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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography

Mulu Sarawak Expedition 1977-1978

Organised by the Royal Geographical Society in association with the Sarawak Government, Malaysia

A study and survey of the newly gazetted Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak to make recommendations for the future management and development of this tropical forest reserve.

In 1977/78 the RGS sent out one of the largest expeditions it has ever mounted to Sarawak to study and survey the newly gazetted Gunung Mulu National Park. The expedition was carried out with the full co-operation of the Sarawak Government, particularly the Forest Department, under whose care the National Parks in Sarawak reside. Over a period of 15 months, 115 scientists spent 10,000 man-days in this wonderfully rich tropical forest. From the logistic headquarters, a traditional long-house built especially for the project, scientists moved around the 52,864-hectare park to five subcamps in a variety of habitats. A small administrative team, headed by Robin Hanbury-Tenison and Nigel Winser, provided the necessary back-up for the scientists to maximise their time in the field.

The research involved 50 separate projects within five programmes: forest ecology and nutrient cycling; geomorphology/hydrology and cave survey; botanical and zoological inventories; vegetation survey; and management plan studies. What the survey showed above all was the remarkable diversity and richness of the Park, large areas of which were penetrated and surveyed for the first time.

· RGS Mulu expedition bibliography PDF

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