WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
This project aims to reduce human impact in the wildlife corridor between the Taman Negara National Park and the main mountain range in West Malaysia where poaching is at its peak. The corridor is used as a highway by wildlife to get between the two large forest reserves. Tigers, elephants, rhinos, leopards and sun bears all use the corridor to find the resources they need to survive and thrive.
Malaysia has the second highest tiger population in the world after India, and so the conservation of this mighty creature within its natural habitat is paramount. As you trek through the dense jungle you will collect vital data on the range and movement of this impressive species by finding and identifying animal tracks and vital signs. As you walk in the lush tropical rainforest you will also act as a deterrent to poachers, to ensure the animals have the environment they need to breed successfully. This project is designed for you to get a real hands-on experience tracking wild animals and conserving their natural habitat. With a bit of luck you will be within viewing distance of some of the most beautiful animals on earth. Even if you don’t always get to see the more elusive animals you will be tracking, you are guaranteed an adventure no matter what!
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
You will be part of a dedicated team who work to keep this corridor free from poachers by organising and running anti-poaching patrols. You will trek through the forest in walks lasting between 5 and 7 hours, searching for tracks and signs of wildlife presence. The local guides will point out amazing indigenous flora and fauna, and will identify signs of the wildlife that you may have never spotted on your own. The routes are chosen based on surveys which need to be completed for the local conservation partner. The walks are also meant to keep watch for poachers and snares. If snares are found then their GPS locations will be recorded and the snares destroyed. You will also help monitor camera traps, which capture the movements of elusive and camouflaged animals. You will definitely find some surprises as you check these!
We ask for you to have at least a medium level of fitness in order to keep up with and learn during these exciting jungle walks. Also, keep in mind that you will be working in a tropical rainforest environment where humidity can reach 90- 100%.
You will spend half a day exploring some of the 60 limestone caves in the Merapoh region. The caves reveal the history of the region, both human and natural, with some containing underground flowing rivers and waterfalls while others display drawings from indigenous tribes centuries passed. The caves are also home to a range of cave fauna such as swiftlets, bats, snakes and invertebrates. Who knows what you may discover in their dark depths!
You will find your day spent teaching conversational English to the people of the local village, Batek, particularly rewarding. You will give a 3 hour English teaching session focusing on environmental topics. Don’t worry if you are not a teacher as you will have help preparing for this! The Batek people enjoy these sessions but also take them seriously; helping them learn English is a fantastic way of making sure they can benefit from the local tourism industry. In return, they will teach you about their history, culture and how they live day- to- day on their fruit plantations.
Arrive at Merapoh, briefing and introduction to animal tracking.
Six hour jungle trek.
Six hour jungle trek.
Morning - Prepare for conversational English lessons.
Afternoon - Visit to the local limestone caves.
Visit Batek Village to teach a 3 hour conversational English class and experience the Batek way of life.
Six hour jungle trek
Jungle walk and checking on camera traps used the area.
Early morning departure.