Journal of Tropical Biology & Conservation (JTBC) 2023-10-16T12:09:44+08:00 Journal of Tropical Biology & Conservation Open Journal Systems <div> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation is a free, open-access, international, peer-reviewed journal published by the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. This journal is devoted to the publication of research papers, reviews and short notes or communications in all fields that are of general relevance to tropical biology and conservation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and other tropical regions in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. ...<a href="">read more</a></p> </div> Trends of Attacks on Humans by Protected Crocodiles Along Rivers and Associated Habitats in Borneo Island 2023-10-15T13:35:31+08:00 Nurul Athirah Ruslan John Madin Slyvester Saimin <p>In the human-crocodile conflict, crocodile attacks on humans pose a serious threat and are becoming a complex conservation challenge in many countries. This study investigates the status and trend of crocodile attacks on humans in Malaysian Borneo (i.e., Sabah and Sarawak) where rivers and estuaries are inhabited by protected crocodile populations. Results show that between 2001 and 2020, a total of 205 attacks were reported which equals an average of nearly 11 cases per year. The number of attacks in Sarawak is estimated to be between 135 to 164 cases which is twice (p &lt; 0.05) as high as in Sabah (70 cases), indicating a more serious human-crocodile conflict in the former. In Sabah, most of the attacks (81% or 57 cases) (p &lt; 0.05) were in the districts of Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Tawau and Sandakan while in Sarawak (82% or 60 cases) (p &lt; 0.05) were in Miri, Sri Aman, Kuching and Betong. Almost 80% (173 cases) of the victims were men between the ages of 30 and 39 who were fishing (42%) (p &lt; 0.05) or bathing (27%) before the attack suggesting that such activities are risky and should be avoided in areas inhabited by crocodiles. Fatality rates of crocodile attacks have been increasing in recent years (i.e., 2015 - 2020) with an average of 10 cases per year. Therefore, control over the number of crocodile populations, especially the large-sized and dangerous individuals, needs to be implemented in high-risk areas. &nbsp;More research is needed to understand the capacity of their habitats to support optimal populations density and minimize conflicts with humans.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Defining Xerocomus s.str. (Boletaceae) in Malesia 2023-10-15T14:24:30+08:00 Lee SML Helfer S Watling R <p>Spores from Corner’s (1972, 1974) type specimens of <em>Xerocomus </em>(sensu Horak, 2011) housed at Edinburgh herbarium (E) were imaged for the first time, using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to ascertain the presence of <em>Xerocomus</em> sensu Šutara (2008) in Malesia. The following taxa <em>Boletus c</em><em>hlamydosporus, B. chrysops</em>, <em>B. </em><em>lubricus</em>,<em> B. </em><em>microcarpus, </em><em>Xerocomus microcarpoides</em> and <em>Phylloporus rufoflavipes</em> were found to have bacillate ornamentations. New combinations and name changes have been proposed.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Obligate Ant-Associated Macaranga bancana is Better Protected from Herbivory Than Facultative Ant-Associated Macaranga tanarius 2023-10-15T15:33:48+08:00 Sze Huei Yek Deniece Yin Chia Yeo Suyee Sophia Tai Zhi Hoong Wong <p>Protective mutualism between ant and <em>Macaranga</em> plants are complex between-species interactions found only in the tropical environment. In such interactions, plants provide housing structures (in the form of domatia) and food (in the form of food bodies) to their ant symbionts. In return, the ants protect their <em>Macaranga </em>plant hosts against herbivore attacks. <em>Macaranga </em>ant protective mutualism is manifested in a wide range of interactions, from facultative to obligate. In facultative interactions, <em>Macaranga </em>plants attract predatory ants to the plant <em>via</em> food rewards. In return, foraging ants may opportunistically provide protection from insect herbivores. In obligate interactions, plants provide shelter and food rewards to permanent ant partners. We hypothesize that in obligate <em>Macaranga,</em> the host is better protected because of the permanent presence of its resident ant partners, whereas in facultative <em>Macaranga</em>, the defense against insect herbivores may be less efficient depending on the attractiveness of the food rewards and the aggressiveness of the ant species in the plant’s vicinity. In this study, we compare herbivory damage and phytophagous insect herbivore types between a facultative ant-plant <em>M. tanarius</em> and an obligate anti-plant <em>M. bancana</em>. This study further highlights that co-evolved ant partners are more efficient in defending their host plants against phytophagous insect herbivores than facultative ant-plant interactions.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Sze Huei Yek, Deniece Yin Chia Yeo, Suyee Sophia Tai, Zhi Hoong Wong Diversity and Aboveground Carbon Stocks of Trees and Understorey Plant Species in Matalom, Leyte, Philippines 2023-10-15T17:20:30+08:00 Carollina S. Gumela Jay Ann G. Lantajo Pearl Aphrodite Bobon-Carnice <p>The biggest threats to plant species degradation must be the cutting of trees, conversion into croplands, and natural circumstances. Degradation of land cover has negatively affected plant diversity before the carbon stocks. This study utilized a stratified random sampling technique and allometric equation to determine the plant species, diversity level, and aboveground carbon stocks of trees and understorey found in Matalom, Leyte, Philippines. Results showed thirteen (13) trees and forty-nine (49) understorey species were present in the sampling area. The abundance of species or the total number of individuals per species of trees and understorey is 98 and 2814 respectively. For the diversity index, the result was led by tree species, then understorey species, respectively 1.76, interpreted as very low, and 2.83, which is moderate based on the Modified Fernando Biodiversity Scale. The species evenness, 0.69 and 0.73, was led by understorey plant species. Both signify unequal distribution of plant species in the study area. Moreover, tree species have a higher carbon stock of 34.15 t C haˉ¹ compared to understorey, contributing about 0.03 t C haˉ¹. There are significant differences in the diversity and c-stocks between trees and understorey plant species based on independent t-test results.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Carollina S. Gumela, Jay Ann G. Lantajo, Pearl Aphrodite Bobon-Carnice Phenolic Content and Antioxidant Activity of Leaves and Rhizomes of Etlingera coccinea (Blume) S.Sakai and Nagam. (Zingiberaceae) 2023-10-15T18:00:19+08:00 Noe P. Mendez <p>Most of the Zingiberaceae species in the Philippines have been used as ethnomedicinal plants due to the benefits&nbsp; they possess. One of these species is <em>Etlingera coccinea </em>(Blume) S.Sakai and Nagam. (Zingiberaceae), a species with a variety of uses in Malaysia, Borneo, and Philippines. In this study, ethanolic extracts of the dry weight leaves and rhizomes of <em>E. coccinea </em>were used to determine its phenolic content and antioxidant activity. The total phenolic content and total antioxidant activity were determined using Folin-Ciocalteu and phosphomolybdenum methods, respectively. Data revealed that the total phenolic content of dry weight, expressed as milligram gallic acid equivalent per gram sample (mg GAE/g sample) recorded that the leaves (11.69 ± 0.47 mg GAE/g sample) have greater amount of phenolics than the rhizomes (0.58 ± 0.06 mg GAE/g sample). The total antioxidant activity (TAA), expressed as milligram ascorbic acid equivalent per gram sample (mg AAE/g sample), obtained&nbsp; higher activity in the leaves (12.76 ± 0.31 mg AAE/g sample) than the rhizomes (0.85 ± 0.12 mg AAE/g sample), and the reducing power, expressed as milligram gallic acid reducing power equivalent per gram sample (mg GRPE/g sample) also revealed higher activity for the leaves (9.37 ± 1.88 mg GRPE/g sample) compared to rhizomes (0.28 ± 0.07 mg GRPE/g sample). Based on the correlation analysis, a perfect positive linear relationship was observed among the TPC, TAA, and RP (<em>r=1</em>, <em>p&lt;0.001</em>), which means that phenolic compounds significantly contribute to the antioxidant activities of the extracts of <em>E. coccinea</em>. These data imply that <em>E. coccinea</em> could be potentially used as a new source of natural antioxidant. Furthermore, this paper adds information on the habitat and ecology, phenology, and coloured photographs of this species for future related studies and conservation initiatives.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Noe P. Mendez Diversity, Abundance and Distribution of Gastropoda in a Tropical Agricultural Village in Kadavoor, Kerala, India 2023-10-15T18:23:05+08:00 Brigitt Baby Aleena Elizabeth Cyril Gigi K. Joseph <p>Gastropods are an ecologically significant taxon which take part in crucial ecosystem services like nutrient cycling, food web, calcium cycle, pollination and seed dispersal. The gastropod diversity of Kadavoor village was studied for eight months in monoculture plantations of pineapple, rubber, banana, mixed crop agroecosystems, paddy fields and freshwater bodies. Random sampling was employed monthly in five quadrats of 1 * 1 square metre. A total of 14 species belonging to two subclasses, four orders and nine families were recorded. These &nbsp;include land snails, freshwater snails, slugs and semislugs. Six out of 14 species recorded are endemic to the Indian subcontinent. Two invasive species namely <em>Laevicaulis alte</em> and <em>Allopeas gracile</em> were recorded. It is notable that <em>Achatina fulica</em> was not recorded during our study<em>.</em> Ariophantidae was the most abundant family followed by Subulinidae. The mixed crop agroecosystem was found to be more species-rich than monoculture plantations which might be due to an increase in microhabitats and leaf litter layer. The Simpson’s diversity index values are highest for the rubber plantation and lowest for the banana plantation since the species are more evenly distributed in the rubber plantation.&nbsp; <em>Mariaella dussumieri</em> is a constant species in all three monoculture plantations since its constancy value is greater than 50%. Sorenson’s similarity index for species composition between monoculture ecosystems is high but variable. Microhabitats of snails in all these ecosystems were also recorded. The study is a first attempt at the gastropod diversity of agroecosystems in Kerala and would help in the conservation and management of the gastropods.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Brigitt Baby, Aleena Elizabeth Cyril, Gigi K. Joseph Checklist and Assessment of Pteridophytes in Amai Manabilang, Lanao Del Sur, Philippines 2023-10-15T18:38:33+08:00 Jay Ann L. Bada David John D. Bierneza Fulgent P. Coritico Victor B. Amoroso <p>The species of ferns and lycophytes in Municipality of Amai Manabilang are documented here in a checklist, along with information on their morphological characteristics, and conservation status. A series of field surveys in two barangays in Amai Manabilang determined the lycophytes and ferns, namely Frankfort and Sumugot. A total of 56 species were recorded, belonging to 18 families and 36 genera. Of these species, 50 are ferns and 6 are lycophytes. The highest number of species was observed in Sumugot (42 species) followed by Frankfort (26 species). Thirty-one species are terrestrial, 19 are epiphytes, 1 tree fern and 5 species have more than one growth form. The number of species is approximately about 5% and 9% of the total number of pteridophytes species in the Philippines and Mindanao, respectively.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Jay Ann L. Bada, David John D. Bierneza, Fulgent P. Coritico, Victor B. Amoroso Cryopreservation of the North Borneo Phalaenopsis gigantea J.J.Sm. Using a Vitrification Approach 2023-10-15T19:05:59+08:00 Zaleha A. Aziz Mariani Ahmad Low Wan Chin Chin Rimi Repin Simun Limbawan Ramlan Maidin Rosmah Murdad <p><em>Phalaenopsis gigantea</em> is an endangered orchid found in Borneo and Kalimantan. A cryopreservation protocol using vitrification was developed using seeds as explants.&nbsp; Seeds from green unburst capsules were precultured on New Dogashima Medium supplemented with 0-0.5 M sucrose prior to treatment with loading solution and vitrification with PVS2.