Tracking the symphony: Using the Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) to determine the occurrence, distribution and behaviour of small apes at Kenyir Rainforest, Terengganu

Center for Conservation Bioacoustics, Cornell University, New York, USA
Aini’s Mission: Getting Our Apes off the Red List
Dr. Aini Hasanah bt. Abd Mutalib, a research officer at the Institute of Tropical Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, was professionally attached with Cornell University’s Center for Conservation Bioacoustics to study the bioacoustics of small apes, including white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) and Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus).
Dr. Aini's project aims to evaluate the presence and distribution of small apes in the Kenyir rainforest using Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) bioacoustics devices which capture the sounds of small apes, allowing for analysis to determine their occurrence and behaviour.
Found in the lush Kenyir rainforest of Terengganu, the two species of small apes which are classified as ‘Endangered’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List, emphasising the urgency to better protect the species as they function as an important agent of seed dispersal, ensuring the regeneration of forests.
The project is crucial for planning and implementing effective conservation management for small apes and their habitat, encouraging collaboration with local communities, government agencies, and NGOs to empower local knowledge while balancing socioeconomic growth with conservation.
Mingling with “Yangsters” and experts
Over her 3-month attachment at Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s K Lisa Yang Center of Conservation Bioacoustics (CCB), one of the world’s most renowned institutions in this domain, Dr. Aini learned a lot from the accomplished and experienced "Yangsters" about their diverse research and conservation efforts. Dr. Aini also had the honor of collaborating with Dena Clink, a research associate at CCB, in organising a bioacoustic workshop focused on the Bornean gibbon.
She also attended the Acoustical Society of America Congress Meeting in Chicago which was attended by experts in many acoustic areas including biodiversity, and the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) where, as the Malaysian Primatological Society, she had the chance to talk about her work.
Paving the way forward
The attachment was eye-opening for Dr. Aini, helping her realise that there is still much exploration and numerous discoveries awaiting in the field of bioacoustics. “The progressive research environment here has given me inspiration to improve my work - to empower others to discover the world of bioacoustics.” she said.
This realisation led her to joining the Symposium of Indonesian-Malaysian Bioacoustics, which was set up in collaboration with the K Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics and starting a mentorship programme for migratory bird bioacoustic research in Malaysia.
Conservation, one primate at a time.
Dr. Aini hopes to contribute toward primate and forest conservation in Malaysia. Not only do our forests provide many functions for humans’ quality of life, but they are also iconic, heritage and endemic treasures. She believes that primate and forest conservation efforts could be effectively, efficiently and collaboratively done so that more productive outcome could be achieved.
The information in this award recipient's profile is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time the award was presented. Any subsequent changes, updates, or developments in the individual's life or achievements may not be reflected in this profile.

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience and for analytical purposes. By continuing to browse, you are deemed to accept our use of cookies. Learn more about disabling cookies and our Privacy Statement here.