Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kadulit Kanan New Bridge

Have not been to this Area. Last evening (20 Jan 2013) we went there to see if fireflise still around. Yes indeed they are still around trees along the river. The Display trees are now far away from the road and still we could see fireflies in the trees. We would go there one of these days to re photograph the new fireflies tree. Kadulit Kanan Nwe Bairley Bridge

Saturday, February 25, 2012

CFZNSS : Introduction and Objectives

Introduction :

Malaysia is one of the few South-East Asian countries with fireflies that congregate on “display trees” along both sides of mangrove-lined rivers. The insects can even be found congregating up to 100m inland from the riverbank where they breed.

As Malaysia is at the centre of the firefly region that stretches from India to Papua New Guinea, we are fortunate to have a relatively high diversity of the insect. Of the over 20 species of fireflies, Malaysia hosts seven. Of these, the most familiar would be the Pteroptyx tener, also known as the congregating or synchronous firefly.

These fireflies typically congregate in groups along riverbanks and synchronise their flashes, thereby creating the light display that so many people gather to witness.Places like Kuala Selangor have made firefly-watching a lucrative tourist attraction since the 1980s.

What most people don’t know is that many other congregating firefly habitats in Malaysia are slowly being wiped out, both by ignorance and irresponsible development.

There is every little information if any on fireflies in Sarawak. Initial recces that have been carried out by MNS Miri Branch during Dec 2009-April 2010 discovered that there’s significant scope for the branch to be able to contribute and populate important data on fireflies distribution in Sarawak, specifically those within the Miri-Bintulu area.

This project proposes to conduct surveys along the rivers within the Northern Divisons to get a clearer picture of the presence of fireflies in Sarawak; as well as collect samples for identification.

The project has been solely carried out by MNS Miri Branch members with input from Sonny Wong, MNS Conservation and Dr Mahadi Menakbar Dawood, UMS.


1) Conduct a survey of the northern region of the state of Sarawak to identify key congregating firefly zones and to identify and count firefly display trees during the period of October 2010 to March 2011.

2) Produce a report on the findings of the survey which can function as a basis for future policy and management strategies for wetlands and waterbirds in Sarawak.

3) Build capacity of members, participating stakeholders and volunteers in firefly identification, monitoring and riverine ecosystem surveys.
4) Increase awareness of the importance of the Sarawak river ecosystem at local, national levels through CEPA, training, publications and sharing of output with stakeholders and relevant organisations.

5) Forge working relationships in matters related to fireflies diversity, and wetland habitat conservation between MNS and other NGOs, government agencies in northern Sarawak.

6) Document the process of the survey, from initiation to completion, as a model for replication in other areas of Sarawak.

Musa Musbah, CFZNSS Project Executor giving a presentation on CFZ and fireflies to students from four schools in Bungai during one of our community outreach program (COP).


After several false starts, the The CFZ Northern Sarawak Survey Report has been finalised. For those of you who are following the progress of the work done, we'll published snippets of it here on this blog.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people who together have made the one year long project a worthwhile undertaking on many more levels than just building firefly database for Northern Sarawak:

