The Streams of Borneo



 

The beautiful streams of Sabah, north Borneo are amazing places. The sheer diversity of the plants and animals along and within them means that a naturalist can visit the same stream again and again, each time finding something new. The first documentary in this intended series is about the lowland streams during the day. Hopefully if the weather holds and everything aligns properly we will see some more things to add. The first part was filmed at Lahad Datu on the Danum Valley Road, and also includes some footage from the Mahua River in Tambunan shown on the left. Below are the frogs that feature in the documentary. They are Rock Frogs (Staurois) and are reasonably common in swift, clear lowland streams. What’s so good about them? You’ll have to watch the video! I promise you will love it.¬†During filming there were a few brief sightings of the White Fronted Water Snake (left). Unfortunately they didn’t do anything except swim away at full speed. This one is asleep in a low tree.Oddly enough, some of the best filming was in the most unlikely place – a local swimming hole. For some reason, people see a pristine stream in the jungle so they drive for half an hour to get there just so they can pollute it with piles of rubbish and dead fish from the market. They swim in it and use it as a toilet, even taking soap and shampoo there to have a bath “somewhere nice” and destroy it at the same time. However the rubbish and sewer like stink attracts flies, and the frogs become very tame. I had flies land on my legs while I was filming, and the little Staurois frogs would leap up and grab them!


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