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CONSERVATION

Studies on PNR and its biodiversity components were carried out by SFC, UNIMAS and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). Despite being located within the urban area of Miri city, studies recorded a notable number of plant and animal species at PNR; 107 plant species and 75 fauna species.

More importantly, PNR has been known to have a small population of Oriental-pied hornbill (OPH) and the first written record of the species at Nature Reserve dated back to 2005 (site known as Piasau Camp then) when the famous pair, Jimmy and the late Faridah were first photographed by Dominique Wan. Sightings of OPH at the camp attracted a lot of interest amongst members of the public which spurred monitoring efforts into the particular avian species. Some examples are;

  • 2007 – A resident of Piasau Camp, Dr. Giana Minton started monitoring the hornbills and the nesting site at House 58.
  • 2008 – A small interest group, the Piasau Camp Miri Nature Park Society (PCMNPS) began working closely with SFC to monitor the small population of OPH at the then Piasau Camp.

Oriental Pied Hornbill

PNR is the breeding ground for Jimmy (dominant male) and his mate, the late Faridah. The couple since 2005 had successfully produced 56 offspring before Faridah died after being shot in 2013. Hornbills are known to pair for life, and when Faridah died there were concerns about the well-being of Jimmy.

The worries however were set aside when Jimmy was observed with a new mate, Juliet a few months later. Juliet is in fact an offspring of Jimmy and the late Faridah! The ensuing courtship and mating between Jimmy and Juliet resulted in two offspring, Musa and Cecilia from Juliet’s first nesting cycle (November 2014 – February 2015).

In February 2016, the couple produced another offspring, Ching and with her addition to the family, 21 individuals have been recorded roaming PNR to date. A nesting tree located at House 58 (current PNR’s Ranger Station) within the Nature Reserve is frequently used as the nesting site for the Jimmy-Juliet pair. The small Oriental-pied hornbill population in PNR has been monitored by SFC and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), Miri since 2012. The hornbills seen at PNR has been recorded and are as tabulated below:

PairsBachelorsDeceased
Jimmy & JulietAbongFaridah
Anthony & AliceHan
Ah Kaw & Ah MoiKarim
Julia & IbrahimMoses
Robert & CathyMunyung
Rosita & SamChing
Musa & Cecilia

Oriental Pied Hornbill Monitoring

Breeding Cavity Enhancement

Enrichment Planting

Various native plant species will be planted at PNR to provide sufficient food sources and a conducive environment for the wildlife residing within the Nature Reserve when the trees grow and start bearing fruits in years to come. An experimental plot with a total area of 0.22 hectare was initially set up at PNR to identify plant species that could suitably grow on the soils of PNR and the suitable methods to plant them.  Several tree planting activities had been carried out at the Nature Reserve to commemorate the following occasions;

a) Piasau Nature Reserve’s Earth Breaking Ceremony (May 2014)
b) Sarawak Tourism Board’s Borneo Jazz Festival (May 2015)
c) Sarawak Tourism Board’s Borneo Jazz Festival (May 2016)
d) Naim Cendera-Forest Department Sarawak Tree Planting Activity (April 2016)

Under the BBtRF Project, five gardens, namely, Piasau Garden, Mixed Species Garden, Fruit Tree Garden, Ficus Garden and Herbal Garden have been established and these gardens are located in Zone 2 (Visitors Use) and Zone 3 (High Density Use) based on the zoning specifications described in the Gensler’s Masterplan for Piasau Nature Reserve.

The ‘Bring Back the Rainforest’ Launching scheduled on Sunday, 11 September 2016 will be graced by Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Governor of Sarawak. SFC expects to draw the attendance of 1,000 participants at the event where relevant stakeholders such as NGOs, school children, local communities and others will also partake in the tree planting activity conducted in conjunction with the project launching.

Adoption Programme

The adoption programme has been developed to provide a platform to engage stakeholders, i.e., general public, NGOs, learning institutions, government agencies, private companies and others to participate and contribute in the habitat restoration and wildlife conservation efforts at PNR. Apart from that, the programme is envisaged to promote awareness on wild life conservation and foster a sense of environmental stewardship amongst adopters. Details of the programme are as follows:

Corporate AdoptionIndividual Adoption
RM 50, 000 per plot.
Plot Size: 0.25 hectare (per plot).
RM 3, 000 per tree
Notes:
1. All adopters are entitled for lifetime adoption.
2. Number of plots/ trees offered for adoption: Corporate- 20 plots, Individual- 200 trees

Desired Results

  • Sufficient food supply and a conducive environment for wildlife species residing in PNR
  • Evolving PNR as a major birding spot in Sarawak
  • Increase in visitors’ arrival to PNR which offers opportunities for visitors to experience rainforest landscape in an urban setting

Project Deliverables

The project is expected to deliver the followings:

a) Gardens (Piasau Garden, Mixed Species Garden, Fruit Tree Garden, Ficus Garden and Herbal Garden)

These gardens serve similar roles as the botanic garden in plant conservation and education such as:

Develop Horticultural and Cultivation Skills

Species diversity can be conserved in the gardens as horticultural and cultivation skills allow original species that were once at Piasau to be planted back. Apart from that, restoration and rehabilitation of degraded habitats would be made possible through the development of these skills.

Living Collections of Plants

The collections of the various plant species in the gardens will serve as gene pools where plant genetic materials are conserved.

Education

The gardens would provide avenues for outdoor learning experiences through    thematic interpretation.

b) Providing a Suitable Habitat for Hornbills

PNR is now renowned for the breeding Oriental-pied hornbills (OPH) residing within the Nature Reserve. The planting of food trees will provide shelter and supply sufficient food to not only hornbills but also other wildlife species at the Nature Reserve.

c) Transforming Piasau Nature Reserve as a Major Birding Area

When the trees mature and produce fruits, PNR will be a haven for the birds and other wildlife species. The congregation of the birds and other wildlife will be a sight to behold and this will surely attract birders and nature lovers to the Nature Reserve.

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