Being a tree detective

Measuring tree diameter is probably the easiest field work. You just need to bring the DBH meter and follow the standard operation procedure for measuring tree diameter and somebody else need to record the measurement. But it’s not as simple as that.

Bird's eye view of Sumatran tropical rainforest
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The colorful life of butterfly

Watching a butterfly visit a flower is always fascinating. The color of the butterfly and the flower are always in contrast. The black-and-white Common clubtail (Pachliopta coon) visiting the white flowers of Siam weed (Chromolaena odorata), or the Tailed jay (Graphium agamemnon) visiting the Lantana flower are all illustrating the importance of patterns and colors in butterfly life. And all of them are able to absorb important information from the environment such as finding potential mate, detecting flowers with high-concentrated nectar, or finding the right leaf to lay the eggs. All of because their perception of colors and movement. Continue reading

Celebrating Independence Day in the field

August 17 is the sacred day for Indonesians. Back in 1945, it was the day that we finally free from colonialism. We did still have some problems afterwards, but the Independence Day marked the bravery of our national heroes and all Indonesian people to speak up and to fight for the freedom. Today, in all the cities, towns, and villages, people celebrating the Independence Day. Flags are everywhere and games are played.

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The three bulbuls

The fruits of Bridelia monoica

The fruits of Bridelia monoica

Bulbuls are birds of Old world tropics and are so attached with Indonesian folklore for long. An old Indonesian children song tells about the bulbuls singing all day from a Cempaka tree (Michelia champaca), quite accurate in portraying the behavior. Continue reading

The man-eaters are here!

Conservationists on Friday airlifted five man-eating tigers from Aceh to the South Bukit Barisan National Park in Lampung, ending an eight-month quarantine period for the animals…. “The Jakarta Post”

How should we react when we hear that two of those tigers are going to be released when we (mistakenly) thought that the release point is about 17 km from our research camp in Way Canguk (the actual distance is about 28 km) and the tiger is definitely has at least 17 km2 home range? Continue reading

Rare, elusive, or undetected

In the morning breeze of tropical rainforest of Southern Sumatra, a colugo (Cynocephalus variegatus) glided and landed at a branch of tree. This ancient mammal of Southeast Asia reminded me of the ancient age when flying ability was evolved. Jump, climb, or glide. With the grayish color, this mammal is well camouflaged when resting on tree bark.

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Buitenzorg, ‘beyond cares’ of a ‘botanical island’

Buitenzorg was the previous name of the Bogor Botanical Garden, a plant conservation garden marked by the large buttresses of Canarium tree close to the gate. Established in 1817 by Prof. Dr. C. G. L. Reindwardt in collaboration with Kew Garden in England, this 87 hectares botanical garden becomes the leading natural plant preservation site in Indonesia and one of the most picnic destinations for many families. That was why I prefer to visit here during weekdays this summer.

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