Deramakot Forest Reserve  is a model FMU (Forestry Management Unit)  run by the Sabah Forest Department as an example for the other 136 FMU’s in Sabah as  to how logging can be carried out in a long term sustainable manner. The aim is to educate the management of other Sabah  FMUs so that   all the timber produced in Sabah can be certified  as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

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Deramakot Forest Management Unit  (FMU) is approximately 3 hours drive from Sandakan. When we visited in October 2014  the HQ offices building was still under construction
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We found a young strangler growing low down on an Albizzia  tree  at the bottom of the slope above the lake.

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The leaves and stipule  indicate that this fig is Ficus dubia, an uncommon fig normally confined to primary forest. Note that the stipule is green, pointed and hairless.

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For comparison these are the leaves of Ficus drupacea  collected from a fig tree at Sepilok. Note that whilst the leaf venation is very similar to Ficus dubia the stipule is short and and hairy.


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A recently opened logging road along a ridge top at Deramakot
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Deramakot is divided into 135 compartments which are logged on a 30+ year cycle which results in a very wide range of  continually changing habitats.
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The forest on the hill slope at the rear has never been logged (too steep). The forest in the  foreground was logged around 10 years ago and will be re-logged again in around 20 years. Notice the trees in the foreground are  covered in lianas as a result of the  destruction of the canopy during logging. Although FSC guidelines allow liana cutting or removal,  fig trees and fig lianas  at Deramakot are always left intact. This is the main reason that Deramakot is one of the best sites in Borneo to see  wildlife such as Clouded Leopards.
04 Shavez Cheema Deramakot Clouded Leopard
Although Clouded Leopards do not feed on figs they feed on many animals which eat figs including mouse deer, gibbons,  macaques, wild pigs and binturongs. Photo by Mike Gordon  taken at Deramakot.

Clouded Leopard videos  from Deramakot by Mike Gordon