Musa Musbah, MNS Miri Branch/Project Executor
Faye Osman,, MNS Miri Branch
Anura Dason, MNS Miri Branch
Sara Wong, MNS Miri Branch
Dominique Dodge-Wan, MNS Miri Branch
Sim Yuh Thin, MNS Miri Branch
Nurziana Abdullah Sani, MNS Miri Branch
Rosie Kassim, MNS Miri Branch
Lee Bor Seng , MNS Miri Branch
Tracy Kho, MNS Miri Branch
Joyce Sivalingam, MNS Miri Branch
Clarissa Loke, MNS Miri Branch
Sonny Wong, MNS HQ
Kamal Abdullah, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Miri)
Remli Adenan, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Miri)
Samantha Kwan, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Miri)
Kamil Tahir, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Miri)
Haidar Ali, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Miri)
John MacKenzie, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Miri)
Anne King, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Bintulu)
Norhider Julaihi, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Bintulu)
Jocelyn Jonip, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Bintulu)
Elan Ngalang , Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Bintulu)
Nyareng Kalau, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Bintulu)
Julaini Omar, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Bintulu)
Vincent Jihem, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Bintulu)
Abd Rahim Hassan, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Bintulu)
Dr Mahadimenakbar Daud, University Malaysia Sabah
Robert Yeoh, MNS Kuching
Tham Chee Keong, Nature and Science Society Bintulu
Clift Edison, Nature and Science Society Bintulu
Nazur Riza Nurkaman, Curtin University
Salam, Curtin University
Faiz Nasir, Curtin University
Faiz Jamil, Curtin University
Lynn Faust, Firefly Researcher (USA)
Luis Vasconcelos, Firefly Researcher (Portugal)
Maria, Firefly Researcher (Portugal)
Jose Fidalgo, Firefly Researcher (Portugal)
Rebecca D’Cruz, MNS Kuching Branch/Project Oversight1
Maye Yap, MNS Secretariat/Project Oversight2
Nazeri Abghani, MNS Miri Branch/Project Lead

Those named above have collectively contributed to much of this first CFZ work in Northern Division. This project has been funded by MNS Merdeka Fund, with in-kind contribution from Sarawak Forestry Corporation Miri and Bintulu Regional Offices.

We would like to put it to record our sincere gratitude to Encik Abg Arabi Hj Imran, Regional Manager, Sarawak Forestry Corporation Miri Regional Office and Encik Mohd Jirin Anis, Regional Manager, Sarawak Forestry Corporation Bintulu Regional Office for extending their full support to our Congregating Firefly Zone activities in the Northern Division. It is hope that with their continued strong support and contribution, Malaysian Nature Society would be poised to continue similar collaborations in the future.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Firefly Larvae From Jakat

After so much of official activities it time for me and family to do some quality time ourselves. My in-law Suria have a piece of about 30km away from Miri, that is South West of Miri. He is a Kedayan and the very good tracker in the Jungle. After breaking fast we quickly go off to his land to chase away wild boar that been entering his farm.

We reached the farm around 8:30 pm and mount up our tent in his farm. While I and his son (Simi 10 years old) were installing the tent he went to the base of the hill to look for a wild boar.

We completed erecting tents and bring in sleeping bag. Suria came back telling us there was wild boar track still very fresh. But have not seen any. “The tapioca have been dug by the wild boar” he said. “Nanti dia” he commented a bit angry because the boar ate his tapioca.

He then bring me to a place he said should have firefly. So three of us went over the other side of the road . This area is not been cleared yet. There is a shallow stream in the jungle. We went in a bush grown up ex tractor road for timber extraction. Then we side wind into a bush in a marked track. In the track we saw many stick insect of different kind. There are also tarantula holes. The place is noisy with cricket and frog calls. We saw many fireflies at a distance in the bush. We cannot catch any due to not bringing the scoop net.

Jakat Specimen, a mature larva of Stenocladius sp

Jakat Specimen, a mature larva of Stenocladius sp

Jakat Specimen, a mature larva of Stenocladius sp

Then I instructed all of us to switch off out head light and stay quite. This action is very dangerous, because this area is always having people hunting in the jungle. For safety precaution we are wearing a reflective jacket. Not long in the dark we saw many firefly larvae. They are blue twinkle on the grown. Most of them are deep in the under growth. We saw one just at hand reach and manage to catch it. This one is totally new to me having soft body. First look it might be a glow worm. But having the Thorax area the 3 pair of leg and the typical head wit small clay suggest it a firefly larvae. There is no container except for the mineral water bottle. Put it safely in a water bottle for photographing and identifying of what species it is. Take the GPS waypoint and time of the larvae capture.

