20.9.12

More About Borneo Sabah



The Borneo rainforest is the oldest in the world, a hundred and thirty million years old.That's 70million years older than the Amazon.Mount Kinabalu, the dominant feature in the Kinabalu Park is the highest peak between the Himalayas and New Guinea.The Kinabalu Park is a world heritage site and has a total area of 75,370 hectares.By comparison, Singapore has a land area of about 64,00 thousand hectares.Out of the 12regions of mega biodiversity in the world, borneo ranks with the Amazonia and Equatorial africa.Borneo lies in the heart in the mega biodiversity eco region of the indo pacific basin and Malaysia.

Sabah is special because in terms of biodiversity per unit area, Sabah is the best in Borneo.According to the National Geographic, 10 square kilometers of Malaysian rainforest has more flora and fauna than that of north america and europe combined.
Here in the indo pacific global centre of coral biodiversity is the cradle of coral evolution, beginning with 70 genera in areas around Borneo reduces gradually as one moves outward.The coral triangle, the Amazon of the seas is the centre of marine biodiversity for the world. It is home to one of the most diverse collection of marine life in the world with over 75% of species known to science.Over 3,000 species of reef fish, over 500 species of coral.This is unmatched in the world in terms of marine biodiversity per unit area.

The Borneo Pygmy is the smallest elephant, herds of thirty or more roamed the jungles and the river banks in the east coast.The Sukau area and the lower reaches of Kinabatangan River has the worlds richest diversity of flora and fauna.Including the Proboscis Monkey, one of the 10 species of primates in Sabah.
The snake bird or the Oriental Darter which has disappeared from peninsula Malaysia is seen here in large numbers.The east coast is also home to the globally recognized Orang Utan. The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center was established in 1964, making it the first of its kind in the world.


The Gumantong Cave, famous for its populations of swiflets  which produce valuable edible nest is protected by strict laws to ensure sustainability.Other conservation area includes the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Maliau Basin (the lost world). The Danum Valley field Center is both a research and education facility.
Jungle Lodges in selected areas promise visitors the rare and unique experience of being in the worlds oldest rain forest.Beyond the shore of mainland Sabah, conservation areas include the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which was established in 1974, following a joint study by the government and WWF Malaysia.


Pulau Selingan where giant turtles come a ashore to lay their eggs is open to visitors but they must observe strict rules enforced by the Sabah Parks Rangers .Several areas have been identified for marine conservation purposes including the Tun Sakaran Marine Park of the East Coast and Tun Mustafa Marine Park in the North.World renowned Sipadan Island has also been placed under strict control while other islands frequently visited by visitors are closely monitored.


Borneo is the Orchid Island of the world, containing more than 10% of the orchids in the world.More than half of this is found in the Kinabalu Park. Other wonderful plants in Sabah includes the  Nephentes or Pitcher Plants and the worlds largest flower, the rafflesia.Not surprisingly, the Kinabalu Park is the Center of plant biodiversity for Southeast Asia.A comprehensive botanical collection exist at the Sabah Agricultural Park located between the crocker range, which is Malaysia's biggest mountain range.


Closest to the City of Kota Kinabalu is another treasure trove the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.
Within the city itself, is the Likas Wetland a mangrove reserve visited by hundreds of migratory birds each year.And on that note, Sabah offers something very special to bird watchers.There are more than 622
species of birds found in Borneo and out of this number, 34 species are endemic to Sabah.There are  species of hornbills in Borneo, and all can be found in Sabah.

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