bear1.pdf bear-2a.pdf bear-3.pdf
This is a new article that I wrote for Society & Environment-A monthly magazine published by Zayed International Prize for the Environment (www.zayedprize.org.ae) what base in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was published in the July 2009 issue. Special thanks to Ms Seema Sangra, the Editor and the Art Director of the magazine for publishing this sun bear article.
Beside Gabriella and me studying sun bear in the wild in 1998-2001, the third student who studied sun bear at the same time was Fuyuki Nomura. Fuyuki was a doctorate student from Hokkaido University, Graduate School of Environmental Science, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. He studied sun bear ecology and sun bear usage of oil plan plantation at Tabin Wildlife Reserve, eastern tip of Sabah. Among three of us, Fuyuki caught and radio-collared the first sun bear in Borneo in early 1999 and successfully caught 2 males and 2 females sun bears for his study:
Nomura, F., S. Higashi, L. Ambu, and M. Mohamed. 2004. Notes on oil palm plantation use and seasonal spatial relationships of sun bears in Sabah, Malaysia. Ursus 15:227–231.
The first scientific paper on sun bear was not published by any three of us who were studying sun bear in the wild in late 90’s. It was a paper published by Kim McConkey in 1999 describing how sun bear play an important role as seed disperser in Bornean rainforest. Kim was at that time doing her doctorate dissertation with University of Cambridge, in rainforest of Barito Ulu, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia Borneo.
McConkey, K., and M. Galetti. 1999. Seed dispersal by the sun bear Helarctos malayanus in Central Borneo. Journal of Tropical Ecology 15:237-241.
Another important scientist who contributes important publications and one of the very first publications on sun bear in late 90’s and early 2000’s was Erik Meijaard. Although he did not really study sun bear like Gabriella, Fuyuki and me, Erik has been very productive on sun bear publication and has long interest in sun bear and other large mammals in Southeast Asian mammals, especially Indonesia such as orangutan, bearded pigs and many others. He is a senior ecologist for The Nature Conservancy in Indonesia and the Kalimantan coordinator for the USAID-funded Orangutan Conservation Services Program. He publishes the monthly newsletter Forest Science News and frequently writes for newspapers and scientific journals.
Meijaard, E. 1998. The Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus ) on Borneo, withspecial emphasis on its conservation status in Kalimantan, Indonesia.
International MOF Tropenbos Kalimantan Project and the World Society of the Protection of Animals. London. 51pp.
Meijaard, E. 1999a. Ursus (Helarctos) malayanus, the neglected Malayan sun bear.Netherland Commission for International Nature Protection. Mededelingen No.34. 62 pp.
Meijaard, E. 1999b. Human imposed threads to sun bears in Borneo. Ursus 11:185-192.
Meijaard, E. 2001. Conservation and trade of sun bears in Kalimantan. In: D. F. Williamson and M. J. Phipps (eds). Proceedings of the third international symposium on the trade in bear parts. pp: 26-37. TRAFFIC East Asia, Hong Kong.
Meijaard, E. 2004. Craniometric differences among Malayan sun bears (Ursusmalayanus); evolutionary and taxonomic implications. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 52:665-672.
To be continue..
Today is already the first day of December 2008. Sun bear still remains the least know bear in the world. Almost everyone know about bears. They know polar bears, grizzly bears, American black bears and giant pandas because these are the bears that they seen in the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic Channel, movies, advertisements, bill board, news articles or any kind of mass media you can think of. A small portion of the people know Andean or spectacle bears from South American, sloth bears from India, and Asiatic black bears from Asia. However, only very few people know about sun bears. This is a sad fact.
One of the biggest reasons for sun bear remains so little known is the lack of biological studies on this species. Until now, there are only 3 ecological studies that involved trapping and radio-collaring of wild sun bear in the world. One of them is my study base in Danum Valley Field Center and Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo. I did my Master of Science (MSc) project on studying the ecology of sun bear from 1998 – 2000, and then continued the study, by looking at the effects of logging on sun bear and bearded pigs for my doctorate degree.
Here are lists of publications with PDF from my M.Sc. studies:
Other publications, reports and articles from my sun bear works:
The second person who studied sun bear and know more about sun bear than anyone on earth is Gabriella Fredriksson. She is the co-chair of the sun bear expert team of the Bear Specialist Group/IUCN, has been working for many years on sun bear conservation issues in Kalimantan, Indonesia and has been involved with the development of the first sun bear education center in the region.
Currently Gabriella is assisting with the redesign of forest and conservation management for the province of Aceh (Sumatra), in a team established by the Governor of Aceh. Aceh with 3 million ha of contiguous forest has probably the most viable habitat and populations of sun bears and many other threatened species in Indonesia (orangutans, elephants and tigers).
I found this newspaper article written some 10 years ago when she first attempted to reintroduce 5 adult sun bears into the wild: “In Borneo's Fading Jungles, a Grim Tale of Wildlife.”
Here is a list of her publications on sun bears: