I was offered to continue my herping activity at Royal Belum, Perak. From what I heard, this place is one of unique place in Malaysia. A brief introduction what is Royal Belum. According to http://www.endemicguides.com/RoyerBelumFR.htm, and I quote “The Royal Belum forest is located in the Gerik, Perak, area (Hulu Perak). It is believe that the forest reserve coverage is about 290,000 hectares and with more than 146,000 hectares of virgin forest. The forest is divided into two sections: the upper Belum area, which stretches to the Thai-Malaysian border covering 117,500 hectares of impenetrable jungle and the lower Belum mostly covered by Temenggor Lake. The State of Perak has decided to preserve the Belum and Temenggor forests as a permanent nature reserve for research.”
The forest is huge. No wonder the Communist is actively using this part of Malaysia for their operations. After the era of World War I and The fame Cold war, Communist ideology is spreading like wild fire. They are regarded as a savior in time of crisis. They help to defeat the Japan Imperialism during the time duration. After the fall of the Axis power, the cold war is fought by the US and the Soviet Union during that time. Each side use media to spread their propaganda. Not to mention the stockpiling of weapon of mass destruction. After the end of cold war, each side retreat but their dogma stayed. They are a constant threat to national security. To end the reign of Communist, the government flooded the area belief to contain hundreds of underground tunnel used by this extremist.
Because of the trip rest solely on kayaking activity, I have to change my hunt from land to water. I have to aim more for aquatic snake from the subfamily Homalopsinae. I am expected to came across Cerberus rynchops(Dog faced Water Snake, Enhydris enhydris(Rainbow Water Snake), Enhydris plumbea(Plumbeous Water Snake), Fordonia leucobalia(Crab eating Water Snake) and Homalopsis buccata(Puff-faced Water Snake).
I was given a single kayak which is a huge advantage to me because it offers high maneuverability. It is suited for pursuing anything that move on the water at high speed. After a while, Emily Joeneh(mate) spotted a specimen. It was a surprised. It’s not a water snake. It was from a subfamily Colubrinae. Dendralaphis cyanochloris(Blue Bronzeback Snake). The snake was swimming toward an island. Its heading was 300 degree. I could not understand why this tree snake risks its life to cross the vast body of water. If I accounted it was because of the food supply, it was inappropriate considering that the place hold a vast amount of other fauna. My theory is the snake is driven by the will to find its mate. I cannot determine whether the snake I caught was a male or female. It was imperfect in scientific methods. I will improve it in the future. The specimen has big eye, pupil rounded, smooth dorsal scale, anal plate divided. The length is 1.9 meter indicating that it’s an adult snake. It was a Colubridae and has a back fang. The skull is Opisthoglyphous. Upon looking on the scale, I recognize the nasal, internasal, loreal, frontal, prefrontal, postocular and rostral.
This post will be amend from time to time