&nbsp; Loading durations from 0-60 min and PVS2 dehydration time from 0-7 hours were tested.&nbsp; Following vitrification, seeds were stored in liquid nitrogen for one week before being recovered and subsequently cultured on a germination medium.&nbsp; The viability of the seeds post cryopreservation was evaluated based on 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazlium chloride reduction assay (TTC) by the seeds and germination. Seeds survived the cryopreservation treatments and germinated.&nbsp; Seeds precultured on the medium containing 0.3 M sucrose exhibited the highest germination (8.3% ± 2.3), while a 10-min loading time yielded the maximum germination (13.4% ± 2.9).&nbsp; Seeds dehydrated in PVS2 for 7 hours had the highest germination percentage (13.9% ± 2) after liquid nitrogen storage.&nbsp; The TTC and the germination test did not give similar results for the viability of seeds.&nbsp; Cryopreserved seeds developed into seedlings and showed normal morphology.&nbsp; Given that the seeds of <em>Phalaenopsis </em>lost viability at room temperature very fast, this protocol can potentially be used for its long-term storage which can assist in the conservation programme of the species.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Zaleha A. Aziz, Mariani Ahmad, Low Wan Chin Chin, Rimi Repin, Simun Limbawan, Ramlan Maidin, Rosmah Murdad Diversity and Conservation Significance of Angiosperm Climbers in Bhadrak District of Odisha, India 2023-10-15T19:28:50+08:00 Taranisen Panda Nirlipta Mishra Shaik Rahimuddin Bikram K. Pradhan Master Apollo Manoj K. Kar Raj B. Mohanty <p>The present study seeks to investigate the distribution patterns of angiosperm climbers within the Bhadrak district of Odisha, India, along with an assessment of the ecosystem services they provide. The ongoing inquiry into climbing plant species within the Bhadrak district reflects the diversity of 103 species distributed across 71 genera and 33 families. The three most diverse families are Convolvulaceae (22), Cucurbitaceae (15), and Fabaceae (14). Out of 103 climbing plant species, 72 species are herbaceous vines and 31 species are woody vines representing 69.9%, and 30.1%, respectively.&nbsp; The most common climbing method in the studied sites is stem twining, accounting for 70 species or 68% of the total, the second most common is tendril climbing (22 species, 21.4%), and the least, root climber (2 species, 1.9%). Local communities use these climbers for various purposes. It has been observed that out of 103 species, 61 species have medicinal properties (59.2%), 16 species have ornamental value (15.5%), 17 species are edible (16.5%), and the remaining 8 species have other uses (8.8%). These results indicate the importance of climber communities to plant diversity of Bhadrak district, enhancing the regional diversity and the conservation value of these forest remnants. Habitat degradation because of rapid development activities with limitation of the supporting tree species is found to be a serious threat to climbing plants. Employing a multifaceted strategy such as securing their habitats through protection, restoration, managing invasive species and promoting collaboration among local stakeholders and organizations, ensures the preservation of these vital plants, sustaining biodiversity and ecosystem health for the future.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Taranisen Panda, Nirlipta Mishra, Shaik Rahimuddin, Bikram K. Pradhan, Master Apollo, Manoj K. Kar, Raj B. Mohanty Species Composition and Assessment of Zingiberaceae in the Forest Patches of Mt. Musuan, Bukidnon, Southern Philippines 2023-10-15T21:45:16+08:00 Noe P. Mendez Florfe M. Acma Maria Melanie M. Guiang Fulgent P. Coritico Victor B. Amoroso <p>This study documented 11 species of gingers belonging to nine genera distributed in three tribes and two subfamilies from Mt. Musuan and its vicinity in Bukidnon, Southern Philippines. Data revealed that Zingiberaceae species in these sites constitute <em>ca. </em>8% of the total number of Philippine Zingiberaceae. <em>Alpinia haenkei </em>C.Presl., <em>A. purpurata </em>(Vieill.) K.Schum., <em>Curcuma zedoaria </em>(Christm.) Roscoe, <em>Etlingera philippinensis </em>(Ridl.) R.M.Sm., <em>Hornstedtia