Info for participants

Please note: At the start of the expedition, all participants will receive a booklet ("expedition kit") with maps and relevant information from Sabah Parks.

Expedition duration: 10-25 September, 2012
Kinabalu Park: 10-18 September
Crocker Range Park: 18-25 September
Opening ceremony and briefing: 10 September, 9.30 in the morning
Farewell party and press conference: 25 September, 12.30 - 13.30

Pre-expedition party
On Saturday September 8th, at 17.00 h, all Malaysian and Dutch expedition participants (as well a small number of other KK folk) are invited to an (optional) pre-expedition party (food & drinks provided) at Menno's house. Some of the party will need to take place in the garden, where there are many mosquitoes (see tweet), so don't wear shorts! The address is: Lorong Pipit Uban 598, Taman Happy Garden, Mile 3, Jalan Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu, see map:

Please arrive in Kota Kinabalu by 8 September. Naturalis participants are encouraged to coordinate flights via travel agents to negotiate free excess luggage for group travel.
Please note: train travel around Schiphol airport will be severely disrupted on 8 and 9 September (check for more details).
Flights to Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia Airlines
Dutch participants do not need a separate visa if they stay in Malaysia less than three months. The use of immigration cards has recently been discontinued. If asked about the purpose of your visit at the Immigration counter, mention "business".
Transportation from Kota Kinabalu to Park Headquarters and back again will be arranged by Sabah Parks. There will be transportation both on 9th September at 13.00 h and on 10th September at 7.00 in the morning. Pick-up point will be the Sabah Parks Offices at Lot 45 &46, Block H Signature Office, KK Times Square, Coastal Highway, 88100 Kota Kinabalu (the complex immediately west of the "Jalan Coastal" label in the left-bottom part of the map above). Please let us know which trip you plan to make use of.

Accommodation in Kota Kinabalu must be arranged by the participants themselves. There is a wide range of affordable hotels in the city centre. See: Sabah Tourism Board.
Accommodation and other logistics during the expedition are arranged by Sabah Parks. See the "Substations" page for more information on the available accommodation: "cabins" have minimum/basic facilities only. Food will be provided in all substations except Burlington Hut/Laban Rata.
If necessary (e.g., botanists who need to wait for their plant specimens to dry), participants can extend their stay for a maximum of 4 days at Kinabalu Park HQ.

For the current weather, see the latest radar images of the Malaysian Meteorological Department.

Guides and Field Assistants
A limited number of guides and field assistants from Sabah Parks are available for all participants. Porters can be hired in Kinabalu Park at the following rates: --from Headquarters to Layang-Layang: RM 5 per kg (minimum 10 kg)
--from Headquarters to Laban Rata: RM 8 per kg (minimum 10 kg)
--at Headquarters, Poring, and Sayap: RM 80 per day.
Should you require porters, please inform the Dutch organisers as soon as possible.

Sampling for the DNA-Phylogeography
The expedition will have one main goal: to construct DNA-based phylogeographic trees for as many groups of species as possible, and to derive from these a generalised scenario for the evolution of high-altitude endemics in Borneo.
This aim requires that, in addition to more general collecting, each participant attempts to provide the following to the expedition organisers:
* leaf material in silica gel (for plants) or tissue in 100% ethanol (for animals),
* taken from a clade of closely related species (of the same genus)
* consisting of at least two species (of which at least one is restricted to the higher elevations) plus at least one outgroup species (the latter need not derive from the expedition)
* from all 3 substations in the Crocker Range Park
* and from at least one lowland, one mid-elevation, and one high-elevation substation in Kinabalu Park
* consisting of at least 10 individuals per species per substation
The material should be given to the expedition organisers  preferably before the last day of the expedition, but at least within three months after the expedition has ended. Your collaboration in this is crucial for the expedition’s success. In return, all expedition participants who provided material will be invited as co-authors on the joint publication on the expedition’s results. 

Samples and permits
*Participants are asked, where possible, to collect duplicates for the collections of Sabah Parks and the Sabah Forest Research Centre (FRC, Sepilok).
Sabah Parks and the Sabah Biodiversity Centre are working on a research permit for the entire expedition.
*All participants will receive an individual export permit from the Sabah Biodiversity Centre, via Sabah Parks
*All participants also will receive a separate research permit from Sabah Parks itself
*All participants who are staff or research associates at Naturalis Biodiversity Center receive an individual “Ontheffing Flora- and Faunawet” from the expedition organisers. Those of you who do not already own it, can obtain their copy from Menno Schilthuizen at the start of the Expedition. This document may be useful when importing material into The Netherlands. Please bring this document with you on the expedition. Should you encounter any serious problems at customs in Malaysia, either in Kuala Lumpur or in Kota Kinabalu, and either upon departure or upon arrival, please contact Mr. Matsain Mohd. Buang of Sabah Parks at 014-8520228, and/or Menno Schilthuizen (local telephone number 010-9479630. 

