ALERT member Gopalasamy Reuben Clements is one of Malaysia's most active scientists. Here he tells us about his mission to save an imperied megadiversity hotspot:
With over 220 species of mammals, 620 birds, 250 reptiles and 150 frogs, few countries on Earth boast similar biodiversity to Malaysia.
It’s actually a land snail. In 2008, I discovered that this creature, Opisthostoma vermiculum, is the only one in the world with four axes of coiling. It's known only from a single limestone karst in Peninsular Malaysia.
A recent study showed that Malaysia had the highest rate of deforestation in the world between 2010 and 2012. As a result, even a network of key wildlife corridors identified by the government may end up being paper corridors.
Many endemic plant and animal species are threatened with extinction. Even Malaysia’s trio of large charismatic mammal species, the Malayan tiger, the Asian elephant and the Sumatran rhinoceros, now face a very uncertain future.
Rimba hopes its research can help decision-makers in Malaysia to reduce growing threats to imperiled ecosystems and species. Here's our tagline: "we all NEED a jungle out there!"