The cuties of Langkawi

The cuties of Langkawi

20160221013410dusky langur

The Dusky leaf monkey or a spectacled langur (Trachypithecus obscurus) is one of Langkawi resident primates. This monkey has a dark grey fur, large circles ring on each eyes that giving the appearance like eyeglasses with a fur crowning its head, white surrounding its mouth and creamy white colouring on its stomach.

The newborn baby langur colour is a bright orange or yellow. It takes about 6 months for the baby to start turning their fur into dark grey just same like an adult Langur. The Langur babies were in a bright colour because most predator are colour-blinded and would in fact not be able to tell the difference between orange and green. The colour design to make their mother to see their babies clearly.

They are diurnal and arboreal, mostly active during the day and spending most of their time high up in trees.

The Ultimate Jurassic Plant (Cycad)

The Ultimate Jurassic Plant (Cycad)

Cycads are an ancient group of seed plants survive to this modern day from the Triassic period. It is one of the rare plants that still survived over million years ago since the time of dinosaur. Although they looked like palms or ferns, they are actually not related to either.

Due to their large attractive leaves, many cycads planted as landscape plants. The above photograph is a pair of cycads species Cycas circinalis that can be found at The Datai, Langkawi. The other species that can be found at Langkawi are Cycas siamensis, Cycas clivicola and Cycas rumphii. 

The interesting facts about this plants are they can survive over 1000 years in the wild. As we can see they typically have a crown of large compound leaves and a stout trunk. The other fascinating things about Cycads is the way they reproduce. They’re dioecious, which means that male and female cones are born on separate plants. Cycads are drought-tolerant species of plants that need a little water to survive due to their deeper roots that can reach water deeper under the soil.

Cicada Exoskeleton

Cicada Exoskeleton

A strange bug that is sitting motionless in the picture above actually is uses to be a part of cicada body. It is a exoskseleton of cicadas that called ‘exuviae’. Exoskeleton is one of the things that will remain behinds after all the insect undergo moulting process. Moulting process is when the arthropods must go through the delicate process of shedding the old exoskeleton for expanding their body size before the exoskeleton becomes hardens.

It takes 2 years for the cicada nymphs to live underground before the nymphs will emerge from soil to undergo moulting process. The reason why before they emerge from soil they will stay underground is because, after the nymph’s cicada emerge from eggs, they spend a week above ground before metamorphosis. It because that time, they are big, juicy and cannot fly and mostly will be most preferred by their predator such as praying mantis, lizards, birds and rodents.

The process how they left behind this exuviae is, once the cicada nymphs that live underground had approached their maturity, they will dig to the surface. Then, they will moult into winged adults. The adult’s cicada will live only 2 to 4 weeks. During this short time, they feed little because they have to mate. The male cicada will sing by vibration sound to attract female cicada for mating before they reaching to the end of their life.

Brown-winged kingfisher

Brown-winged kingfisher

In Kubang Badak river, we also spotted one brown-winged kingfisher on the trip. This brown-winged kingfisher is a species of bird in the family Alcedinidae and mostly found in subtropical or tropical mangrove forests. In Malaysia brown-winged kingfisher can only be found in Langkawi. Brown-winged kingfisher is a resident in Kubang Badak river and has been observed nesting on the sand bank.

Long-tailed macaque

Long-tailed macaque

In Kubang Badak river we can be spotted long-tailed macaque, which also known as crab-eating macaques.
Long-tailed macaques are ecologically diverse and in Malaysia we can see a group of them in coastal lowland forests and the swamp forests.

Within groups, a strict linear dominance hierarchy lead by one alpha male followed by the beta male, and females breeding. This hierarchy is determined by such factors as age, size and fighting skills. The juvenile is the lowest in the hierarchy and they need to search and submission the food to the upper of the hierarchy.

Fiddler crab

Fiddler crab

Besides looked on mangroves plant, here also we can see few species of fauna that live in this mangrove regions. One of them is fiddler crab, which are small crustaceans with a distinctive claw. The males will wave their major claw to attract a female’s attention. If a female is interested, she will stay at male’s burrow until the next tide. We also can found mangrove stingray, snapper and also trebali in that mangrove regions.

