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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Tioman Island


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Tioman Island (Malay languagePulau Tioman) is a small island located 32 km off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang, and is some 39 km long and 12 km wide. It has eight main villages, the largest and most populous being Kampung Tekekin the north. The densely forested island is sparsely inhabited, and is surrounded by numerous coral reefs, making it a popular scuba diving spot. There are also a lot of resorts and chalets around the island which has duty free status.
Its beaches were depicted in the 1958 movie, South Pacific as Bali Hai. In the 1970s,TIME Magazine selected Tioman as one of the world's most beautiful islands.
Apart from its diverse marine life, the inland rainforest area, encompassing approximately 12,383 hectares, in Tioman is a strictly enforced nature reserve. There are several protected species of mammals on the island, including the BinturongLong-tailed MacaqueSlow LorisBlack Giant SquirrelRed Giant Flying SquirrelMouse deerBrush-tailed Porcupine, and Common Palm Civet, from a total of 45 species of mammals and 138 species of birds, including the majestic Frigatebird. Moreover, Tioman has species that are endemic to its shores. The soft-shelled turtle and the Tioman walking catfish are both unique and can be seen on rainforest walks.

The binturong (Arctictis binturong), also known as the Asian bearcat, the Palawan bearcat, or simply the bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes thecivets and genets. It is the only member of its genus. The binturong is not a bear, and the real meaning of the original name has been lost, as the local language that gave it that name is now extinct.[3] Its natural habitat is in trees of forest canopy in rainforest of Bangladesh,BhutanBurmaCambodiaChinaIndiaIndonesiaLaosMalaysiaNepal, the Philippines,Sri LankaThailand, and Vietnam.[1]
The binturong is nocturnal[4] and sleeps on branches. It eats primarily fruit, but also has been known to eat eggs, shoots, leaves, and small animals, such as rodents or birds.Deforestation has greatly reduced its numbers. It can make chuckling sounds when it seems to be happy and utter a high-pitched wail if annoyed; when cornered, it can be vicious. The binturong can live over 20 years in captivity; one has been recorded to have lived almost 26 years.[citation needed]




Binturong[1]










The crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis) is a cercopithecine primate native toSoutheast Asia. It is also called the long-tailed macaque, and is referred to as the cynomolgus monkey in laboratories.[2]





Crab-eating macaque[1]





The scientific name of the crab-eating macaque is Macaca fascicularisMacaca comes from the Portuguese word macaco, which was picked up from makaku, a Fiot (West Africanlanguage) word (kaku means 'monkey' in Fiot). Fascicularis is Latin for 'a small band or stripe'. Sir Thomas Raffles, who gave the animal its scientific name in 1821, did not specify what he meant by the use of this word, although it is presumed it had something to do with his observation of the animal's colour.[3]
This animal has several common names. It is often referred to as the long-tailed macaque because its tail is usually about the same length as its body and because its long tail distinguishes it from most other macaques. The species is also commonly known as the crab-eating macaque because it is often seen foraging beaches for crabs. Another common name for M. fascicularis is the cynomolgus monkey, which literally means "dog-milker" monkey; this is the name most commonly used in laboratory settings. In Indonesia, M. fascicularis and other macaque species are known generically as kera, possibly because of the high-pitched alarm calls they give when in danger ("krra! krra!").







Slow lorises are a group of five species of strepsirrhine primates which make up the genusNycticebus. Found in South and Southeast Asia, they range from Bangladesh and Northeast India in the west to the Philippines in the east, and from the Yunnan province in China in the north to the island of Java in the south. Although many previous classifications recognized fewer species, five are now considered valid: the Sunda slow loris (N. coucang), Bengal slow loris (N. bengalensis), pygmy slow loris (N. pygmaeus), Javan slow loris (N. javanicus), andBornean slow loris (N. menagensis). The group's closest relatives are other lorisids, such asslender lorisespottosfalse pottos, and angwantibos. They are also closely related to the remaining lorisiforms (the various types of galago), as well as the lemurs of Madagascar. Their evolutionary history is uncertain since their fossil record is patchy and molecular clockstudies have given inconsistent results.
Slow lorises have a round head, narrow snout, large eyes, and a variety of distinctive coloration patterns that are species-dependent. Their arms and legs are nearly equal in length, and their trunk is long, allowing them to twist and extend to nearby branches. The hands and feet of slow lorises have several adaptations that give them a pincer-like grip and enable them to grasp branches for long periods of time. Slow lorises have a toxic bite, a rare trait among mammals. The toxin is produced by licking a gland on their arm, and thesecretion mixes with its saliva to activate it. Their toxic bite is a deterrent to predators, and the toxin is also applied to the fur during grooming as a form of protection for their infants. They move slowly and deliberately, making little or no noise, and when threatened, they freeze and become docile. Their only documented predators—apart from humans—include snakes, hawk-eagles and orangutans, although cats, civets and sun bears are suspected. Little is known about their social structure, but they are known to communicate by scent marking. Males are highly territorial. Slow lorises reproduce slowly, and the infants are initially parked on branches or carried by either parent. They are omnivores, eating small animals, fruit, tree gum, and other vegetation.
All five species are listed as either "Vulnerable" or "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List and are threatened by the wildlife trade and habitat loss. Although their habitat is rapidly disappearing and becoming fragmented, making it nearly impossible for slow lorises todisperse between forest fragments, unsustainable demand from the exotic pet trade andtraditional medicine has been the greatest cause for their decline. Deep-rooted beliefs about the supernatural powers of slow lorises, such as their purported ability to ward off evil spirits or cure wounds, have popularized their use in traditional medicine. Despite local laws prohibiting trade in slow lorises and slow loris products, as well as protection from international commercial trade under Appendix I, slow lorises are openly sold in animal markets in Southeast Asia and smuggled to other countries, such as Japan. They have also been popularized as pets in viral videos on YouTube. Slow lorises have their teeth cut or pulled out for the pet trade, and often die from infection, blood loss, poor handling, or poor nutrition.



Slow lorises[1]







The island is served by ferries from the Malaysian mainland, and a propeller plane service by Berjaya Air from the Changi Airport in Singapore and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in SubangSelangor.

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