Vanishing Soundscape from Kuala Tahan, Taman Negara, Malaysia

by | Mar 24, 2014 | Malaysia

I just returned from a wonderful last minute trip to Malaysia, spending most of my time in Taman Negara National Park. First, we stayed a couple of nights at Kuala Tahan, exploring the well-trodden trails around the most popular entrance point to the reserve. From a visitor’s perspective, Kuala Tahan offers plenty of accommodation options & activities – boat trips through white-water rapids and guided ‘jungle walks’ to waterfalls and caves keep most people occupied for a few days, and are opportunities to see some of the flora & fauna.

However due to it’s popularity and location (next to a small riverside village) there is quite a bit of noise from hikers, boats & regular prayers booming through the forest courtesy of the local mosque. It was only possible to snatch a few soundscape recordings from more remote locations, even then it was a challenge to avoid some kind of unwanted noise.

Sadly, the old back road to Nusa Camp from Kuala Tahan village which previously gave access to some superb primary forest, is now being developed. It seems the timber and palm oil industries will be using it to access & destroy the last patches of virgin tropical rainforest on the western side of the Sungai Tembeling river (just outside the National Park border).

In view of this I captured a few recordings from this road early in the morning to share what a diverse & vibrant eco-system this is, and what stands to be lost if the current developments continue.

The following recording was setup before dawn, before the noisy road-working & logging trucks started work for the day.

This recording is now available as part of a free full-length album download “Rainforest on the Edge”

This pristine tropical rainforest, just outside the current border of Taman Negara National Park, is under threat.

Logging has already started at this location, no doubt picking out the timber of highest value before clearing the land entirely for oil palm plantations.

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