Borneo Field Trip Diaries - Part IV
Batang Ai - Lubok Antu Expedition
by Michael Lo
of Sarawak, Malaysia
From his website: http://www.ibanorum.netfirms.com
Collection date: June 1st, 2004
To me and my friends, the Kapuas River basin is the South-East Asian equivalent of the
Amazon River basin. There are more than 300 species of fish fauna found there, especially
the Vaillants chocolate gourami (Sphaerichthys vaillanti), which is one of
the most beautiful fish inhabiting the upper part of the Kapuas River and the surrounding
area of Danau Sentarum Lake. We found out from a map (not the one below) that the hills
and the mountains in the border area near Lubok Antu town are not too high. We decided to
explore the Batang Ai and Lubok Antu area to find the headwaters of the upper Kapuas
The pink circle indicates our collection area. Danau Sentarum Lake
is in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
CLICK ON THUMBNAILS FOR ENLARGEMENTS, THEN GO
June 1st....the first day of Hari Gawai (Harvest Festival). Benjamin, Zhou Hang,
Benny and I headed to the Batang Ai area. About 1.30 p.m., we reached the first collection
point. It was a tea coloured, fast flowing river. We found an unknown species of Rasbora
and a fish that looked like a Puntius species.
A tea coloured river near the border
Rasbora dusonensis (left) and unknown barb (right) found in
the river shown above.
As the road was too bad for me to continue driving to the border, I decided to turn
back. We stopped at a blackwater brook and Zhou Hang found a species of Rasbora that
looked like Rasbora einthoveni. We all felt very excited as these fish had never
been seen by any of us before.
Later, we headed to Batang Ai Dam.....took some pictures and left. We found no fish in
the river below the dam, except frogs' eggs sticking to the hair grass.
Batang Ai Dam
Visitors to Batang Ai Longhouse Resort are embarking on the boat.
Hair grass grew abundantly in the river below the dam.
The last collection point was a blackwater swamp somewhere near Seri Aman. We found Betta
ibanorum and a swamp eel.
The swamp eel
Due to poor planning we failed to explore most of the area near the border. Maybe I
will go back to explore that area one day.