoring Workshop
Jointly organized by MNS Miri Branch and the MNS Conservation Division, the workshop pooled together experience from Dr Mahadimenakbar Mohamed Dawood, Institute of Tropical Biodiversity and Conservation, University Malaysia Sabah. Musa Musbah, Project Executor for CFZ Survey Northern Sarawak. Nazeri Abghani facilitated the workshop on behalf of Sonny Wong, Senior Conservation Officer, MNS Conservation Division who provided the main resources for the workshop.
The 2 day workshop was held at the Kelab Rekreasi Petroleum Lutong. Attended by participants from Sarawak Forestry Corporation, members of MNS Miri and the public., the workshop provided good exposure about firefly conservation in Malaysia and generated interest to further improve the collective work in CFZ in Malaysia

25th Dec ’10 : Camping in Kuala Niah
Christmas Day at the estuary of Sungai Niah. River cruise up the Sg. Niah to catch a glimpse of a colony of flying foxes roaming the skies and vague sounds of shotguns in the background. A nightwalk and stargazing to cap the night. Did we mention BBQ’ing Siakap fish in the middle of pouring rain (cleaning fish made a lot easier)?

1st Jan ’11 : CFZ Survey Sg. Adong and Sg. Maloi
We welcomed the new year MNS style. Night time firefly assessment, covering 23km of river from Piasau Boat Club Jetty. Thanks to our intrepid observers Sara, Nazeri, Dominique, Bor Seng, Tracy , Bujang Matzain (boatman) and Musa. It was probably the wettest CFZ we have ever encountered!

6th Jan ’11 : CFZ Survey Sg. Bakam and Sg. Raan
Surveyed 1.2km of Sg. Bakam. Many display trees are observed along Sg. Raan. A juvenile crocodile was recorded in Sg. Bakam. Plenty of bright display trees along the river at a location we never expected. Never a dull moment.

8-9th Jan ‘11: Waterbirds and Wetland Habitats Survey, Miri
The team traversed the coast of Miri in search of waterbirds , walking in tidal flats against rising tides, as well as performing our civic duty of dismantling illegal mist nets on the second day. Completed SWS from Kpg Kuala Sibuti to Lutong Beach on the 8th Jan. Completed SWS from Kpg Batu Satu to Sg Tujoh on the 9th Jan . Thank you to our fieldcrew of the MNS-BCC-WG's, Rose and Daniel, as well as our volunteers Michael, Musa, Remli, Nazeri, Erwin, Sara, Steve and Anura

14-16th Jan ' 11: MNS Strategic Plan Workshop and Council Meeting, KSNP
Anura and Nazeri attended the workshop facilitated by Ashleigh Seow on MNS Strategic Plans intended for Board of Trustees, Council Members, Branch Committees and Branch Representatives. The 2 day workshop covered essential ingredients for a cohesive strategic plans. MNS Miri Branch Strategic Plan 2010-2012 was completed end 2009 and submitted Jan 2010 and can be found here. Anura attended Council Meeting om behalf of the branch on the 16th.

23rd Jan ’11 : AWC at Pujut Lakes
A rush to the lakes near the go-kart track in the early morning to catch a glimpse of Wandering Whistling Ducks. Thank you Musa, Sara, Joyce, Nazeri and Anura . 1st sighting of Black-collared Starling. Recorded 2 juvenile Black-shouldered Kite (2nd record in Sarawak) in the same area.

30th Jan ’11 : AWC at Sg. Miri and CFZ Daytime Assessment
An eventful morning as we traverse Sg. Miri to collect visuals of firefly display trees while birders made observations for….birds.


12-13th Feb SWS in Lawas;
Some driving with a few crew members flying to Lawas to conduct waterbird surveys along the coast.

17th February : Waterbirds Workshop, Kuching
As part of the Waterbirds and Wetland Habitats Survey for the Sarawak Coast also known in short as the Sarawak Waterbird Survey (SWS), this training workshop will equip participants with skills needed to identify and count waterbirds commonly occurring in Sarawak.

Please click here for details. Workshop will be facilitated by Dave Bakewell over two days.

21-27th Feb SWS in Mukah;
Some driving from Kuching, several members flying in 25th Feb to participate in the coastal survey of the birds in and around Mukah.

26th Feb CFZ Survey in Mukah;
We are planning a CFZ boat survey along Sg Mukah to gather firefly information in the area as part of our CFZ Northern Sarawak Survey.

24th Feb Eco Diver Theory Sessions;
Training sessions to be held at end of Feb. Please contact directly for further info

Tentavive CFZ Fieldtrips in Feb and March:
19th Feb : CFZ Suai from Kpg Iran, might include overnite camping at Kuala Suai.
05th Mar : CFZ Sg Bakong, might involve an overnite stay at Lambir Hills NP.
12th Mar: CFZ of Sg Teru, a weekend trip to Loagan Bunut NP.
Final details will be disseminated once they become available.

26-27th March : CFZ Workshop at Similajau National Park;
A second workshop on fireflies intended for those interested to learn more about fireflies and help with the effort to populate fireflies data for Sarawak. Classroom sessions as well as a field survey of Sg Similajau.


Community Outreach April and May:
We’ll be looking for volunteers to help MNS Miri conduct community outreach programmes for the rest of the year which includes programs at Kpg Kuala Nyalau, Kpg Kuala Sibuti, Kpg Bungai and Kpg Masjid. The programs will have components of CFZ, Waterbirds and Reefcheck incorporated with contributions from our Projects team.

We are also underway to set-up a Birdwatching Club at SMK Lutong, under Shell’s We Care We Share programme after recently won an award for the WCWS project.

My Garden Birdwatch
Keep your ears peaked for My Garden Birdwatch that will be running on the 4-5th June, there will be training sessions in May in conjunction with World Migratory Bird Day 2011. More details in the pipeline.

Members will soon receive their proxy forms by mail. Please remember to vote “FOR” or “AGAINST” the adoption of the new MNS Rules and Regulations and mail in the envelope supplied.

MNS is an NGO solely driven by support and contribution from it’s members. Those who have submitted their dues a large thank you.

While we warmly welcome new members to the family, we'd like to take this opportunity to remind current members to renew their membership. Why not do it for the next 3 years? Your contribution helps us work better towards MNS vision.

Below are members whose membership will be expiring by the end of this month:
· Lee Bor Seng
· Henry Law Ing Hua
· Rohaya Binti Amat Dollah
· Kamal Abdullah
· Ting King King
· Azeeza Bujang
· Puteri Shariza Megat Khalid
· Wouter Rensink
· Anne Malissa King
· Alison Brown
· Nurul Jameela Nor Mazlan
· Lim, Michael
· Jacobus D C van der Toorn

To our members who celebrate GONG XI FA CAI and to all of us a prosperous year ahead. Do read up on more of our activities’ through our blog and Facebook.

Please email us for comments, input, feedback : mnsmiri at yahoo dot com.

Kind Regards,
Anura Dason,
MNS Miri Branch

Links :
MNS Main:
MNS Miri Branch:
MNS Miri Blog:

Useful Acronyms:
MNS – Malaysian Nature Society
MNS BCC-WG – MNS Bird Conservation Council –Waterbird Group
AWC – Asian Waterbirds Census
SWS -Sarawak Waterbird Survey (short for Waterbirds and Wetland Habitats Survey for the Sarawak Coast Project)
CFZ – Congregating Fireflies Zone

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