Rimba

Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
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Lysaght T.,National University of Singapore | Capps B.,Dalhousie University | Bailey M.,National University of Singapore | Bickford D.,Rimba | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Background One Health (OH) is an interdisciplinary collaborative approach to human and animal health that aims to break down conventional research and policy 'silos'. OH has been used to develop strategies for zoonotic Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID). However, the ethical case for OH as an alternative to more traditional public health approaches is largely absent from the discourse. To study the ethics of OH, we examined perceptions of the human health and ecological priorities for the management of zoonotic EID in the Southeast Asia country of Singapore. Methods We conducted a mixed methods study using a modified Delphi technique with a panel of 32 opinion leaders and 11 semi-structured interviews with a sub-set of those experts in Singapore. Panellists rated concepts of OH and priorities for zoonotic EID preparedness planning using a series of scenarios developed through the study. Interview data were examined qualitatively using thematic analysis. Findings We found that panellists agreed that OH is a cross-disciplinary collaboration among the veterinary, medical, and ecological sciences, as well as relevant government agencies encompassing animal, human, and environmental health. Although human health was often framed as the most important priority in zoonotic EID planning, our qualitative analysis suggested that consideration of non-human animal health and welfare was also important for an effective and ethical response. The panellists also suggested that effective pandemic planning demands regional leadership and investment from wealthier countries to better enable international cooperation. Conclusion We argue that EID planning under an OH approach would benefit greatly from an ethical ecological framework that accounts for justice in human, animal, and environmental health. © 2017 Lysaght et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Foon J.K.,Universiti Malaysia Sabah | Clements G.R.,Rimba | Clements G.R.,Sunway University | Liew T.-S.,Universiti Malaysia Sabah
ZooKeys | Year: 2017

Limestone hills are now gaining global conservation attention as hotspots for short-range endemic species. Levels of land snail endemism can be high at limestone hills, especially at hill clusters that are geographically isolated. In the State of Perak, Peninsular Malaysia, limestone hills have been opportunistically surveyed for land snails in the past, but the majority have yet to be surveyed. To address this knowledge gap, we systematically surveyed the terrestrial malacofauna of 12 limestone hills that, based on our opinion, are a representation of the limestone land snail assemblages within the State. Our inventory yielded high sampling completeness (>85%). We found 122 species of land snails, of which 34 species were unique to one of the surveyed hills. We identified 30 species that are potentially new to science. The number of land snail species recorded at each hill ranged between 39 and 63 species. Four of the sampled limestone hills namely, Prk 01 G. Tempurung, Prk 55 G. Pondok, Prk 47 Kanthan, and Prk 64 Bt Kepala Gajah, have high levels of species richness and unique species, representing 91% of the total species recorded in this study. We identified two clusters of limestone hills in central Perak with distinct differences in land snail species composition – a northern hill cluster on elevated granite bedrock and southern hill cluster in a low-lying valley surrounded by alluvial soils. As limestone hills continue to be quarried to meet the cement demand, the four identified limestone hills, along with other hills from the two clusters, warrant urgent conservation attention in order to maintain high species diversity within Perak’s terrestrial malacofauna. © Junn Kitt Foon et al.


Brodie J.F.,University of British Columbia | Paxton M.,United Nations Development Programme | Nagulendran K.,University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus | Balamurugan G.,ERE Consulting Group | And 6 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2016

We examined the links between the science and policy of habitat corridors to better understand how corridors can be implemented effectively. As a case study, we focused on a suite of landscape-scale connectivity plans in tropical and subtropical Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, and Bhutan). The process of corridor designation may be more efficient if the scientific determination of optimal corridor locations and arrangement is synchronized in time with political buy-in and establishment of policies to create corridors. Land tenure and the intactness of existing habitat in the region are also important to consider because optimal connectivity strategies may be very different if there are few, versus many, political jurisdictions (including commercial and traditional land tenures) and intact versus degraded habitat between patches. Novel financing mechanisms for corridors include bed taxes, payments for ecosystem services, and strategic forest certifications. Gaps in knowledge of effective corridor design include an understanding of how corridors, particularly those managed by local communities, can be protected from degradation and unsustainable hunting. There is a critical need for quantitative, data-driven models that can be used to prioritize potential corridors or multicorridor networks based on their relative contributions to long-term metacommunity persistence. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology


Giam X.,Princeton University | Giam X.,National University of Singapore | Clements G.R.,James Cook University | Clements G.R.,University of Malaya | And 3 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011

