Places in Malaysia Site Map
Bats Orangutan Hornbills Swiftlets Proboscis monkey Firefly
Animals in Malaysia's Dipterocarp Jungle

Malaysia has many endangered animal such as the Sumatra Rhinocerous, Malayan Tiger, Asian Elephant, Orang Utan, Proboscis Monkey, Gaurs and hornbills. Many of these endangered animals are found in Malaysia's national parks. These national parks are gazetted to protect the habitat of these animals so that they will not be extinct. In a national park, nothing can be taken out of the park, regardless of whether it is alive or dead. I read from somewhere that the Malaysian Government was not happy that Malayan Tiger scientific subspecies name was changed without informing them first but I am sure it is not this.

Taman Negara or National Park in English is the largest of all national parks in Malaysia. It is home to 380 species of birds such as the Rhinocerous Hornbills, barbets, broadbills, flowerpeckers and kingfishers. 9 species of hornbills can be sighted here. The endangered Sumatra Rhinocerous, Malayan Tiger and Asian Elephant can be sighted.

There are many national parks in Malaysia and most are found in East Malaysia. One of the most outstanding national park in Sarawak is the Mount Mulu National Park which was listed as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in year 2000. Apart from its outstanding cave chambers and systems, tourist can get to see millions of bats hanging on the ceiling of Deer Cave and squealing sound. In the dusk, watch the bats flying out from the Deer Cave to search for food. The shit of the bats called guano is a very important source of income for the natives.

Watch out for hornbills. They are sacred birds to the Sarawak natives and 8 hornbill species can be easily found here. For example, Rhinocerous Hornbills, White-crowned hornbills and Helmeted Hornbills. These hornbills are interesting birds. At first, the hornbills will make a hole inside a tree trunk big enough for the female hornbill to lay eggs and sit inside with its head jutting out. After the female laid eggs, the male hornbill will close the hole with mud until only the head of the female hornbill is outside. The male hornbill will look for food for the female hornbill. After the eggs are hatched and grown up, both male and female will find a new tree trunk to nest.

There are many other types of birds such as Moustached Hawk, Bat Hawk, patridges(red-breasted), eagle, woodpeckers, kingfishers, pheasants, flowerpecker, bee-eater and wren babblers.

For those interested in bird's nest, a visit to Niah National Park will show you the home to about half a million of bats and half a million of swiftlets which are birds that made bird's nest that we eat. This is the place which produces some of the best bird's nest in the world and guano for fertilisers. In the dusk, watch the bats flying out the cave search for food and the swiftlets flying back to the cave. They look like 2 big black clouds going against each other. The oldest modern human remains in Southeast Asia were found in Niah making it a very important place for archeological research. Cooking utensils and tools were found. It was said the skulls dating back to 40,000 years were found here by Harrison.

Bako National Park which is located near Kuching is another very interesting place to visit for its fauna. One of the animals that can only be found in Borneo and nowhere else in the world is the Proboscis monkey. This Proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) has a huge-belly, with long white tail, long protruding nose especially the males and is a good swimmer. It is active during the dawn and dusk.

Watch out for hornbills. They are sacred birds to the Sarawak natives. Other birds such as woodpeckers, Kingfishers and Malkohas can be found there. Also look out for the Rajah Brooke Butterfly which is the biggest butterfly in the world. Damai Beach in Santubong is near Bako National Park about 1 to 2 hours drive. Dolphins can be seen along the coast here.

Let's go to the first place in Malaysia that was listed as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Kinabalu National Park was listed in year 2000 for its outstanding value in flora and fauna. There are over 320 species of birds here and popular for its Montane forest birds. For example, patridges (crimson-headed), eagles, barbets, babbler, warblers, spiderhunters and flowerpecker. The forest trail in this park is well established for bird-watching.

