The Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) is the leading forestry research institute of Malaysia, situated in Kepong, just outside Kuala Lumpur. Established in 1929, not only does it carry research in all aspects of forestry and forest products, it also conducts research in ecology and silviculture with the objective of enhancing the knowledge and understanding the ecology and dynamics of the forests and their responses to logging and other anthropogenic activities.
It also has a shit-load of frog, snakes, lizards, insects and small mammals.
So it was last Saturday at 8.30pm, I found myself in FRIM, preparing to lead another group of MNS members into the jungle. I was not scheduled to lead the said trip as I was supposed to return to Sungai Petani for the weekend.
Unfortunately, Trusty Assistant was incapacitated by a nasty virus (which is by the way, blatantly flying around the Klang Valley at the moment), FRIM Frog Lady was tagging some tree in Belum and Venerable Mentor was chasing Siberian tigers in Russia, thus I only had Significant Other-half tagging along.
It so happened that I had postponed my ‘balik kampung’ to early October, which meant I was the only one available and qualified to lead this particular group of 12 into the Engkabang trail of FRIM.
Although it had rained the day before, the heat wave on Saturday did not help the conditions in FRIM. The ground was bone dry. The air was humid.
Although we spotted fewer species of frog as compared to my previous visits, our sightings for the night were favorably diverse. We recorded 7 species, from 3 Anuran Family, one gecko and one lizard.
It was somewhat pretty uneventful for my standards but my participants looked like they enjoyed themselves tremendously.