Tag Archives: Ecosystem

What Conservationists Want In Budget 2021

ACCORDING to the Parliamentary schedule, the Malaysian government will table Budget 2021 in the Parliamentary meeting on 6 November. 

The Budget would reflect the government’s plans to carry the country out of the pandemic woes of 2020. 

Malaysians have had a troubled year. Our lives, economy and national policies were derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic and unexpected changes in the Federal government and state governments of Johor, Melaka, Kedah and Sabah

Many conservation groups struggled to keep finances and operations running.

Amidst the turbulence, Malaysians continue to see our environment degrade: pollution of rivers and coasts; clear-felling and degazettement of forest reserves for economic activities; human-elephant conflicts; and poaching. 

Continue reading What Conservationists Want In Budget 2021

Cave Cockroach (Pycnoscelus striatus)

Species: Pycnoscelus striatus (Insecta: Blattodea)

Known Range: Malaysia, Sumatra, the Philippines

Size: (Adult) 15 mm long , ~diameter of 10-sen coin

Interviewed: Dr Lim Teck Wyn, biologist

(Photo: Shaharin Yussof )

“CUTE” IS how Teck Wyn describes the cave cockroach, Pycnoscelus striatus. “The nymphs”—the juvenile stage of cockroaches—“are adorable, scurrying sort of things.”

Continue reading Cave Cockroach (Pycnoscelus striatus)

A New Journalism Portal

[Updated 27 April 2020]

WELCOME to the Beta version of Macaranga, a new journalism portal covering the environment and sustainability in Malaysia. We aim to provide in-depth journalistic features on issues and build knowledge about ecosystems.

Our objective is to be relevant, insightful and accurate and to fill a gap in local content production.

Malaysian media coverage of the environment and sustainability has,
and continues to be overshadowed by a focus on economic development, in
line with national aspirations.

Global coverage is select and scattered.

This is despite Malaysia’s rich natural resources and growing economic costs of biodiversity loss and climate change.

Hence, Macaranga.

Research-based journalism

When we launched in 2019, Malaysia had a new government for the first
time in 60 years. In February this year, political realignments saw
another coalition government take over. The Covid-19 crisis began and
continues to cause uncertainty.

Through it all, there is an even greater need for deeply-researched,
engaging and accurately-reported stories about environmental issues —
stories which are significant nationally and beyond.

As such, the team is digging deep into our experience, networks within
and outside Malaysia, specialist knowledge and communication skills. We
are also collaborating with different groups and are aiming for more
collaborations.

We would like this digital, interactive platform to eventually become
a source of reliable and relevant information on Malaysia’s
environment.

Ultimately, we would like to inform, persuade, educate and connect
policy-makers, environmental groups, scientists, businesses, journalists
and the public to jointly pursue sustainable development.

The team

The portal is the brainchild of, and is run by Malaysia-based environmental and science writers, Law Yao Hua and SL Wong. Together, we have over 30 years of experience reporting, writing and producing content.

We have done work for local and international print, broadcast and online media, government and aid agencies, corporations and environmental organisations. We have also produced videos, podcasts, books, and run workshops.

Working with our content-producing and publishing network, we hope Macaranga will be an impactful digital multimedia platform.

We want to be as relevant as possible, so we welcome comments and feedback. Do also tell us what topics you feel we should cover here. And follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Huge thanks to Chong Su Weii (suu.work{at}gmail{dot}com) for helping us get this Beta website up.

(Photo: A botanist’s notebook – SL Wong)

WHAT IS MACARANGA?

Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) is a family of tropical pioneer species that recolonises disturbed forest areas, paving the way for other species. It is found all over Malaysia — about 9% of the 300 known species call Malaysia home — as well as throughout Asia and beyond, as far as Africa.

Known locally as ‘mahang’, Macaranga has a symbiotic relationship with tree-living ants (Formicidae): the plant provides the ants food, the ants provide the plant protection from pests. Different parts of the plant are also widely used by humans in traditional medicine.

References:

Govaerts, R., et al (2019). World Checklist of Euphorbiaceae. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://wcsp.science.kew.org/ Retrieved 18 July 2019.

Nor Aishah Mazlan, Ahmed Mediani, Faridah Abas, et al., “Antioxidant, Antityrosinase, Anticholinesterase, and Nitric Oxide Inhibition Activities of Three Malaysian Macaranga Species,” The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2013, Article ID 312741, 8 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/312741.

Karst Ecosystem

Karst Ecosystem poster - Macaranga

Popularly referred to as limestone (‘batu kapur’), Malaysia’s remarkable karst landscape has been sculpted by centuries of action of water on soft rock. It is also home to unique life-forms and is part of human life. Coming up, we talk to those who know it well to celebrate its myriad facets, in our first ecosystem spotlight.

(Photo: Tower karst of Gunung Rapat, Kinta Valley, reflected in an old mining pond – Cheang Kum Seng)

Dawn bat (Eonycteris spelaea) live in large roosts in limestone hill caves. One of the largest fruit bats in mainland Southeast Asia, dawn bats pollinate many species of fruit trees, including regional favourites durian and petai. (Photo: Juliana Senawi)

FOR DURIAN LOVERS: Dawn bat (Eonycteris spelaea)

with Zubaid Akbar Mukhtar Ahmad
(Photo: Juliana Senawi)

Karst ecosystem: Land snail (Opisthostoma vermiculum) (Photo: Foon Junn Kit)

FOUR AXES: Minute land snail (Whittenia vermiculum)

with Foon Junn Kit
(Photo: Foon Junn Kit)

KKarst ecosystem: Cave cockroach Pycnoscelus striatus (Photo: Shaharin Yussof)

CAVE TRANSFORMER: Cave cockroach (Pycnoscelus striatus)

with Lim Teck Wyn
(Photo: Shaharin Yussof)

COMING SOON:

Karst ecosystem: Perak Limestone (Photo: Cheang Kum Seng)

LIMESTONE LENSING: Karst photography

with Cheang Kum Seng
(Photo: Cheang Kum Seng)

Karst ecosystem: Rock-climbing Batu Caves (Photo: SL Wong)

SCALING HEIGHTS: Rock-climbing

with Chan Yuen Li
(Photo: SL Wong)

Species Name 7

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References Link:

  • Link 1
  • LInk 2
  • Link 3
  • Link 4
  • Link 5

On-Going Research:

  • Link 1
  • Link 2
  • Link 3
  • Link 4
  • Link 5


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