Exploring Biodiversity of Headwater Streams in Ulu Temburong National Park, Borneo

This summer, a group of KCL students and staff conducted an expedition to Ulu Temburong National Park in Borneo to document novel aquatic habitats and biodiversity using a combination of survey methods and underwater imagery. Ulu Temburong National Park is situated within a biodiversity hotspot with pristine topical climax forest and river ecosystems. It is a priority location for conservation and restoration efforts and a suitable reference site for comparable ecosystems, but limited biogeographical data exists for the region. The Royal Geographical Society’s Ralph Brown Award (2016) funded the expedition, which included Dr. Michael Chadwick, Dr. Daniel Schillereff, Kate Baker, Eleanore Heasley, Arthur Fuest and Rob Francis (expedition home support) along with Universiti Brunei Darussalam PhD student Hanyrol Ahmad Sah. The group spent three weeks surveying riverine physical habitats and associated biodiversity. These efforts will expand current knowledge of biodiversity and biogeography in the region with the collection of species un-described to science. This work is vital for establishing benchmarks needed for both local conservation and regional restoration of degrading rivers in SE Asia.

Many thanks to Universiti Brunei Darussalam for their support and to SonTek for the loan of the River Surveyor M9.

Below is a visual documentation of the trip, with thanks to Hanyrol for the photos!

All hands on deck when sampling macroinvertebrate abundances on waterfalls!

 

Borneo Horn frog in the study stream

 

Measuring velocity cross sections of the Temburong River with the SonTek River surveyor M9.

 

Celebrating the success of exploring the upper reaches of Temburong River

Celebrating the success of exploring the upper reaches of Temburong River

 

Talking about the expedition to Universiti Brunei Darussalam students

Talking about the expedition to Universiti Brunei Darussalam students

 

Night-time frogging! Assessing frog abundance and their diets in our study streams

Night-time frogging! Assessing frog abundance and their diets in our study streams

 

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