Three million yr old+ Sky Islands and Cloud Forests in Timor-Leste by Colin Trainor – Exposure

https://drcolintrainor.exposure.co/three-million-yr-old-sky-islands-and-cloud-forests-in-timorleste

Timor-Leste is perhaps best known recently for conflict, dry savannas, and increasingly hyper-diverse coral reefs. However, one of the most different, most diverse but least known habitats is the Cloud Forests that occurs on some of the mountains. Approximately 100 km2, and definitely <200 km2 of Timor-Leste (area 15,007 km2) is Cloud Forest, so c.0.67% or 1.3% of the land-cover of the nation. Although highly distinctive and rich and endemic plants, birds and land-snails, Cloud Forests in Timor-Leste have not had a high conservation profile.Timor Island was broadly created as a result of a collision between continental Asia and continental Australia, and is thought to have been above sea (popped out of the sea) approximately 4.5 million years. The oldest part of the island are the high mountains, being pushed up at a more or less equal rate. These high mountains were once the only parts of Timor above sea.During 12-17 June 2015 Mario Soares de Carvalho, Zemally Dejesus and I visited the Mt Taroman area with the aim of documenting natural values, particularly birds. Mt Taroman is a c. 20 km2 area of montane Cloud Forest within the elevation range of 1,000-1,730 m. It is in Suai Municipal (District) across several villages including Fatululik and lies only a few km from the Indonesian international border.We observed birds and made sound-recordings, made acoustic recordings of micro-bats, actively searched for reptiles and landsnails and took photographs of Cloud forest habitats and some plant species.

Fonte: Three million yr old+ Sky Islands and Cloud Forests in Timor-Leste by Colin Trainor – Exposure

THE VISIT

Timor-Leste is perhaps best known recently for conflict, dry savannas, and increasingly hyper-diverse coral reefs. However, one of the most different, most diverse but least known habitats is the Cloud Forests that occurs on some of the mountains. Approximately 100 km2, and definitely <200 km2 of Timor-Leste (area 15,007 km2) is Cloud Forest, so c.0.67% or 1.3% of the land-cover of the nation. Although highly distinctive and rich and endemic plants, birds and land-snails, Cloud Forests in Timor-Leste have not had a high conservation profile.

Timor Island was broadly created as a result of a collision between continental Asia and continental Australia, and is thought to have been above sea (popped out of the sea) approximately 4.5 million years. The oldest part of the island are the high mountains, being pushed up at a more or less equal rate. These high mountains were once the only parts of Timor above sea.

During 12-17 June 2015 Mario Soares de Carvalho, Zemally Dejesus and I visited the Mt Taroman area with the aim of documenting natural values, particularly birds. Mt Taroman is a c. 20 km2 area of montane Cloud Forest within the elevation range of 1,000-1,730 m. It is in Suai Municipal (District) across several villages including Fatululik and lies only a few km from the Indonesian international border.

We observed birds and made sound-recordings, made acoustic recordings of micro-bats, actively searched for reptiles and landsnails and took photographs of Cloud forest habitats and some plant species.

Scenic Cloud Forest view of mature tree-ferns, ground ferns and moss and epiphyte-clad trees at 1,650 m on Mt Taroman

Scenic Cloud Forest view of mature tree-ferns, ground ferns and moss and epiphyte-clad trees at 1,650 m on Mt Taroman

WILDLIFE SIGNIFICANCE AND THREATS

A total of 53 bird species (40 “forest-specialized” bird species; 23 globally restricted-range species; one globally endangered species; 11 hill-montane bird species); one native land mammal; six insectivorous microbats including Canut’s Horseshoe-bat Rhinolophus canuti, one species of Eremiascincus “Montane” skink, an invasive Black-spined Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), and a likely undescribed landsnail similar in appearance to Parachloritis manuelmendesi.

