Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sabah, Borneo: Mammals

Borneo hosts some of the most beautiful, secretive and strange mammals in the world.

From the elusive cats to the dog-like civets, many a mammal hides in the dense vegetation of the Bornean rainforest.

Excluding the primates, many of the mammals are very difficult to see, being either rare, nocturnal or well camouflaged.

Below is our mammal list from our Sabah trip, not including primates:

Malay Civet, Small-toothed Palm Civet, Masked Palm Civet, Asian Palm Civet, Bearded Pig, Borneo Pygmy Elephant and Plain Pygmy Squirrel. Plus Clouded Leopard prints and a glimpse of a Leopard Cat.

You may notice that half of the confirmed list above are civets.

And all of these civets were spotted in just one night.

It was our first night in the Danum Valley, and we had a night drive booked for 8:30pm.

We were in an open lorry, with a guide with a flashlight stood with us to look for eyeshine and therefore the animals.

An hour or so later when we returned, we had seen a lot of nocturnal animals.

The three civet species we saw on the drive were Small-toothed Palm Civet, Masked Palm Civet and Malay Civet.

We had great views of the Masked Palm and Malay Civets, with the Masked Palm feeding beside the track, and the Malay being sat on a tree root right next to the track.

This just goes to show how diverse the Danum Valley is.

All four civet species are omnivores, eating a variety of food, from birds and rats, to fruits such as rambutan and mango.

They’re quite strange looking animals, which have a cat-like body, but with a long head and snout.

It was fantastic to see so many.

The Danum Valley must be one of the best places to see various civet species in the wild.

Borneo is also home to many cat species, but due to thick vegetation in the rainforest and their camouflaged coats, they are very difficult to see.

Quite a few of the species are nocturnal, and the ones that aren’t are still very secretive and tend to stay in thick cover.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Sabah, Borneo: Mammals