Birder's Guide

MAY 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 23 of 51

Borneo's Deramakot Forest Reserve 22 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2017 Deramakot appeared on my radar in September 2015. Then, I was in Alaska's Pribilof Islands...cold, wet, and aching for trees. Naturally, the thing to do in such a situation is to plan a trip to Southeast Asia, so I did. During the planning, Deramakot came up: a forest reserve in central Sabah that read like a mammal- watcher's dream. (Tarsier! Orangutan! Clouded leopard! Pangolin!) Reading more, however, I wasn't sure I liked all I saw. Because Deramakot is an active logging operation, an image search yielded photos of leopards and pyg- my elephants but also of muddy log yards and timber-burdened trucks. In Sabah—and for that matter, Southeast Asia—unsustainable land use has been an ugly problem for de- cades. I didn't want to visit or sup- port a place where the populations of orangutans and pygmy elephants I'd enjoy had an expiration date im- posed by greedy timber concession- aires. However, when the guide I'd been talking to sent me a promising n Deramakot Forest Reserve is located in central Sabah, the Malaysian state in the northeast of Borneo. Map © Rad Smith n Sabah Forestry manages Deramakot. Its outpost on the Kinabatangan River inside the preserve is used to monitor the preserve and discourage poaching. Photo © Alison Világ

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