We recorded 25 bird species in Fatululik village (c.1,000 m elevation), 43 bird species around our camp (1,530 m), 16 bird species between 1,600-1,700 m, and 21 bird species above 1,700 m near the summit. The reduced richness in the number of bird (and many other species) is a well-known global pattern. Mt Taroman is relatively large area (c. 20 km2) – perhaps 20% or more of the remaining Cloud Forest in Timor-Leste – though many forest areas are fragmented and occur in small patches. It is one of the most biologically rich montane areas in Timor-Leste, similar to the better known Mt Mundo Perdido near Ossu.

The Key Threat to biodiversity in the Taroman area is relatively intensive free-range grazing by livestock, especially cattle – 100s of animals are present on the mount. This results in soil erosion, slumping (hill slope erosion), likely reduced water quality, obvious damage to tree roots in forest, and greatly reduced or absent forest regeneration as palatable plants within reach are eaten. Mitigating this impact is not impossible, because studies in Timor-Leste have already shown the economic benefits of penned-livestock. Higher quality feed to penned livestock creates larger and healthier stock with greater sale value.

A clear Win-Win for nature and for rural livestock graziers.

The Arafura Fantail (Rhipidura dryas) is a common forest resident in Timor-Leste, here near the Taroman summit

The Arafura Fantail (Rhipidura dryas) is a common forest resident in Timor-Leste, here near the Taroman summit

The Banded Fruit Dove is a common forest pigeon in Timor-Leste, and was regularly seen on the mount

The Banded Fruit Dove is a common forest pigeon in Timor-Leste, and was regularly seen on the mount

Avian specialisation increases with elevation - the 23 restricted-range bird species; many abundant on the Mt Taroman

Avian specialisation increases with elevation – the 23 restricted-range bird species; many abundant on the Mt Taroman

The 11 hill or montane bird species recorded on Mt Taroman

The 11 hill or montane bird species recorded on Mt Taroman

A male Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra) is a common bird in the mountains of Timor above c.1,200 m

A male Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra) is a common bird in the mountains of Timor above c.1,200 m

Cattle in the mist are a major threat to forest: grazing degrades soil, water, vegetation and restricts or stops Cloud Forest regeneration

Cattle in the mist are a major threat to forest: grazing degrades soil, water, vegetation and restricts or stops Cloud Forest regeneration

A Black-spined Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) was photographed at the summit of Taroman in a hole

A Black-spined Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) was photographed at the summit of Taroman in a hole

Only one undescribed landsnail was observed on the mount, it is similar to Parachloritis manuelmendesi which has been recorded in Suai

Only one undescribed landsnail was observed on the mount, it is similar to Parachloritis manuelmendesi which has been recorded in Suai

About 5 undescribed Eremiascincus "Montane" type skinks were seen under logs at around 1,650 m on the mount

About 5 undescribed Eremiascincus “Montane” type skinks were seen under logs at around 1,650 m on the mount

CLOUD FOREST HABITAT

We did not survey the flora of Mt Taroman but estimate that there may be 300-500 plant species. We did see Dacrycarpus imbricatus (Family Podocarpaceae – the Southern Hemisphere Conifers) – generally the largest tree in montane forest, growing up to 30 m tall in Cloud Forest; perhaps around 50 ferns including King Fern Angiopteris evecta (Family Marattiaceae), tree-ferns, filmy-ferns and numerous ground and epiphytic ferns. The moss and lichen flora is also probably quite species-rich, but have been very poorly-sampled on Timor Island in general.

View over Cloud Forest from Taroman summit, towards the northwest

View over Cloud Forest from Taroman summit, towards the northwest

Red bracket fungi on log in quite open Cloud Forest at 1,650 m, the ground is covered in moss

Red bracket fungi on log in quite open Cloud Forest at 1,650 m, the ground is covered in moss

Cloud Forest with a sparse but moss dominated ground layer, at around 1,600 m on Mt Taroman

Cloud Forest with a sparse but moss dominated ground layer, at around 1,600 m on Mt Taroman

Close up view of water-loving lichens, moss and ferns along a tree trunk on Mt Taroman

Close up view of water-loving lichens, moss and ferns along a tree trunk on Mt Taroman