Traditional biodiversity conservation approaches emphasize the protection of pristine forests. However, it has become increasingly difficult to secure large tracts of undisturbed forests, particularly in the developing tropics. This has led some conservation scientists and organizations to explore the conservation potential of human-modified habitats, such as selectively logged forests. On the other hand, other scientists have highlighted the perils of overselling the conservation value of degraded habitats and advocate for re-focusing of efforts and resources on protecting primary forests. While there are merits to both contentions, we argue that the "back to wilderness" paradigm has limited relevance in the Sundaland region. This is because: (1) primary forest only makes up a small minority of the remaining forest in the region and most of it is already protected by law; (2) vast areas of selectively logged forest are still susceptible to plantation conversion; and (3) selectively logged forest are important habitats for some of the world's most endangered species. To meet both conservation and development goals, we suggest that tracts of selectively logged forest be assessed for their ecological value and forests of high conservation value be prioritized for better protection through their inclusion into existing protected area networks and/or improved sustainable forestry management. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Hedges L.,University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus | Hedges L.,University of Malaysia, Terengganu | Hedges L.,University of Selangor | Lam W.Y.,Rimba | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2015

To date, leopards (Panthera pardus) in Peninsular Malaysia have been overlooked by large carnivore researchers. This is in part due to the country's unique population of individuals that are almost all melanistic, which makes it nearly impossible to identify individuals using camera traps for estimating leopard density. We discovered a novel modification to infrared flash camera traps, which forces the camera into night mode, that allows us to consistently and clearly see the spots of a melanistic leopard. The aim of this project was 1) to determine the feasibility of identifying melanistic leopards with confidence using infrared flash camera traps, and 2) to establish a density estimate for the leopard population in a wildlife corridor in Malaysia using maximum likelihood and Bayesian spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) models. Both SECR approaches yielded a leopard density of approximately 3 individuals/100 km2. Our estimates represent the first density estimate of leopards in Malaysia and arguably, the world's first successful attempt to estimate the population size of a species with melanistic phenotypes. Because we have demonstrated that melanistic leopards can be monitored with confidence using infrared cameras, future studies should employ our approach instead of relying on scars or body shape for identification. Ultimately, our approach can facilitate more accurate assessments of leopard population trends, particularly in regions where melanistic phenotypes largely occur. © 2015 The Wildlife Society.


PubMed | ERE Consulting Group, World Wildlife Fund, United Nations Development Programme, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology | Year: 2016

We examined the links between the science and policy of habitat corridors to better understand how corridors can be implemented effectively. As a case study, we focused on a suite of landscape-scale connectivity plans in tropical and subtropical Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, and Bhutan). The process of corridor designation may be more efficient if the scientific determination of optimal corridor locations and arrangement is synchronized in time with political buy-in and establishment of policies to create corridors. Land tenure and the intactness of existing habitat in the region are also important to consider because optimal connectivity strategies may be very different if there are few, versus many, political jurisdictions (including commercial and traditional land tenures) and intact versus degraded habitat between patches. Novel financing mechanisms for corridors include bed taxes, payments for ecosystem services, and strategic forest certifications. Gaps in knowledge of effective corridor design include an understanding of how corridors, particularly those managed by local communities, can be protected from degradation and unsustainable hunting. There is a critical need for quantitative, data-driven models that can be used to prioritize potential corridors or multicorridor networks based on their relative contributions to long-term metacommunity persistence.


PubMed | European Commission, James Hutton Institute, Research and Conservation Division, University of Queensland and 86 more.
Type: | Journal: Global change biology | Year: 2016

The first International Peat Congress (IPC) held in the tropics - in Kuching (Malaysia) - brought together over 1000 international peatland scientists and industrial partners from across the world (International Peat Congress with over 1000 participants!, 2016). The congress covered all aspects of peatland ecosystems and their management, with a strong focus on the environmental, societal and economic challenges associated with contemporary large-scale agricultural conversion of tropical peat. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Liew T.-S.,Universiti Malaysia Sabah | Price L.,22 Albemarle Lodge | Clements G.R.,Rimba | Clements G.R.,University of Malaysia, Terengganu
Tropical Conservation Science | Year: 2016

