Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maliau Basin, The lost world of Sabah

Map Maliau Basin The lost world of sabah.

Not everyone knows or heard about Maliau Basin. Its one of the last remaining natural treasures, a saucer-shaped geological structure that spans 25 Kilometers in diameter with formidable cliffs as high as 1,700 meters. The forests within these walls are some of the oldest and untouched in all of Borneo. The highest point is thought to be Gunung Lotung (Mount Lotung) which is over 1,600 meters in elevation but has yet to be accurately surveyed. Resembling a volcanic caldera, the 25 km diameter Basin is in fact a sedimentary formation comprised mainly of gently inclined beds of sandstone and mud-stone.

Maliau Basin located in Sabah, North Borneo. It started or originating from a narrow gorge in the basin where the dark waters of the Maliau River, which eventually joins the Kinabatangan River on its long journey to the sea. An aerial view of the Maliau Basin shows a depression encircled by high cliff, which have protected the densely forested interior from any permanent human habitation or cultivation.

Flora & 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. Four dipterocarp species which mostly can be found on the Basin's outer flanks and in the valley bottoms.
Orchids are especially diverse and accessible in the heath forest and short-heath forest plateau. 
Rhododendrons flowering commonest probably being: R.bomeense, R.durianifolium R. javanicum and other various subspecies

Nepenthes plants have 9 (nine) species:
  1. Nepenthes cf mirabiles
  2. N.gracilis
  3. N.hirsuta
  4. N.lowii
  5. N.reinwardtiana
  6. N.stenophylla
  7. N.tentaculata
  8. N.veitchii
  9. N.veithchii X.N.stenophylla

Big Mammals that have been sighted in the forest reserve included:

  • red barking deer
  • Borneon yellow barking deer Sambhar
  • bearded pig
  • banteng
  • rhinos

Small mammals are:
  • monkeys
  • civets
  • rats
  • shrews
  • porcupines
  • pangolin
Of the 17 rat species in Borneo, 11 were recorded and interestingly, no squirrels were recorded.

270 bird species has been recorded, including:
  • Bulwer's Pheasant
  • Giant Pitta
  • Bathawk
  • Borneon Bristlehead
  • Eight Species of hornbills
  • 24 new species of birds
  • 5 Borneo endemic species
    and 2 migrant species

32 species from 5 families of frogs were recorded.

Other species so far been confirmed included Clouded Leopard and Malayan Sunbear, argus pheasant, silver leaf monkey, orang utan, elephants, sumatran rhino,oriental darter and peregrine falcon, seledang (tembadau) and the elusive Bay Cat.

Among the multitude of invertebrate, at least 2 species are new to science, a water beetle Neptosternus thiambooni and crab Thelphusula hulu.
Rare Rafflesia tengku-adlinii has been found in Maliau Basin
Little known Oriental bird: Bornean Bristlehead

1 comment:

  1. Wow that's amazing. Great post, very informative. Thanks.