The wild lower part of Kinabatangan River is the most concentrated wildlife area in Malaysia. All the 8 species of hornbills found in Borneo have been sighted here. They are rhinocerous, helmeted, black, white-crowned, wrinkled, bushy crested, pied and wreathed. About 70 species of birds can be spotted in just one afternoon here.

There are also many other animals. It is a haven for Proboscis monkey and Orang Utan, therefore a good place to good to have a glimpse of these animals. Orang Utan or 'Man of the Forest' is a brownish red hairy monkey of the ape family. It has about 95% of human genes and therefore very much like humans. Bornean Orang Utan is the largest tree dwelling animals where the males are mostly twice the size of the female. It is about 1.4 m tall and arm span of anout 1.5 m to 2.5 m. Though it is stated that Sumatran Orangutan is endemic to Sumatra Island, Sumatran Orangutan seems to be available in Malaysia's wildlife reserve and rehabilitation centre.

Apart from national parks, there are many wildlife sancturies for animals such as Tabin Wildlife Reserve which is home to many large mammals such as endangered rhinocerous, elephants and wild oxes, Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre which takes care of sick or orphaned Orang Utans and Danum Valley Conservation areas where Proboscis monkey, Orang Utan, Sumatran Rhinocerous and clouded leopard can also be sighted.

There are also many other animals in Malaysia. For example, fox, wild boar, giant porcupines, squirrels and argus pheasant.

Animals in Mangrove Jungle
Mangrove area is home to many animals such as heron, stocks, snakes, birds, mudskippers and insects. Firefly is a type of insect which has a short lifespan of about 6 months. The end of its abdomen can give out light. This light is very important to firefly because it is a signal to find its mate. The male firefly will turn on its light to attract a female firefly. If the female firefly like it, then she will give out a faint light. Then both the firefly will get together. The male will die after it mated with a female while the female will die after it laid its eggs.

Firefly like the Berembang trees found in the mangrove area. Malaysia has a few mangrove areas where this type of tree can be found such as Bukit Belimbing and Kampung Kuantan in Kuala Selangor and in Nibong Tebal. The species found in Kampung Kuantan is 'Pteroptyx tener'. This firefly can blink its light 3 times a second.

Animals in Malaysia's Sea
Baby Hawksbill, I guess

Malaysia has many endangered sea / marine animals. To protect these sea animals, Malaysia set up many marine parks to protect their habitat. These areas are for the fishes to swim freely with humans and won't be caught by humans because humans are not allowed to catch them. For example, there are many turtles such as Hawksbill Turtle and Green Turtle. Dolphins can also be spotted off the shore of Terengganu, Pahang, Sarawak.

There are also many marine creature that are not endangered but important in Malaysia's Marine ecology. In a marine park, tourist can go scuba diving, snorkelling, do underwater photography, swimming and relax. Other activities are NOT permitted especially, destroying corals and fishes, polluting the sea like throwing rubbish or peeing into the sea, building structure in the sea and taking any thing (dead or alive) out from marine parks. Corals can be very sensitive even to a small change in chemical concentration. So, do not take anything nor put anything into the sea water.

Pulau Payar Marine Park in Kedah has 4 main island. They are Payar Island, Lembu Island, Segantang Island and Kaca Island. It has clown fish, many reef fishes and groupers. Though it may not sound interesting, but the corals has many variety of species and they are very colourful. Some corals are hard and some are soft. Langkawi is a duty-free island so after 3 days stay in Langkawi and you can buy duty-free good.
I guess its a Green Turtle

Pulau Redang Marine Park in Terengganu consist of many other small islands such as Perhentian Islands and Lang Tengah Island. The sea around Redang Island and its surrounding islands is a coral paradise. It has a variety of soft coral, mushroom corals, gorgonian sea fans, sponges, staghorn corals and many hard corals. As for its fishes, it has clownfish, parrotfish, unicornfish, angelfish, boxfish and nudibranch. Bigger fishes such as snapper can also be found. Perhentian Islands are another beautiful diving sites with colourful hard corals and reefs. Green Turtle can be spotted here. The fishes there are large angelfish, parrotfish, boxfish, manta rays, cuttlefish and moral eels. In Tenggol Island, whale sharks can be seen and around July to September and leopard sharks may be sighted too.
A starfish