In a world of limited resources and so many species and habitats in need of protection, informed prioritization is essential. However, we cannot prioritize effectively if historical and current information regarding a particular habitat or species remains scattered. Several good platforms have been created to help users find, use and create biodiversity information. However, good platforms for sharing habitat information for threatened ecosystems are still lacking. Limestone hills are an example of threatened ecosystems that harbor unique biodiversity, but are facing intensifying anthropogenic disturbances. As limestone is a vital resource for the construction industry, it is not possible to completely halt forest degradation and quarrying in developing countries such as Malaysia, where 445 limestone hills have been recorded in the peninsula to date. As such, there is an urgent need to identify which hills must be prioritized for conservation. To make decisions based on sound science, collating spatial and biological information on limestone hills into a publicly accessible database is critical. Here, we compile Malaysia’s first limestone hill GIS map for 445 limestone hills in the peninsula, based on information from geological reports and scientific literature. To assist in conservation prioritization efforts, we quantified characteristics of limestone hills in terms of size, degree of isolation, and spatial distribution patterns. We also assessed the degree of habitat disturbance in each limestone hill in terms of buffer area forest degradation and quarrying activity. These data are stored in a KMZ file and can be accessed through the Google Earth interface. Rather than being viewed as a final output containing basic limestone hill information, this database should be regarded as a foundational platform for users to collect, store, update and manipulate spatial and biological data from limestone hills to better inform decisions regarding their management. © 2016, Mongaby.com e-journal. All rights reserved.


Aziz S.A.,WWF Malaysia | Clements G.R.,Rimba | Clements G.R.,James Cook University | Clements G.R.,University of Malaya | And 3 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2013

For conservation to be effective in forests with indigenous peoples, there needs to be greater recognition of indigenous customary rights, particularly with regards to their use of natural resources. Ideally, legislation regulating the use of natural resources should include provisions for the needs of both indigenous peoples and biodiversity. In reality, however, legislative weaknesses often exist and these can result in negative impacts, either on indigenous peoples' livelihoods, their surrounding biodiversity, or both. Here, our case study demonstrates why conservationists need to pay greater attention to natural resource legislation affecting indigenous peoples' rights. Apart from examining relevant laws for ambiguities that may negatively affect biodiversity and livelihoods of indigenous people in Peninsular Malaysia (known as the Orang Asli), we also provide supporting information on actual resource use based on questionnaire surveys. In order to address these ambiguities, we propose possible legislative reconciliation to encourage policy reform. Although there are positive examples of conservationists elsewhere adopting a more inclusive and participatory approach by considering the needs of indigenous peoples, greater recognition must be afforded to land and indigenous rights within natural resource laws for the benefit of indigenous peoples and biodiversity. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Wijedasa L.S.,Singapore Botanic Gardens | Sloan S.,James Cook University | Michelakis D.G.,University of Edinburgh | Clements G.R.,Rimba | And 2 more authors.
Remote Sensing | Year: 2012

Landsat can be used to map tropical forest cover at 15-60 m resolution, which is helpful for detecting small but important perturbations in increasingly fragmented forests. However, among the remaining Landsat satellites, Landsat-5 no longer has global coverage and, since 2003, a mechanical fault in the Scan-Line Corrector (SLC-Off) of the Landsat-7 satellite resulted in a 22-25% data loss in each image. Such issues challenge the use of Landsat for wall-to-wall mapping of tropical forests, and encourage the use of alternative, spatially coarser imagery such as MODIS. Here, we describe and test an alternative method of post-classification compositing of Landsat images for mapping over 20.5 million hectares of peat swamp forest in the biodiversity hotspot of Sundaland. In order to reduce missing data to levels comparable to those prior to the SLC-Off error, we found that, for a combination of Landsat-5 images and SLC-off Landsat-7 images used to create a 2005 composite, 86% of the 58 scenes required one or two images, while 14% required three or more images. For a 2010 composite made using only SLC-Off Landsat-7 images, 64% of the scenes required one or two images and 36% required four or more images. Missing-data levels due to cloud cover and shadows in the pre SLC-Off composites (7.8% and 10.3% for 1990 and 2000 enhanced GeoCover mosaics) are comparable to the post SLC-Off composites (8.2% and 8.3% in the 2005 and 2010 composites). The area-weighted producer's accuracy for our 2000, 2005 and 2010 composites were 77%, 85% and 86% respectively. Overall, these results show that missing-data levels, classification accuracy, and geographic coverage of Landsat composites are comparable across a 20-year period despite the SLC-Off error since 2003. Correspondingly, Landsat still provides an appreciable utility for monitoring tropical forests, particularly in Sundaland's rapidly disappearing peat swamp forests. © 2012 by the authors.

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