Saturday, 26 June 2010

Borneo: The Centre Of Evolution

Borneo At A Glance...
• Average Temperature: Lowlands- 32 degrees Centigrade
                                        Highlands- 21 degrees Centigrade

• There are 7 distinct eco-regions found in Borneo- lowland rainforests, peat swamp forests, Kerangas or Sundaland heath forests, freshwater swamp forests, Sunda Shelf mangroves, mountain rain forests, and even alpine meadows.

• Currency: Malaysia- Malaysian Ringgit
                    Brunei- Brunei Dollar
                    Indonesia- Indonesian Rupiah
• Time Difference: Standard Malaysian Time is 7 hours ahead of BST

The Place...
• Located on the Equator, Borneo is the third largest island in the world (after Greenland and New Guinea) covering an area slightly larger than Texas.

• Borneo is divided into 3 countries- Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia.

• These countries harbour some of the world’s most diverse rainforests and Southeast Asia’s last intact forests.

• Raleigh has been continually working in Sabah (a state within Malaysian Borneo) for the last 8 years.

• Sabah has it all, from the world’s largest flower - the Rafflesia growing up to 1 meter across, one of the highest mountains is South East Asia - Mount Kinabalu, to one of the world’s top dive sites - Sipadan Island.

The People...
• The cultural diversity of Borneo is as distinct and varied as its plant life.

• There are currently 32 officially recognized ethnic groups in Sabah alone.

• The people of Sabah are known as Sabahans.

The Species...
• Endangered species such as rhinos, orangutans and elephants can all be spotted in Borneo.

• It is also home to lesser-known marvels like the proboscis monkey, sun bear, clouded leopard, and flying fox bat.

Proboscis Monkey

Sun Bear

Clouded leopard

Flying Fox Bat

• Believe it or not there are 639 species of ants, 394 species of freshwater fish, 105 species of lizards, 600 species of birds, 102 species of bats, and 61 species of rats and mice.

• Slightly unnervingly, Borneo is also home to the largest snake in the world- a python which can grow up to 10 meters long!

• Borneo is conservatively estimated to contain 15,000 plant species (of which 6,000 occur only here), with many more species yet to be discovered.

• For the last 10 years, 3 new species have been discovered each month, month after month.

• Surveys have found more than 700 species of trees in a 10 hectare plot — a number equal to the total number of trees in Canada and the United States combined.

Did You Watch...
Survivor- a hit TV show filmed on the remote Malaysian island of Pulau Tiga in Sabah. 16 contestants were marooned on the island for 6 weeks where they had to complete an array of tasks and challenges in order to 'survive'. The finale of Survivor was watched by 51.7 million viewers, the second-highest viewership of any American television episode (exceeded only by the finale of Friends).

Expedition Borneo- a 5 part BBC documentary in which a team of scientists, climbers and wildlife filmmakers journeyed deep into the heart of Borneo to uncover the lost world of jungles, mountains and ravines. During the Expedition the team discovered over 1000 species - many of which were never recorded from this area before.


Peter (penguin) C said...

Loving the blog and the projects all sound fantastic. All the best to Abby and Balders and the rest of you. Roll on September for my turn to join you.

Anonymous said...

639 different species of ants!...nice,loving the Borneo facts!

Jodal Wright said...

Andy C!!!!! I AM SO JEALOUS!! It looks absolutely incredible and I bet you guys are having the time of your life. Don't get sucked by too many leeches...miss you! xx