conoidea</em> Ridl., <em>Meistera</em> <em>muricarpa</em> (Elmer) Škorničk. &amp; M.F.Newman, and <em>Zingiber zerumbet </em>(L.) Smith. were recorded in Mt. Musuan, while <em>Amomum dealbatum </em>Roxb., <em>Etlingera elatior </em>(Jack) R.M.Sm., <em>Hedychium coronarium </em>Koenig, <em>Hornstedtia conoidea</em> Ridl., and <em>Wurfbainia elegans </em>(Ridl.) Škorničk. &amp; A.D.Poulsen. were collected in CMU View Deck in Kibulawan. Of the collected species, five of these (3.52% endemicity compared to the total number of Philippine Zingiberaceae) are endemic to the Philippines, while the other six species are introduced. These species are mostly associated with fern species, such <em>Dicranopteris linearis</em> (Burm.f.) Underw. and <em>Lygodium circinnatum </em>(Burm.f.) Sw., and angiosperms <em>Musa textilis</em> and under the shades of dipterocarpaceae species. This paper is the first taxonomic report on Zingiberaceae in Mt. Musuan and vicinity which was not&nbsp; &nbsp;documented in the previous studies conducted at Philippine Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Sites. Since Mt. Musuan is not a protected area and an open site for ecotourism which is constantly visited by daily hikers, these species might be prone to depletion in their wild habitats. There is an urgent call for <em>in situ</em> conservation efforts that should be done by the concerned authorities of Central Mindanao University to help preserve and protect these ginger species.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Noe P. Mendez, Florfe M. Acma, Maria Melanie M. Guiang, Fulgent P. Coritico, Victor B. Amoroso A Brief Description of Avian Communities in Sungai Tongod Forest Reserve, Tongod, Sabah, Malaysia 2023-10-15T22:21:09+08:00 Bernadette D. Joeman George Hubert Petol Loraiti Lolin <p>A rapid assessment of the avifauna of Sungai Tongod Forest Reserve (STFR), a logged-over forest, was conducted in Tongod district in central Sabah, Malaysia. A modified MacKinnon List method was used to assess species diversity. The four-day survey recorded a total of 15 MacKinnon lists, with 342 individuals detected. A total of 85 species from 38 families were recorded, with H=4.07 and E<sub>H</sub>=0.70. True species richness was estimated (using SuperDuplicates® online calculator) to be approximately 114 species, with about 30 species not detected. There were 10 Bornean endemics, half of which were listed as Least Concerned, two as Near Threatened, and one as Vulnerable, in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Pellorneidae, Pycnonotidae and Nectariniidae were represented by eight, seven and six species respectively. The family Pycnonotidae had the highest number of individuals at 40 followed by Pellorneidae with 35. The five most detected species comprised 42.4 % of all individuals. The most detected species were the Bold-striped Tit-babbler (17 individuals), Green Iora (15), Pink-necked Green Pigeon (15), Black-and-yellow Broadbill (12), and Black-headed Bulbul (12). Most of the species detected (77) were forest-dependent, of which 62 were strictly forest birds. Insectivores comprised the most dominant dietary guild, i.e., 25 species (from 22 families). Frugivores ranked second with 25 species from 10 families.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Bernadette D. Joeman, George Hubert Petol, Loraiti Lolin Establishment of An in Vitro Mass Propagation System for Dendrocalamus asper. 2023-10-15T16:44:27+08:00 Anis Adilah Mustafa Wilson Thau Lym Yong Julius Kulip Kenneth Francis Rodrigues <p><em>Dendrocalamus asper</em> is a species of bamboo that has high commercial value and is the bamboo of choice for large scale agro-forestry plantations in the tropical regions of the world. Micropropagation using tissue culture is essential to generate uniform clones that are amenable to establishment in industrial agro-forestry projects for bamboo biomass, habitat restoration or in carbon sequestration.