Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, May 21, 2018

CRYPTOLINK: Home of Naga Seri Gumum under threat

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 
MALAYSIA’S Tasik Chini is a poster-worthy example of the need to balance the pursuit of socio-economic development with environmental care and conservation.
Nine years ago this month, Unesco conferred World Biosphere Reserve status on Tasik Chini, in Pekan district, Pahang, underlining the lake’s rich biodiversity, including “species characteristic of the extreme lowlands ... of considerable conservation interest due to their diminishing low land habitats elsewhere within Peninsular Malaysia”.
Tasik Chini became the first site in the country to be given such prestigious international recognition under Unesco’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. The other is Crocker Range in Sabah, which received the same status in 2014.
A biosphere is a region of land, water and atmosphere where living organisms and the results of their activities create a single, self-sustaining ecosystem. Up to 2016, there were 669 biosphere reserves in 120 countries.
Tasik Chini is formed from a string of 12 connected water bodies covering over 200 hectares, surrounded by 700 hectares of freshwater swamp and swamp forest.
Usually between August and September, the lake is transformed into a floating garden with thousands of white and pink lotus flowers covering the surface. These iconic lotus plants (Nelumbo nucifera) and fishing are the main ecotourist attractions.
The lake is endowed with a rich diversity of flora and fauna — home to 87 species of freshwater fish, 189 species of birds, 51 low forest species, 15 freshwater swamp forest species, and 25 aquatic plants.
Studies have shown that many habitats are endemic or unique to Tasik Chini.
About 800 Orang Asli from the Jakun tribe, and also some Semai, live on its shores, and they depend on the lake for livelihood and water supply.
For Tasik Chini, the Unesco recognition is already special enough. But the fabled lake has more. Among the famous myths and Orang Asli legends, the lake is home to a dragon, the Naga Seri Gumum (Malaysia’s answer to Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster.) As well, an ancient Khmer city is said to rest at the bottom of the lake.

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