16 students from years 6 to 8 thoroughly enjoyed their Ecofieldtrip to Tioman Island, Malasia. We experienced Reef, Beach, Mangrove and Rainforest Ecosystems all in one week. One of the highlights of our adventure was an encounter with Black tipped reef sharks and a Hawksbill turtle whilst snorkelling in the Reef amongst the many Colourful tropical fish, Sea cucumbers and Starfish. We saw huge Monitor lizards, Gobies guarding Shrimps and Fruit bats in the Mangroves. In the Rainforest we found Giant millipedes, Pill millipedes, Toads, Orb spiders, Giant ants, Termites, a Blue tree frog, Geckoes, Dragon lizards and Skinks. We were amazed by the sheer size of the trees with their buttress roots, some of which we could not see the tops of, and the thick winding lianas. We witnessed complete darkness on a nightwalk in the rainforest, where we couldn’t see our hands infront of our eyes, Flying squirrels, hunting Bats, Scorpions that glowed in UV light and the hightlight, a scary insect with loads of legs, which even the group leader had to look up, called ‘Scutigera coleoptrata’ or the common house centipede. During our stay we visited a local village and the children had great fun trying their hand at some Batik painting and learnt how to play a local Malaysian game called ‘Sapak Takro’, similar to volleyball only played with a wicker ball and the feet! The children also learnt some basic Ecology surveying techniques to compare animals found distributed on the Seashore and to compare Primary and Secondary Rainforests. We learnt about many conservation issues and how we can make a small difference ourselves to help. The children debated the issue of development on beaches and Turtle conservation, an issue currently relevant in Kuwait as Islands are being developed, which the children got involved in very passionately. We carried out a beach clean up, which made children think about the issue of litter dropping. Children also worked together as a group to mix cement to create blocks for a bouy, which they etched with their names before we built a raft to float the buoy out to sink beyond the reef and create a permanent mooring point for boats at the resort to help prevent any further anchor damage to the Reef. As you can see from the photos we all had a truly amazing time on the Paradise Island of Tioman!
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