Banggi Island contains areas of protected forest with species such as long tailed macaques and mouse deer being detected on our single camera trap each night of the recce, even when the camera was placed in forest within 1km of human habitation. Such animals are prey species for larger carnivores, and though none were detected on our whistle-stop visit, lack of evidence does not mean absence. It could be quite interesting to do a further, larger-scale study of mammal fauna in a less-fragmented area of forest elsewhere on the island.
Another small investigation was done to measure the awareness of local children regarding mammals of Sabah. 3 local Malay-speaking children were shown a slideshow of images on a smartphone and were asked in Malay–working as a team– to identify the animals. They were able to correctly identify an orangutan and a red leaf monkey as a monkey, though they considered a lar gibbon to be a monkey. They identified a flat headed cat and leopard cat as a cat though they thought the clouded leopard to be a tiger and a sun bear to be a dog. They had no suggestion when shown an image of a binturong.
Is this typical of all Sabahan children today or does ethnicity & culture play a part? It would be of interest to try this again elsewhere in Sabah with a group of indigenous children and compare the results.