&nbsp; This paper reports on the establishment of <em>D. asper </em>invitro using commercially available seeds. The seeds were surface sterilized using three different chemical agents which were Sodium Hypochlorite (20%), Mercuric Chloride (0.1%) and Ethanol (70%) followed by shoot initiation on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 6-Benzylaminopurine (BAP) with a concentration ranging from 1.0 - 5.0 mg/L. Propagules were multiplied on MS media supplemented with different concentration of IBA Indole-3-Butyric Acid (IBA) and Naphthalene Acetic Acid (NAA), and finally rooted and hardened in peat moss. The findings of our study indicate that the sterilization protocol eliminated all the plant pathogens, resulting in an axenic culture. Full strength MS medium supplemented with 5 mg/L BAP yielded the highest number of shoots (11.46 per explant) after four weeks of inoculation. The highest multiplication rate (3.95 shoots per explant) was obtained on MS medium supplemented with 3 mg/L BAP. The time required from initiation to hardening was 70 to 90 days, following which the plantlets were ready for field trials. The findings of this study will facilitate the establishment of plant tissue culture programmes dedicated to the production of <em>D. asper</em> locally, thus eliminating the need for imports and the possible entry of plant pathogens that can be detrimental to the local agro-forestry industry.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Anis Adilah Mustafa, Wilson Thau Lym Yong, Julius Kulip, Kenneth Francis Rodrigues Phenolic Content, Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Activities of Sabah Hoya coronaria Blume 2023-10-15T22:51:10+08:00 Muhammad Dawood Shah Senty Vun-Sang Mohammad Iqbal <p>A common challenge that regularly results from oxidative stress is hepatic damage. This condition is characterised by a gradual progression from steatosis to chronic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The study proposed to assess the antioxidant activity and efficacy of&nbsp;<em>Hoya coronaria</em>&nbsp;aqueous extract in preventing CCl<sub>4</sub>-induced hepatic damage in rats. The DPPH technique was used in the study to assess the extract's antioxidant properties. The rats received dosages of 125 and 250 mg/kg body weight of&nbsp;<em>H. coronaria</em>&nbsp;extract for 14 days, followed by CCl<sub>4</sub> exposure. After two weeks, the rats were euthanised for analysis. The results indicated that the extract showed significant antioxidant potential and decreased the impact of CCl<sub>4</sub> on hepatic damage markers such as serum aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase. Moreover, it increased hepatic reduced glutathione and various antioxidant enzymes while reducing malondialdehyde formation induced by CCl<sub>4</sub>. Additionally, the histopathological analysis demonstrated that&nbsp;<em>H. coronaria</em>&nbsp;extract protected the liver against fatty degeneration and necrosis induced by CCl<sub>4</sub> toxicity. These outcomes suggest that&nbsp;<em>H. coronaria</em>&nbsp;extract could be used to prevent ROS-related hepatic damage.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Muhammad Dawood Shah, Senty Vun-Sang, Mohammad Iqbal Empty Forest Syndrome: Are we there yet? A preliminary Analysis of the Hunting and Poaching Activities in Selected Areas in Sabah, Malaysia. 2023-10-15T15:58:00+08:00 Fiffy Hanisdah Saikim Nurin Shahira Mohd. Yunus Azniza Mahyudin Senthilvel K.S.S. Nathan Hussien Muin Arnie Hamid Nor Akmar Abdul Aziz Nordiana Mohd. Nordin Norhuda Salleh Maximus Livon Lo Ka Fu Julia George Kunai Petherine Anak Jimbau Mohd. Afifi Mohd. Nasir Cornelius Peter Julianah Awang Joseph Mahadimenakbar Mohamed Dawood <p>Hunting poses a longstanding threat to tropical wildlife conservation, now reaching critical levels. In Borneo, Malaysia, around six million animals were hunted yearly in the 1990s, about 36 per sq. km. High demand for game meat, facilitated by improved transportation, drives unsustainable consumption across the tropics. Depletion of animal populations leads hunters to new areas. Roughly 18% of rainforests are protected, yet pressures persist, endangering species due to weak regulations, limited resources, and external threats. This study examines wildlife hunting trends in Sabah, uncovering insights from community interviews regarding hunting impact and resource dependence. A total of 45 people were interviewed in six study areas: Sandakan, Tawau, Kota Belud, Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom. It was found that local