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Flora and Fauna


Over 1800 species of plant have so far been identified, including nine species of pitcher plant and at least 80 kinds of orchid, several of which are new records for Sabah and also the bio-symbiotic Ant plants.

The Maliau conservation area contains about 74 dipterocarp species. Dipterocarp forest is found mostly on the Basin’s outer flanks and in the interior valley bottoms, and is rich in fruit trees.


The orchids are especially diverse and accessible in the heath and short-heath forest plateau. It was noted that the greatest flowering of orchids there was in April-May. 

There are also always rhododendrons flowering in the heath forest, the commonest probably being R. bomeense, R. durionifolium, and R. javanicum, and their various subspecies.

Nepenthes can be seen at the heath forest. About 9 species can be found at the Maliau conservation area. These include Nepenthes cf. mirabiles, N. gracilis, N. hirsuta, N. lowii, N. reinwardtiana, N. stenophylla, N. tentaculata, N. veitchii and N. veitchii X N. stenophylla.

The rare Rafflesia tengku-adlinii has also been found in Maliau Basin, one of only two known localities in Sabah, a parasite on the Tetrastigma liana. The liana itself appears to grow in heavily disturbed sites and two places where the liana and parasite can be found are the trail down to Bambangan Camp, and in the disturbed forest on the hill behind Rafflesia camp.


Big mammals that have been recorded in the Forest reserve included red barking deer, Bornean yellow barking deer Sambhar deer and bearded pig. There were no signs of banteng and elephants within the borders of forest reserve apart from a small comer around Belian Camp area where a small herd of bantengs were observed in September, 2000. Bantengs can be commonly seen outside the southern boundary.  There is also the sighting of Rhinos in Camel Trophy Hut.

For small mammals (monkeys, civets, rats, shrews, porcupines, pangolin, etc.), about 21 species from 7 families were recorded. Of the 17 rat species in Borneo, 11 were recorded here. Interestingly, no squirrels were recorded.


An impressive list comprising some 270 bird species has been recorded, including Bulwer’s Pheasant, Giant Pitta, Bathawk, Bornean Bristlehead and eight species of hornbills, together with several rare montane species, otherwise found only on Mount Kinabalu and Trus Madi. These included 24 species of birds which were new records for Maliau Basin, 5 Bornean endemic species and 2 migrant species. About 32 species from 5 families of frogs were recorded. Maliau served the largest concentration of the helmeted hornbill in the late evening when you can hear loud croaking sound.


Others among the 82 mammal species so far confirmed include Clouded Leopard and Malayan Sunbear, argus pheasant, silver leaf monkey, orang utan, elephants, sumatran rhinos, Bulwer's pheasant, oriental darter, and peregrine falcon.while on the fringes of the Conservation Area, Seledang (tembadau) and the elusive Bay Cat have been seen. There are plenty of mousedeer, hornbills, monkeys that can be seen almost every day.


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