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Malaysia’s Rainforest

A Glimpse into Malaysia’s Rainforests


Estimated at around 130 million years old and older than the Amazon jungle, Malaysia’s rainforests play host to some of the most diverse tropical ecosystems in the world. During the Ice Age, Southeast Asia’s rainforests continued to experience moist temperatures due to its geographical location. This, in turn, allowed them to develop much earlier than the tropical rainforests of Africa and South America.


Over the years, Malaysia’s rainforests have nurtured a tremendous diversity of flora and fauna and serve as the homes of countless unique mammal and bird species. Amongst these include Malayan Tigers, Proboscis Monkeys, Orang Utans, Malayan Tapirs, and Hornbills.


In fact, around two-thirds of Malaysia is covered in rainforests, which scientists estimate host around 20% of the world’s animal species. This gives Malaysia the distinction as one of 17 countries described as “mega diverse” by Conservation International.


Due to its significant topographic variations, Malaysia’s rainforests are also diverse in nature, including lowland and highland rainforests, peat swamp forests and mangrove forests amongst others.


Visitors to Malaysia’s Taman Negara or National Park are enthralled by the stunning range of biodiversity thriving there. A fun fact is that over 14,000 species of plants, 200 mammals and 240 types of trees can be found in a mere hectare of this lush rainforest!*


BanjaranTitiwangsaor the Main Range, runs along the backbone of Peninsular Malaysia and stretches 500km southwards from the Thai border. It plays a vital role in serving as water catchment areas to supply fresh water for almost 90% of the Peninsula’s water needs.


Over in East Malaysia, the famed GunungMulu National Park in Sarawak and Kinabalu National Park in Sabah have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


*Y! Travel Journal – Tue, Aug 20, 2013