communities hunt for food and that hunting is a common way of life for them. Based on the arrests of hunters by the Wildlife Rescue Unit, a report on animal hunting was compiled by the Sabah Wildlife Department and analysed. The most commonly hunted animal is the bearded pig. Parts of bearded pigs were found in the cars of 76.97% of hunters arrested, followed by parts of sambar deer (13.7%). Throughout Sabah, the empty forest syndrome (EFS) is becoming a dangerous silent disaster. While most "simple" forest features are attractive to the eye, they are gradually losing their ecological function. Although this study is not exhaustive, the preliminary findings point to a serious EFS scenario in Sabah if everyone continues to neglect the syndrome and do nothing about it.</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Fiffy Hanisdah Saikim, Nurin Shahira Mohd. Yunus, Azniza Mahyudin, Senthilvel K.S.S. Nathan, Hussien Muin, Arnie Hamid, Nor Akmar Abdul Aziz, Nordiana Mohd. Nordin, Norhuda Salleh, Maximus Livon Lo Ka Fu, Julia George Kunai, Petherine Anak Jimbau, Mohd. Afifi Mohd. Nasir, Cornelius Peter, Julianah Awang Joseph, Mahadimenakbar Mohamed Dawood Butterfly Diversity in the Campus area of University of North Bengal, West Bengal, India. 2023-07-21T18:34:48+08:00 Abhirup Saha Subhajit Das Prapti Das Debayan Raha Dhiraj Saha <p>Butterflies play a crucial role as bio-indicators, signaling the health of ecosystems and biodiversity, making their conservation vital. The northern region of West Bengal in eastern India is renowned for its remarkable butterfly diversity. The University of North Bengal campus, spanning 315.99 acres at the Eastern Himalayan foothills (26°42′34.03″N; 88°21′14.96″E), is home to diverse flora and fauna. The surrounding area offers a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, tea gardens, and wetlands, which support numerous animal species. This study aimed to assess butterfly diversity in three distinct geographical sites within the university campus: the Tea garden area (dominated by tea and rubber plants), Salkunja (a forested area with a semi-perennial stream dominated by Sal trees), and Magurmari (an area with semi-perennial streams, ponds, ephemeral water bodies, paddy fields, and grasslands). Monthly butterfly observations were conducted from December 2021 to January 2023. The study documented 55 butterfly species from six families (Hesperiidae, Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae, and Riodinidae), with Nymphalidae being the most prevalent and Riodinidae the least. Notably, the ecotone area of Magurmari exhibited the highest butterfly species diversity. Four species protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972, were also identified. This research aims to analyze butterfly diversity in relation to their habitats and conservation needs within the university campus, contributing to the development of a concise checklist specific to this district for effective conservation efforts. The study underscores the significant butterfly diversity found on the campus, emphasizing the urgent need for focused conservation actions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2023-10-15T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Abhirup Saha, Subhajit Das, Prapti Das, Debayan Raha, Dhiraj Saha Influence of Water Depth on the Morphology Structure of Seagrass from the Southern of Peninsular Malaysia 2023-10-15T23:51:23+08:00 Ng Kah Choon <p>Globally, seagrass meadows have declined due to environmental factors and human activities, particularly by limiting light to seagrass in turbid coastal waters. Furthermore, publications of seagrass research findings from the Southeast Asia region are scarce, making understanding these habitats difficult despite their ecological and economic importance. This research aimed to provide mean and standard deviation of seagrass morphology, as well as to examine the morphology structures in response to water depth. Samples of two species of seagrass, <em>Halodule uninervis </em>and <em>Halophila ovalis</em>, were collected by using random sampling in a line transect at Pulau Besar and Pulau Tinggi in Johor, southern Malaysia, in September 2013 and April 2014. Six morphological features of each