Mysterious Mangrove

Mysterious Mangrove

Along the Kubang Badak river, we can see the mangrove forest, there are 3 types of common mangrove species we can see; Rhizophora sp., Avicennia sp., and also Sonneratia sp. Mangrove forest plants grow closer densely to each other and compete to get sunlight for photosynthesis process. Rhizophora sp. is different from Sonneratia sp. and Avicennia sp. All Rhizophora sp. have arching stilt roots that emerge from the trunk.

These roots system not only hold up the tree in soft mud but also help the tree to breathe. Besides, we can get the freshwater inside when we broke the roots. Other than that, the seed germinates in the fruit forming a seedling. The fruit does not fall away when it ripens. Instead, these mangroves were undergoes via vivipary reproduction where the single seed within the fruit starts to germinate while it is still on the mother tree and the mother tree channels nutrients to the growing seedling.

Kubang Badak River

Kubang Badak River

Mysterious mangrove tour conducted at Kubang Badak river. We departed from the jetty at 10.30 a.m. Kubang Badak is one of the gazetted Unesco Geopark areas dominated by the low-lying estuary of the Sungai Kubang Badak. Associated flat coastal plain, mangrove forests, intertidal sand and mudflats. What most interesting and highlights are the unique limestone karst and mangrove forested landscape in this area as well as its endemic flora, fauna and ecology.

Mudflats and sandflats are a crucial component of the coastal and estuaries zone. Intertidal flats are outstanding especially in front of the marine island and within sheltered estuaries. Intertidal flats are rich in micro-organism and are a crucial spawning and feeding ground for many species of fish, prawns, shellfish and other marine fauna. Besides, Large tracts of the intertidal flat are also used as culture beds for cockles and can provide a crucial refueling and roosting sites for large numbers of migratory shorebirds during their annual migrations.

Partnership with Global Rescue

Partnership with Global Rescue

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Langkawi; Against Illegal Mist Nets

Langkawi; Against Illegal Mist Nets

Langkawi has a rich diversity of ecosystems and habitat types, includes lowland broadleaf rainforest, mangrove forest, reed beds, rice paddies, orchards, scrublands and mudflats. This therefore ensures a correspondingly rich diversity in birdlife on the island. Langkawi is home to approximately 267 species of birds (and counting), of which about one third are migrants. These migrants winter here between the months of September and April.

Download Langkawi Bird list

Langkawi; Against Illegal Mist Nets    
Langkawi going through dry season in March and some of the Padi field farmers will begin to harvest their crop soon. The practice of trapping and killing birds might be slowly dying out in Langkawi with the new generation less interested on having birds as pets, so hopefully in the not too distant future illegal mist nets will be a thing of the past in Langkawi.

In the meantime the habit of trapping birds during harvesting season is still widely practiced. Most appear to be erected by poor people who will likely eat the birds caught.  For me, it is always with a heavy heart to report illegal mist net, knowing on the one hand that they are illegal under Malaysia law but, at the same time, that for some people, bird trapping may form an important part of their income. The main target birds for food are White-breasted water hens and Watercocks.

The rest of birds that frequented the paddy field but consider inedible such as White-throated Kingfishers, Herons, Red Wattled Lapwing, Crakes, Black Shoulder Kites, Bats were left to die slowly on the net. Discovering Illegal mist nets is a very disturbing experience for nature lover and more so for birders.

A single mist net 20 meters by 3 meters left overnight can traps over 20 birds. A mist nets left in a week can catch up to 140 birds. If there are 20 places like this along the Langkawi padi fields and coat line (which is undoubtedly a conservative estimate), the total quickly multiplies to thousands of birds killed every year.  This is simply unacceptable.
Information
Anyone spotted mist netting in langkawi please make a report to following numbers
Wildlife Department / Perhilitan Head Quarters: 603-90866800
Wildlife Department / Perhilitan Kedah Enforcement Unit: 04-731 2200
Wildlife Department / Perhilitan  Langkawi 04-966 5421
Wildlife Department / Perhilitan in Langkawi:
Ranger Alwen 012 28350120,
Ranger Pak ku 014 2571964,
Ranger Khairul 012 4707160, 0192255570, 012 3450805.

Please call directly/ immediately to avoid more casualty.  In my experience the wildlife department of Langkawi is always responding very quickly. When report came in the morning, they reach the scene within 2 hours.
Posted By Sri Sari