Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Borneo's remaining rainforests

Sunrise over the rain forest in Danum Valley, Sabah

The majesty of Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world, split between Maylasia, Indonesia and Brunei, an island right on the equator, and a perfect condition for rain forest with it's endemic amazing flora and fauna. Borneo has one of two natural habitat for the orangutan, the Mountain Mount Kinabalu is protected as Kinabalu National park and are one of the worlds hotspot in species diversity, Borneo have their own small elephant, the (Bornean) Asian elephant, famous for its aggressive temper, here thrive the carnivorous plants in the genus Nephenthes, huge butterflies and huntsman spiders (family Sparassidae).

The huge butterfly of 20 cm in wingspan appeared at the island where we snorkel to see the coral reefs outside Kota kinabalu.The monkey sat in Bako national park, an intresting place, with mangrove, limestone flora and rainforest, side by side. We meet mr bearded pig for the first time and two species of small monkeys, all of them thieves and we saw the endemic proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus, not in picture), famous for its strange hanging nose and very red but small penis. My favorite animal the Slow lori (genus Nycticebus) also lives here, but too shy to wanna show up.

Baby in the mangrove, Bako National Park
Huge butterfly at the island Pulau Mamutik
outside Kota Kinabalu

Genus Nephenthes, Bako National park.

Bornean horned frog, Megophrys nasuta,
Danum Valley Borneo

Deforestation because of palm oil.

Image originally from treehugger.com

The deforestation of Borneo is fast and much. At the bus from Mount Kinabalu to Danum Valley, approximately 6 hours, oil palms, oil palms and oil.. Borneo's rain forest have decreased by almost half . Instead, 1.8 million hectare of oil palm plantation.Under the trees its just soil- nothing else can grow here.

Here it is, a plant of an oil palm
Oil palm monocrops in Sabah, Borneo.

The fruit of the oil palm can be used for a lot of things, frying oil especially in Asia and in oil, butter, candies, cookies, potato chips and cosmetics all over the world. Plans, we heard was to make one of the world's largest ethanol plant for car use. I don't know what happened from 2007 to now, except that we in the North countries didn't like that fuel to much..

And we meet the truck. Bye bye forest.

Most tedious, this is not the only rain forest which is disappearing. Same trend can be found in the forest of Amazon, Madagascar and all other places where rain forest thrive. Were we saw green viper snakes, huge spiders and funny bugs, where I ran in the rain forest when the rain came, barefoot and where the clouds are so low and the trees so high so they can touch the tree canopy, is diapering more rapidly everyday because of the fact that we want junk food, and junk lifestyles.

Deforestation in Bolivia (found at the web. all other pictures was taken on the trip by me)

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