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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23 May 2017 | Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community include a 40-year rotation cycle (where only nine trees of a specific diameter can be taken per hectare), employing resi- dents of nearby communities to mark boundaries and replant logged areas, and leaving fruiting trees that feed wild - life. Every five years, the forest is recer- tified by the FSC; its next evaluation is scheduled for 2019. These sorts of practices anywhere are laudable. They're especially vital in places like Sabah, which has suffered from decades of unsustainable logging. For many years, timber sales constituted the state's top export. Then, oil palm plantations, one of the few endeavors that would thrive in such poor soil, took root in the cutover spaces. By 2002, palm oil had usurped lumber as the top export, but this was no reprieve to the integrity of Sabah's forest ecosystems. Sabah, Malaysia's third-poorest state, to- day contains the most palm plantations in the country. Palm oil, a common in- gredient in processed foods and cosmet- ics, can bear fruit two times a month, as opposed to once a year with many other crops. It could appear a veritable savior in a country where, in 2015, 15% trip report (Bornean Bristlehead!) and an equally enticing quote, my misgivings ebbed. My friend Scott, equally eager for a change of scenery from the Pribilofs, would join me for three nights there. We'd give it a go. As it turns out, the state-owned, 342-square-mile (550-square-kilometer) Deramakot Forest Reserve is a crown jewel of Sabah's forestry department— and, for that matter, of any commer- cial forest in Southeast Asia. Since 1997, Deramakot has been certified as a well-managed, sustainable forest by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). To qualify for this label, a stringent multi-use plan that demonstrates how the forest will provide economic, en- vironmental, and social needs must be developed, approved by the FSC, and followed. Not only was Deramakot the first forest in Southeast Asia to receive this designation, but it is also the world's longest-established Forest Stewardship Council-certified tropical rainforest. Though Deramakot is an active logging operation, the multi-use plan drawn to FSC standards accounts for more than financial gain. Implemented practices n The sustainable forestry practices employed at Deramakot allow the reserve to support one of the highest densities of orangutan in Borneo. Photo © Jay Packer n The elegant Whiskered Treeswift graces Derama- kot's accommodations and roads. Photo © Jay Packer n With some luck, you can find all of Borneo's lowland broadbills, like this stunning Green Broadbill, at Deramakot. Photo © Cede Prudente

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