In October 2017, The Habitat, with the Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) organized a BioBlitz involving 117 scientists and students who conducted a study of the biodiversity of flora and fauna on Penang Hill. Partners included Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Biological Sciences, Penang Forestry Department, Department of Wildlife and National Parks the California Academy of Sciences and other local and international institutions including the Malaysian Nature Society and WWF Hong Kong. Significantly, the BioBlitz also involved the participation of 75 high school students from Malaysia and the U.S. who took part in a series of facilitated field expeditions which were recorded and broadcast live online through the STEM Education platform Jason Learning bringing the expedition to an even wider audience.
The surveys really opened people’s eyes to the astounding breadth of diversity right at our doorstep! The species records from the BioBlitz even included several species that may be potentially new to science. Work is now underway to establish the Penang Hill Rainforest Research Centre which will strengthen Penang’s capacity to host scientists and researchers studying biodiversity and rainforest ecology.