seagrass species were measured physically using CPCe software and the relationship of water depth to seagrass were evaluated using Pearson’s Correlation. The result highlights that the leaf and root morphology is larger in Pulau Tinggi because it is nearer to the Johor mainland, where the introduction of nutrients from economic activity positively influence seagrass growth. The overall morphology structures of both species in both islands are greater in 2013 than 2014. For the relationship with water depth, it had greater positive relationship to H. univervis leaf width (r = 0.7532), internode width (r = 0.6722), leaf length (r = 0.5739); whereas for H. ovalis, water depth was correlated strongly with leaf width (r = 0.6697) and leaf surface area (r = 0.6313). The morphology of seagrass species varies depending on habitat conditions, this study can fill knowledge gaps, but more fundamental research on seagrass meadows is required particularly for the seagrasses in the Southeast Asia marine region.</p> 2023-10-16T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Ng Kah Choon Effects of Andrographis paniculata on Carbon Tetrachloride (CCl4)-Mediated Renal Oxidative Damage in Rats 2023-10-16T11:55:47+08:00 Mohammad Iqbal Senty Vun-Sang Pei-Hoon Koh <p>A herbal medicinal plant known as&nbsp;<em>Andrographis</em><em> paniculata</em>, or "<em>hempedu bumi</em>," is recognised for its numerous medicinal properties and role in promoting community health. Despite its widespread use, the potential nephroprotective effects and underlying mechanism of action of&nbsp;<em>Andrographis</em><em> paniculata</em>&nbsp;remain unexplored. To address this gap, the present study aimed to investigate the nephroprotective effects of&nbsp;<em>Andrographis</em><em> paniculata</em>&nbsp;against renal oxidative damage induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl<sub>4</sub>) in rats.&nbsp;Sprague-Dawley rats were pre-treated with&nbsp;<em>Andrographis</em><em> paniculata&nbsp;</em>extract via gavage (100, 200, and 300 mg/kg b.w., respectively) once daily for 14 days, followed by two doses of CCl<sub>4</sub> (1.2 ml/kg b.w.) on the 13th and 14th days. After two weeks, rats were sacrificed, and a nephroprotective analysis was performed. CCl<sub>4</sub> administration at a dose of 1.2 ml/kg body weight resulted in oxidative stress in the renal system, as evidenced by elevated lipid peroxidation levels (TBARS). This oxidative stress was accompanied by a significant decrease in the activities of antioxidant enzymes and a depletion in the levels of reduced glutathione (p&lt;0.05). Histopathological examination confirmed the impairment of renal function.&nbsp;<em>Andrographis</em><em> paniculata</em>&nbsp;significantly mitigated the majority of these alterations.&nbsp;Based on our research, the nephroprotective advantages of&nbsp;<em>Andrographis</em><em> paniculata</em>&nbsp;can be attributed to its ability to act as an antioxidant and scavenge free radicals.</p> 2023-10-16T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Mohammad Iqbal, Senty Vun-Sang, Pei-Hoon Koh A Review of Etlingera coccinea (Blume) S. Sakai and Nagam (Zingiberaceae) on Achievement of Producing An Essential Oil and Medicinal Properties in Sabah, East Malaysia. 2023-10-16T12:09:44+08:00 Emmeldah Joseph Elia Godoong <p>The wild ginger, Tuhau, <em>E. coccinea</em> is a plant species from <em>Etlingera</em> genus and <em>Zingiberaceae</em> family. This study is focused on a reviewed paper reported on the&nbsp;extraction method used to derive&nbsp; essential oils and the overview of the published data regarding medicinal properties of <em>Etlingera coccinea </em>spp<em>. </em>The search was performed in several databases such as <em>ScienceDirect</em>, <em>Scopus</em>, <em>SpringerLink</em>, and <em>Researchgate </em>and also Google Scholar. The following keywords were used individually and or in combination “<em>E. coccinea</em>” and “Tuhau”.&nbsp;This article highlights the extraction techniques used to derive the essential oil of <em>E. coccinea</em> and also provide briefly overview of the medicinal properties from the data in&nbsp; recent literature.</p> 2023-10-16T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Emmeldah Joseph, Elia Godoong