Shime being small is can get into the bush , and caught a mature firefly. It was around 15 mm in size. It was a male firefly. However before we can put it in the bottle, it flew away. We tracked about a kilometer into the track and return to our camp.
Jakat Specimen, a mature larva of Stenocladius sp

Jakat Specimen, a mature larva of Stenocladius sp

Yui Vor's Specimen frfeeding on Earthworm.

The sky was very dark and the heaven above us were full of stars. I have regretted for not bring any camera to capture star trail. Seen some mentor streak through out the night around Perseid constellation at the northern sky at morning hour.

It was so tiring after the fasting and I slept like a rock. Woke up at 4am to have our morning meal for the fasting the next day. We stayed awake to watch the sun rise over the Eastern sky.
Yui Vor's Specimen from Honh Kong.

In the morning Suria and Shimi goes down hill to see if any more visit by the wild boar. The sun is rising fast and it already getting hot. We rush to pack up our tent and go home.

At home I took photographs of the larvae and send to Hong Kong to Yui Vor and to the rest of our Team in the US (Lynn Faust) and Australia (Dr. Leslie Ballantyne) and in KL (Sonny Wong) and Sabah (Dr. Mahadi Dawood) for Identification. Yui Vor is very experience of Identifying firefly larvae and he reared them to be release. Just within minutes Yui Vor send me the Id of the larvae. The species is of a mature larva of Stenocladius sp.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sungai Raan Firefly Watching After AGM 2011/2012

The Malayis Nature Society Miri branch Annual General Meeting session 2011/2012 was held at Beraya Laut Resort, about 30 kilometers south west of Miri. We decided to have a firefly of Raan River, and at the same time collecting data for the firefly display trees. Sungai Raan is 2 kilometers Sout East of Miri. Sungai Raan Share same Estuary with Bakam river.

We are to meet at bakam Jetty just at the side of the road where the food stall and The Bakam bridge is. We have rented 3 boats for this occassion. The three boat drivers have waited for us. The boats belong to Pak Jugi who is the fisherman.

Nazeri is helping to push the boat with a long stick.

Before going into the boats, Nazeri gave the participants Boat Safety briefing. The most important is not to sit at the boat side and not to put your hand on the boat side. There are crocodidile in the river and they dont post any danger, if we stay in the boat.

As I have been told by pak Jugi the tide that night is very low. ”It would be difficult for us to pass through at the second bridge” he said. The moon is at it late last quater.

The boatman is pointing where a crocodile is.

When all the boats are loaded wit people, went out to the Bakam River mouth. This is where the Raan river river mouth is. We went into river Raan and the first Display tree was still the same one previously mapped to the left of our track before the bridge. The bridge is for the local to cross the river, where the Muslim cemetry located. The Cristain cemmetry is alocated not far from the muslim cemetery. All along the river we saw Firefly display Trees.
Boat landing Huts.

When we passed the area where the boat landing and jetty for the local, there are no nmore display trees seen. We went through many patches of shallow water where it was difficult for the boat to monevour.
Boatman pushing the boat at river with crocodile infested Raan

We did pass throuh the hawai beach bridge. But as we went out about 100meters further we got stuck at the sand bottom of the river. Our boat man jump into the river trying to get the boat pass the shallow area, but failed. He suggested we should wait for the water to rise. The tide should be coming in at 10pm. We decided we just turn back.

It was difficult for the boat man to turn the boat . Finally we manange to turn the boat and going back is a little easier because the water is also still going down.

As we make our move slowly along the river one of the local residence asking out boat driver “Tengok Buaya kah?”. “Looking at crocodile” the man at the side of rier asked. Our boat driver answer “Mana ada buaya lagi, lu orang dah tembak”. It is well known amoung the local there that the wild crocodile in the river are either nettet or shot to be send to Miri Restaurant.
Nazeri is to move to the bridge to control the situation

It was dark at some area where the firefly display trees are. But this will soon be gone. The light fron the street light and car head lamp do passed through the thin three curtain along the river. We finished our trip at 10 pm.