Pulau Tioman Marine Park has many welknown smaller islands such as Chebeh Islands. It is a beautiful reef area with many hard corals and fishes such as parrotfish, angelfish, cuttlefish, batfish, starfish, barracuda and moral eels. Wreck sites can be found for those interested in wreck diving. Near Chebeh Island, huge gorgonian sea fans and giant manta can be seen. Tioman also has jungle trekking to Mt Kajang (1038m) and rock climbing around Mukut.

Pulau Rawa Marine Park in Johor also has many welknown islands such as Dayang Island and Aur Island. It has stingrays, pufferfish, nudibranch, pelagics and crustaceans. Those interested in wreck diving can go Aur Island which has thick corals.

Pulau Labuan Marine Park has 3 main islands. They are Rusukan Besar Island, Rusukan Kecil Island and Kuraman Island. It has many welknown wrecked ship diving sites. The sea creatures here are lionfish, angelfish, snapper and groupers.

Apart from marine parks, there are other diving sites that are not marine parks such as the Mabul Island, Sipadan Island and Kapalai Island near Semporna, Sabah. This site has been voted one of the few tops diving sites in the world. Malaysia has many beach resorts along the coastal shores of Malaysia. There are many beach resort in Penang along the popular Batu Ferringhi stretch. Tourist can try banana boat rides, canoeing, jet-skiing and pony riding. At night, there is an open air bazaar selling souvenirs, t-shirts and curios. There is a small batik factory and shop located near the Teluk Bahang area. Penang National Park is near this area and therefore tourist can enjoy the jungle nature nature too.

Apart from beaches and nature walk, tourist can go to the heart of George Town which was jointly listed with Melaka as a World Cultural Heritage cities by UNESCO. There is a stretch of clan jetties where some jetties may offer half day stay. These clan jetties are wooden houses built on stilts during the late 19th century and early 20th century. The stilts stand on muddy water in the coast. As this area is muddy and dirty, only mudskippers can be seen during low tide.

Don't forget to take the ferry across the North Channel to Butterworth in the main land and back again. On the ferry, you can enjoy the sea breeze and the view of Georgetown from the channel. The trip to and fro for a person is less than 2 ringgit. Jelly fish can be seen swimming in the muddy sea because they like dirty muddy water and they are white.

Then take trishaw rides into the small lanes of the city. There are many beautiful architecture of the Chinese Kongsi and temples apart from the many pre-war shophouses. The trishaw peddlers can wait for you while you visit the temples. Teochew temple was given an award for its conservation work by UNESCO and is located opposite Little India and just a short walking distance away from the famous Kapitan Keling Mosque.

Go to Fort Cornwallis which is located just next to the sea near esplanade. Fort Cornwallis is a national heritage site in Malaysia and it was the first place that Captain Francis Light built their place to stay in Penang. The coast here has no sandy beaches but big rocks and retaining walls blocking the waves. Sometimes people can be seen fishing there.

Apart from the coastal line of Penang, there are other beach resorts in Malaysia such as Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Desaru in Johor, Cherating 47 km north of Kuantan in Pahang, Damai Beach near Kuching in Sarawak and Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park near Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

Sea as home for Humans
In Sabah, the early Sea Bajau tribe, also known as Sea Gipsies, lived on boat throughout their whole life and went back to land only for burial, to get food and other supplies. However, now, they live mainly along the coast and islands near Semporna. Because the Sea Bajaus are good boatsmen, they have boating 'competition' yearly. This celebration is called Lepa-lepa and is usually celebrated in month of April near Semporna where they are mostly found.

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