Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University


Sarawak is Malaysia’s largest state, covering most of northern Borneo. It has a remarkable history of scientific bird study, starting in the 1840s and growing ever since. To set the stage for the gazetteer, which is the core of this paper, we start with a review of this history and discuss various forces that have influenced the direction of bird research in the state. Following this introduction comes the gazetteer, which is an annotated list of c. 865 sites in Sarawak where birds have been collected, studied, or regularly observed. The gazetteer provides the latitude, longitude, and elevation of each site, and it lists publications, reports, and museum collections associated with each site. The purpose of the gazetteer is to help interested parties locate sites and investigate their research history. It is also intended to help museum curators geolocate specimens for various kinds of studies, including the assessment of bird distributions in relation to habitat change over time. A notable byproduct of the historical review and gazetteer is a bibliography of c. 750 references related to Sarawak ornithology. Another is the identification of areas in Sarawak where birds are better known and areas where they are not.