Monday, November 14, 2016

The Inside Track: The wildlife of Borneo

Borneo, the third largest island in the world, was once covered in dense rainforest. While the size of the rainforest has unfortunately decreased over the years what remains is still a bio-diverse haven holding many marvellous creatures.

Unfortunately, with their diminishing habitat comes dwindling numbers of wildlife making it harder to spot them in the wild. However, if you journey into the rainforests and jungles of Borneo hopefully you’ll be rewarded with some incredible sightings of these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.

Bornean orang-utan

Meaning ‘person of the forest’ in Malay, the name orang-utan perfectly suits these human relatives who spend 90% of their time in the trees. Asia’s only great ape, they use their enormous arm span which can reach up to seven feet to swing from branch to branch.

Walking through the national parks and hearing their ‘long call’ echo through the trees, the rustling of the leaves above you as you catch a glimpse of their tufty dark red hair is an incredible Borneo experience.

Nicknamed the ‘gardeners of the forest’ due to their part in spreading seeds throughout the area, their decreasing numbers is having a huge effect on the other animals and people of the rainforest.

Pygmy elephant

The pygmy elephants of Borneo, also called Borneo elephants, are the smallest species to be found on the continent and have been likened to cartoon versions of Asian elephants.

With baby faces, huge ears, short trunks, round bellies and long tails, which trail to the ground in-between their stumpy legs, they have a much gentler temperament than their mainland counterparts.

With less than 1,500 in the wild, not much is known about the Borneo elephant and they were once believed to be extinct before being re-discovered on the island in 2008.

Proboscis monkey

One of the areas slightly weirder looking animals, the proboscis monkey is a very unique species and is indigenous to Borneo, never deviating far from the island’s rivers, swamps and mangroves.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: The Inside Track: The wildlife of Borneo