Please note the following procedures for different kinds of material:
1. Preserved (dead) material, not CITES:
Export: if manageable, participants bring their own specimens with them from Malaysia to The Netherlands in their personal luggage. Ethanol needs to be decanted before departure and topped up again after return in The Netherlands. It is not necessary to declare this material at customs, either on departure or arrival. Should you experience any problems on arrival in the Netherlands, phone the Naturalis directorate at 071-5687600. Very bulky sets of samples can be handed to Vincent Merckx and Constantijn Mennes at the end of the expedition, who will ship them in bulk to The Netherlands after the expedition.
2. Preserved (dead) material, CITES:
At the end of the expedition, participants who have collected CITES-material prepare a detailed list of species names and numbers of individuals, as well as the CITES Appendix numbers concerned for each species, and present this, together with the material, to Vincent Mercks and Constantijn Mennes. They will then, via Sabah Parks, arrange export via the Forest Research Centre (MY002) to the NHN (NL008). Since both are CITES-registered institutes, exchange can be done with scientific exchange labels.
3. Living plant, fungal, and animal material
Not supported.
4. Soil and leaf litter material, sterilised
Soil and leaf litter material that has been sterilised either by soaking in ethanol, by heating to 150°C for 30 minutes, or by freeze-drying, can be treated as under (1).

Research materials
In principle, participants are asked to bring their specialised research materials themselves (incl., e.g., forceps and scalpels for dissecting out tissue for DNA, straps for plant presses, bottles of various sizes, sheets and umbrellas for light traps, etc.).
The Expedition organisers will provide for general use: newspapers (for drying plant specimens), plastic bags (for plant specimens), entomological paper (for papillottes), mounting boards (for plant presses), silica gel, 70% and 96% ethanol, ethyl acetate, acetone, 2 mL vials and 50 mL vials, several light bulbs for light traps, power cables for light traps, general-purpose forcepses and scalpels, a small number of field dissection microscopes and head-lenses.
In the Expedition Headquarters, there will be sufficient freezer and drying oven space available, as well as several dissection microscopes.

What else to bring
Mosquito nets and sleeping bags are not available at all substations. Participants are therefore asked to bring their own. In some camps, a rubber mat is also advisable.
The temperature on the mountain drops with 0.6 degree C with every 100 m elevation increase. Since the expedition sites range from 500 to 3300 m in elevation, expect all kinds of weather from hot and humid, through cool and pleasant, to bitterly cold and wet--so bring clothes (and sleeping bags) for all weather types.
Other items we suggest to bring: insect repellent, water bottle, food container, leech socks.
The Naturalis book shop sells a wide range of Sabah field guides and other natural history books on the region; in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo Books on the ground floor of the Wisma Merdeka shopping centre does the same.
If participants would like to buy a local SIM-card for their mobile phone, the companies Celcom, Maxis, and Digi are advised (all three have good reception at most substations)
A map to both parks (and the substations) will be prepared by Sabah Parks and will be available for all participants during the expedition.
It is advised to bring a large supply of business cards for exchange among expedition participants.

During (and in the run-up to) the expedition, we aim to get intensive, focused media attention. Three dedicated media persons will be present in the field and participants may be asked to collaborate with them and with interested parties from the (international) "press".

Malaria & Vaccinations
Although Sabah is considered a relatively low-risk area for malaria, there are regular outbreaks. Please make sure that you are taking anti-malarials (Malarone) during your time at Mount Kinabalu and bring along DEET-repellent.
Vaccination clinic in Leiden: LUMC

The information on this page will be augmented regularly, so please check back now and then. If you have any additional questions please contact the team of organisers:

Maklarin Lakim (Sabah Parks; zoology)
Rimi Repin (Sabah Parks, botany)
Vincent Mercks (Naturalis; travel)
Constantijn Mennes (Naturalis; research materials)
Menno Schilthuizen (Naturalis; scientific background of the Expedition; media)
Liew Thor-Seng (Naturalis / UMS; habitat, trails)
Lisa Becking (Naturalis; DNA-phylogeography)
Media team: see tab "media"