Mammals of Borneo

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The mammal species of Borneo include 288 species of terrestrial and 91 species of marine mammals recorded within the territorial boundaries of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. The terrestrial mammals are dominated by the chiroptera (102 species of bats) and rodents (61 species of rats and mice).


The high diversity and endemicity of mammals is related to the many niches found in the tropical rain forest of Borneo and past Pleistocene events within the Sundaland region. During interglacial and post-glacial periods, there was migration of animal from the Asian mainland into Borneo and into Sulawesi via the Philippines. Due to lack of favourable habitats and small founder population, some species of animals have become extinct and others have radiated into endemic species. For example, in Holocene times, ancient pangolin (Manis palaeojavanica), panther (Panthera sp) and tapir (Tapirus indicus) became locally extinct in Borneo. Of the 57 mammal species that were identified from archaeological remains in the Niah Caves, Sarawak, 13 were bats. Four of these were megachiropterans, Pteropus vampyrus, Rousettus amplexicaudatus, Rousettus sp and Eonycteris spelaea, all of which remain extant species in Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia. The provisional list of mammals of Borneo (sensu Lord Medway, Payne et al., Corbet and Hill, Koopman, and Wilson and Reeder) are listed in the table below. There are various conflicts in the taxonomic lists by previous authors, which need further field research for validation.

Taxonomic list[edit]

The following list gives the scientific name followed by the common names, description, ecology, conservation and distribution information.

Order: Erinaceomorpha[edit]

  • Echinosorex gymnura: Moonrat. Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan.
  • Hylomys suillus: Lesser gymnure. China, Myanmar, Indochina, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

Order: Soricomorpha[edit]

  • Suncus murinus: House shrew. Africa, Asia, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan.
  • Suncus ater: Black shrew. Endemic to Borneo; known only from Gunung Kinabalu
  • Suncus etruscus: Savi's pigmy shrew. Europe, Africa, Asia; Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.
  • Crocidura monticola: Sunda shrew. Java, Lombok, Sumba and Flores; Malay Peninsula, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan.
  • Crocidura fuliginosa: South-east Asia white-toothed shrew. India, Indochina, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan.
  • Chimarrogale himalayica: Himalayan water shrew. Himalaya, south China, Southeast Asia, Japan, Sumatra and Sabah.

Order: Scandentia[edit]

Order: Dermoptera[edit]

Order: Chiroptera[edit]

Rhinolophus arcuatus is rare in Borneo
Hipposideros ridleyi, also known as Ridley's roundleaf

Order: Primates[edit]

Tarsius bancanus in Sarawak is a protected species

Order: Pholidota[edit]

Order: Rodentia[edit]

Order: Cetacea[edit]

Order: Carnivora[edit]

Order: Sirenia[edit]

Order: Proboscidea[edit]

Order: Perissodactyla[edit]

  • Dicerorhinus sumatrensis Sumatran rhinoceros. Extinct in Brunei, probably extinct in Sarawak and Kalimantan. Found only in eastern Sabah.[1]

Order: Artiodactyla[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ van Strien, N.J., Manullang, B., Sectionov, Isnan, W., Khan, M.K.M, Sumardja, E., Ellis, S., Han, K.H., Boeadi, Payne, J. & Bradley Martin, E. (2008). "Dicerorhinus sumatrensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Timmins, R.J., Duckworth, J.W., Hedges, S., Steinmetz, R. & Pattanavibool, A. (2008). Bos javanicus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 19 April 2011. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of endangered.

External links[edit]