Success! The Murung Raya Expedition Team have Safely Returned to the UK with All of the Expedition Objectives Complete
The Murung Raya Expedition Team are all safely back in the UK and settling into their normal everyday lives after an incredible 3 months in Central Kalimantan. Breaking camp was a huge logistical challenge set against a strict itinerary in order to allow our research team the most time possible at camp. We dismantled our trusty satellite terminal and so we were unable to broadcast this event from the field as we were leaving.
During the 8 weeks we spent at Camp Foyle our team surveyed 12km of transects spreading out from our base camp into the primary rainforest along the banks of the Mohot River. All of the research objectives were met, including the 2 week sub-expedition up the Joloi river in search of a hybrid gibbon believed to be present in the area.
The research team and their guides worked tirelessly in the constant heat and humidity, battling stings, bites, scratches, falls, foot rot, spider bites (almost!), caterpillar rashes, poisonous sap, sub-cutaneous worms, twisted ankles, fatigue and mystery illnesses.
The effort, skill, knowledge and determination of the team to make the most of this opportunity, self-funded in part but only made possible with the support of numrous donors and sponsors, will be demonstrated in the data and results which will be made public soon.
The research team are all busy producing the final Scientific Report which will made available to the public, and shared with our partners in Indonesia to help protect this area of rainforest from imminent destruction.
The interactive element was also very successful. Our kit withstood the rigours of the elements and we were able to send back over 40 videos and many more blogs, photo galleries and twitter updates, all from one of the most remote places on earth. We took part in the first live video links of this kind to be held in the Attenborough Studio in the Natural History Museum in London, as well as two live Q&A sessions on the Guardian newspaper’s website.
We have broken new ground, physically and virtually.
Our relationships with the nearby villages of Tumbang Tohan and Tumbang Naan ended very positiely, with our research area being formally designated a protected zone by the village elders. We look forward to returning and building on this measure of trust and support.
There is a huge amount of work to be done now. The data need to be analysed, the media consolidated, a new website created to showcase our work, and planning for the next stages of the Heart of Borneo Rainforest Foundation. More will be posted here soon, with the last videos and galleries shot at camp uploaded as well as a preliminary report, but for now, a huge thank you to all of our sponsors for helping to make this happen.