TNF MALAYSIA MOUNTAIN TRAIL FESTIVAL 2019 - OCTOBER UPDATE
TNF MALAYSIA MOUNTAIN TRAIL FESTIVAL (MMTF) PREPARATION – MMTF’S NATURAL HABITATS AND ITS SURROUNDINGS (PART 03 OF 04)
For nature lovers out there, MMTF will provide you with a great place to explore the wonders and awes of mother nature and her creation.
As most of you would have known, MMTF will be held in Taiping, Perak, a northern state in Peninsula Malaysia which is located near the equator, with a hot and humid climate very rich in tropical wildlife.
Malaysia is internationally recognized by Conservation International as one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries. Approximately two thirds of Malaysian territory is covered by tropical rainforests and mangroves, with some believed to be 130 million years old.
Malaysia is home to an estimated 20% of the world’s animal species, with an estimated 290 mammal species, 750 bird species, 380 reptile species and 200 amphibian species in its forests.
Below are some of the animal species that you will be sharing the land of MMTF with during MMTF weekend, and would almost likely to encounter beyond doubt with your sight or hearing.
A) Rhinoceros hornbill
Perhaps the most recognizable member of the animal kingdom in the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, this hornbill is definitely no stranger to the people of the state.
Being one of the largest extant species of hornbills, the rhinoceros hornbill holds deep significance to the people of Sarawak, being a divine symbol revered in the traditional beliefs of the state’s various indigenous tribes.
Today, the rhinoceros hornbill is recognized as the state bird of Sarawak, in which the state’s Malay nickname, “Bumi Kenyalang,” literally translates into “Land of the Hornbills.”
Despite being found in larger numbers in Sarawak’s rainforests, this attractive bird can also be spotted in several rainforest areas throughout Peninsular Malaysia including the land of MMTF.
In addition to the rhinoceros hornbill, there exist numerous other species of hornbills native to both Peninsular and East Malaysia’s wildlife-rich tropical jungles that you should not miss.
B) Lesser mousedeer (Kancil)
To the locals, the lesser mousedeer is probably another one of the most well-known creatures in the jungles.
It can be commonly found not only in the jungles of Peninsular Malaysia, but also in East Malaysia and many of the smaller islands within Malaysian waters.
What makes this creature so popular and lovable locally is the fact that it is often portrayed as a wise animal and the main protagonist in many Malay folklores since time immemorial.
C) Wild Boar
Wild boar is a species of wild pig. Wild boars can survive in different types of habitat: grasslands, taiga, tropical rainforests, but they prefer life in deciduous forests. Wild boars are threatened by habitat loss and by commercial hunt.
Luckily, wild populations are still stable and they are not listed as endangered species. Wild boars are medium-sized animals. They can reach 3 to 6.5 feet in length, 21.6 to 39.3 inches in height and 90 to 700 pounds in weight.
Body of wild boars is covered with double coat of fur that can be brown, red, black or grey. Upper coat is composed of harsh, bristly hair. Undercoat is much softer.
Tusks on the bottom lip are one of the most prominent features of a wild boar. Tusks in males are longer and curved. Unlike females, males possess extra tusk on the upper lip which is used for sharpening of the lower tusk. Males use their tusks for the fights during the mating season.
Wild boar has long, rubbery snout that is used for digging of underground roots and bulbs. Wild boar is an omnivore (eats both plant- and animal-based food). It feeds mainly on the seed, fruits, leaves, berries, eggs, mice, lizards, worms and snakes. Wild boars are nocturnal animals (active during the night).
They will spend 12h to sleep during the day, hidden in the nests made of leaves. Wild boars live in groups (called sounds) that are composed of females and their offspring. Groups usually have between 6 and 30 animals. Males live solitary life, except during the mating season. Mating season usually lasts from November to January.
Fights between males determine which male will have opportunity to mate. Pregnancy in females lasts 112 to 115 days and ends with 4 to 6 piglets. Mother takes care of the babies on her own. Piglets are born in the nest made of leaves.
Piglets have brown fur, covered in creamy-colored stripes, which provide camouflage in dense vegetation. Stripes begin to disappear when piglets reach the age of 3 to 4 months. At the age of one year, young animals have the same coloration as adults.
Young wild boars depend on their mother for the first couple of months of their life. At the age of 7 months, they will become independent. Wild boars can survive up to 10 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity.
CAUTION – When you approach or encroached onto their land (or when you sense them nearby) just make a loud voice of some sort and they will go the opposite way. Always be doubly alert when you see little piglets as it would mean that the adults are nearby and they are very protective of the little ones. All you need to do in those circumstances, is to make a loud noise of some sort and they will run away from you faster than you can catch them. DO NOT FEED THEM WHEN COMING ACROSS THEM.
D) Pig-tailed Macaques
The pig-tailed macaque is a small monkey with olive-colored fur and a short, half-erect tail reminiscent of a pig’s tail. This species is found in several parts of Malaysia.
Pig-tailed macaques prefer lowland and hilly rain forests, but have been known to live in swamp forests on occasion. Their diet consists mostly of fruit, but these monkeys will also eat seeds, leaves, insects, fungus and even dirt. Pig-tailed macaques often live and travel in large groups and frequently raid farmers’ fields in Malaysia.
One of the group usually acts as a lookout, while the others steal food. Some farmers capture and train pig-tailed macaques to pick coconuts and other high-hanging fruits.
CAUTION – Watch the food that you are holding on your hand as they might come out of no where to snatch it away from you. DO NOT FEED THEM WHEN COMING ACROSS THEM.
E) Leaf Monkeys
There is 4 species of Leaf Monkeys (The Dusky Leaf Monkey; The White-Thighed Leaf Monkey; The Banded Leaf Monkeys; The Sundaic Silver Leaf Monkeys).
The principal sources of food: leaves. And they all have multi-chambered stomaches to aid in digestion of this food source.
Below are the 2 species found in the land of MMTF.
The Dusky Leaf Monkey has the widest range of any leaf monkey throughout Peninsular Malaysia and could be encountered anywhere from the lowlands to the highlands as long as there is suitable forested habitat. It can be seen from Panti Forest Reserve in the Southern state of Johor all the way North to Langkawi Island.
The Banded Leaf Monkey has a quite fragmented range. One subspecies exists in Johor together with a very small population in Singapore, another subspecies ranges from Maxwell Hill in Perak and further North into peninsular Thailand and Burma; and a third subspecies exists in Sumatra.
CAUTION – They can be adorable in look but highly protective. Hence do not ever attempt to go near them. DO NOT FEED THEM WHEN COMING ACROSS THEM.
They are the world largest monkeys with distinctive faces and butts. They have tufts of hair on either side of their faces and large, hairless bottoms that can turn red. These old-world monkeys also do not have prehensile tails like some other monkeys, which means they don’t use their tail like a hand. A dominant male usually runs the troop. Males are usually ranked in dominance by age and size while females are usually ranked by birth order.
CAUTION – Watch out for the dominant male as they can tend to show off their dominance/ aggressiveness.
Above are the some of the animals that you will probably come in close contact with though one may add on to the list owing to the vast land of MMTF.
Always exercise caution no matter how pretty or cute they look like as people always say; “Looks Can be Deceiving…”. Hence, the prettier/ cuter they are, exercise more caution.
Happy Trails …