Water-loving filmy ferns on a moist tree trunk near the Mt Taroman summit

Water-loving filmy ferns on a moist tree trunk near the Mt Taroman summit

Cloud Forest view dominated by tree-ferns, ground ferns and moss-covered tree limbs on Mt Taroman

Cloud Forest view dominated by tree-ferns, ground ferns and moss-covered tree limbs on Mt Taroman

Near horizontal moss-covered branches near the summit of Mt Taroman

Near horizontal moss-covered branches near the summit of Mt Taroman

Near horizontal stems of Cloud Forest at the summit of Mt Taroman

Near horizontal stems of Cloud Forest at the summit of Mt Taroman

Canopy view of moss-encrusted tree trunks and canopy, among the mist, near the Mt Taroman summit

Canopy view of moss-encrusted tree trunks and canopy, among the mist, near the Mt Taroman summit

CAMP AND PEOPLE SHOTS

We visited in mid-June towards the end of the wet season, but there was still some rain, and cloud and mist for several days. It was also quite windy, with weather rapidly closing in from clear sunshine to misty rain in a matter of moment. We camped at the edge of forest at 1,530 m, a few hundred meters from a massive limestone outcrop, and about 500 m from “Game of Thrones” rock, a stunningly eroded set of limestone knives on another outcrop.

FURTHER READING

Trainor, C. R., Coates, B. and K. D. Bishop (2007) Aves de Timor-Leste. Burung-burung di Timor-Leste. The Birds of Timor-Leste. BirdLife International and Dove Publications (In English, Indonesian and Portuguese languages).

Trainor, C. R., Santana, F., Rudyanto., Almeida, A. F., Pinto, P., & G.F de Olivera. (2007) Important Bird Areas in Timor-Leste: key sites for conservation. Cambridge: BirdLife International.

Trainor, C. R, Santana, F, Pinto, P, Xavier, A. F,. Safford, R. and Grimmett, R (2008). Birds, birding and conservation in Timor-Leste. BirdingASIA 9: 16-45.

Colin and Zemally Dejesus enjoy some cool, misty and often windy weather among the Taroman Cloud Forest

Colin and Zemally Dejesus enjoy some cool, misty and often windy weather among the Taroman Cloud Forest

Mario Soares de Carvalho and Colin during a first walk to the summit....

Mario Soares de Carvalho and Colin during a first walk to the summit….

Yes, sometimes it was even this exciting on the mount...

Yes, sometimes it was even this exciting on the mount…

A misty climb up a steep ridge near the Mt Taroman summit - dominated by mosses and ferns

A misty climb up a steep ridge near the Mt Taroman summit – dominated by mosses and ferns

Mario Soares de Carvalho resting in misty Cloud Forest on Mt Taroman

Mario Soares de Carvalho resting in misty Cloud Forest on Mt Taroman

"Game of Thrones" rock, a large limestone outcrop on the northern slopes of Mt Taroman

“Game of Thrones” rock, a large limestone outcrop on the northern slopes of Mt Taroman

Location; broad mapping of c. 20 km2 of montane forest; and a cross-section from Fatululik to the summit; red circle denotes our camp

Location; broad mapping of c. 20 km2 of montane forest; and a cross-section from Fatululik to the summit; red circle denotes our camp

Another world, or the other world - the gruesome, ghastly, gnarled trunks of Cloud Forest on Mt Taroman

Another world, or the other world – the gruesome, ghastly, gnarled trunks of Cloud Forest on Mt Taroman

© 2020 Colin Trainor

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Continuar a ler Three million yr old+ Sky Islands and Cloud Forests in Timor-Leste by Colin Trainor – Exposure

Mauk Moruk: Governo falsificou resultados da autópsia

Fonte: TIMOR HAU NIAN DOBEN: Governo falsificou resultados da autópsia de Mauk Moruk

 

Timor Hau Nian Doben – 11 de agosto de 2015
De acordo com o conceituado jornalista Australiano, Ted McDonnell, ele afirmou ao Timor Hau Nian Doben que uma fonte próxima da família de Mauk Moruk lhe disse que o governo falsificou os resultados da autópsia do antigo comandante das Falintil, que foi assassinado pelas forças de segurança no passado sábado.

Continuar a ler Mauk Moruk: Governo falsificou resultados da autópsia

A morte de um adversário de Xanana MAUK MORUK: Timor:

Fonte: o máximo: Timor: A morte de um adversário de Xanana

10.8.15

Timor: A morte de um adversário de Xanana

10 August 2015 By Sara Everingham / Radio Australia East Timor faces a test of its stability after Mauk Moruk, the leader of a rebel group, is killed in a confrontation with the military and police in the area of Fatulia, Baucau over the weekend. East Timor is facing a test of its stability after the leader of a rebel group was one of four people killed in a confrontation with the military and police in the area of Fatulia, Baucau over the weekend. Mauk Moruk was a long-time opponent of the former prime minister Xanana Gusmao and was the leader of an armed group of disaffected veterans from East Timor’s independence struggle, the Maubere Revolutionary Council. The armed group was being pursued by Timor’s security forces following attacks on police earlier this year. East Timor’s former president Jose Ramos-Horta said Mauk Moruk’s death was sad and unfortunate, but said he did not think it would threaten East Timor’s stability. “No I don’t think so, because people in the country are very familiar with Mauk Moruk … they knew his record, his behaviour, he burned bridges all these many months of violent activities,” he said. Mr Ramos-Horta said he did not expect reprisals from Mauk Moruk’s supporters in Baucau. “No, he has extremely limited support in the area,” he said. “I know exactly how much support [he has], how much he doesn’t have.” East Timor’s government issued a statement on Saturday night confirming that Mauk Moruk had been killed during a joint security operation involving the military and police. The statement said the confrontation that resulted in an exchange of gunfire had been unavoidable and urged people to remain calm. East Timor’s minister of state, Agio Pereira, told the ABC that the joint force of military and police had limited options during the confrontation with Mauk Moruk and his supporters. “He was also armed and first to shoot and very regrettably he was killed as a consequence of this operation,” Mr Pereira said. “The joint operation forces called him to surrender, to give up his gun but he refused, he start shooting, they had no choice.” Mr Pereira said the three other people killed in the incident were part of Mauk Moruk’s security team. Revolutionary struggle for independence Mauk Moruk’s Maubere Revolutionary Council is made up of disaffected veterans from East Timor’s struggle for independence. Mauk Moruk was once a leader in the armed struggle for East Timor’s independence, but in the 1980s he was part of a group that split from the main resistance force, Falantil, led by Mr Gusmao. Associate professor Michael Leach from Swinburne University said Mauk Moruk’s group, who are usually armed and dressed in old military uniforms, is a legacy of East Timor’s 30-year-old split. “They were a dissident group in the ’90s, operating semi-independently, they had disagreements with the leadership of the military resistance at the time.” Mr Leach said. “That has continued after independence and this group and others don’t recognise the authority of the Timorese state. “These groups are really the legacy of East Timor’s difficult 24-year struggle for independence and after independence they had, like other countries have had, military forces that they have to somehow re-insert into society and it’s a difficult thing to do and these final remaining armed groups are the last legacies of that difficult struggle for independence.” About two years ago Mauk Moruk began challenging then-prime minister Mr Gusmao. He criticised Mr Gusmao’s leadership style and tried to broaden his support by tapping in to concerns about unemployment and poverty. Earlier this year there were reports Mauk Moruk’s group had captured two police officers in the Laga subdistrict of Baucau. After the attacks on police, East Timor’s government launched the joint police and military operation to arrest Mauk Moruk. Several weeks ago, former president Ramos-Horta was asked by his successor, Taur Matan Ruak, to try to persuade Mauk Moruk to surrender. Mr Ramos-Horta’s family spent several years living in Laga where Mauk Moruk was born and he knew him well. He said he tried to mediate but Mauk Moruk was not willing to talk. “Mauk Moruk had numerous chances to surrender to give up the few weapons he had, the government was extraordinarily patient for many months to the point where people were criticising the government for inaction,” Mr Ramos-Horta said.

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