Pteromyscus pulverulentus

Mammals of Borneo

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 anteater (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

The following list gives the scientific name followed by the common names and distribution information.

Order: Insectivora

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

Order: Scandentia

Order: Dermoptera

Order: Chiroptera

Order: Primates

Order: Pholidota

Order: Rodentia

Order: Cetacea

Order: Carnivora

Order: Unicornia

Order: Sirenia

Order: Proboscidea

Order: Perissodactyla

Order: Artiodactyla

Selected bibliography

  • Abdullah MT, Rahman MA, Hall LS. 1996. New records for bats in Sarawak, Malaysia. Malayan Nature Journal 50:365-367.
  • Abdullah MT, Siswanto H, Widiyanto A, Setiabudi A, Firmansyah. 1997. Abdundance, diversity and distributional records of bats in disturbed habitats in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia. Sarawak Museum Journal 72:75-84.
  • Abdullah MT, Moritz C, Grigg GC., Hall LS. 2000. Evidence of cryptic species within Cynopterus brachyotis by using mtDNA sequence. In Yaacob Z, Moo-Tan S, Yorath S (eds) In situ and ex situ Biodiversity Conservation. Yayasan Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
  • Andersen K. 1912. Catalogue of the chiroptera in the collection of the British Museum. Second edition, British Museum of Natural History.
  • Bank E. 1981. More mammals from Borneo. Brunei Museum Journal 4(4): 262-273.
  • Campbell, P., C. J. Schneider, et al. 2004. Phylogeny and phylogeography of Old World fruit bats in the Cynopterus brachyotis complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
  • Corbet GB, Hill JE. 1992. The mammals of the Indomalayan region: a systematic review. Oxford University Press.
  • Davis DD. 1958. Mammals of the Kelabit Plateau north Sarawak. Fieldiana Zoology 39(15):119-147.
  • Hall LS, Gordon G. Grigg, Craig Moritz, Besar Ketol, Isa Sait, Wahab Marni and MT Abdullah. 2004. Biogeography of fruit bats in Southeast Asia. Sarawak Museum Journal 80:191-284.
  • Hanzebroek HP, Abang Kasim bin Abang Morshidi. 2000. National Parks of Sarawak. Natural History Publication (Borneo) Kota Kinabalu.
  • Findley JS. 1993. Bats: a community perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Francis CM. 1990. Trophic structure of bat communities in the understorey of lowland dipterocarp rain forest in Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Ecology 6:421-431.
  • Ghazally Ismail et al. (eds.).1996-2001. Scientific Journey Through Borneo Series. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan.
  • Groves CP. 1985. Plio-Pleistocene mammals in island southeast Asia. Modern Quaternary Research in South East Asia 9:43-55.
  • Hall L. 1996. Observation on bats in Gua Payau (Deer Cave), Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal 72:111-124.
  • Hall LS, Abdullah MT. 1998. Bagging bats in Borneo. Geo 20(2): 9-10.
  • Hall LS, Richards GC, Abdullah MT. 2002. The bats of Niah National Park, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal. 78: 255-282.
  • Hall LS, Gordon G. Grigg, Craig Moritz, Besar Ketol, Isa Sait, Wahab Marni, Abdullah MT. 2004. Biogeography of fruit bats in Southeast Asia. Sarawak Museum Journal 80:191-284.
  • Hill JE. 1983. Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from Indo-Australia. Bulletin British Museum of Natural History (Zoology) 45(3):103-208.
  • Hollar LJ, Springer MS. 1997. Old world fruitbat phylogeny: evidence for convergent evolution and an endemic African clade. Proceeding of National Academy of Science, USA. 94:5716-5721.
  • Ingle NR, Heaney LR. 1992. A key to the bats of the Philippine islands. Fieldiana Zoology 69:1-44.
  • IUCN 2006. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Accessed on 01 October 2006.
  • Kitchener DJ, Maharadatunkamsi. 1991. Description of a new species of Cynopterus (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) from Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Research Western Australian Museum 15(2):307-363.
  • Kitchener DJ, Maharadatunkamsi. 1996. Geographic variation in morphology of Cynopterus nusatenggara (Chiroptera, Pteropodidae) in southeastern Indonesia, and description of two new subspecies. Mammalia, 60(2):255-276.
  • Kofron CP. 1997. Reproduction of two species of congeneric fruit bats (Cynopterus) in Brunei, Borneo. Journal of Zoology London 243:485-506.
  • Koopman KF. 1989. Distribution patterns of Indo-Malayan bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera). American Museum Novitates 2942:1-19.
  • Koopmans BN, Stauffer PH. 1968. Glacial phenomena on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah. Malaysian Geological Survey Bulletin 8: 25-35.
  • Kumaran JV., C.J. Laman, MT. Abdullah. 2004. Morphological variation in the genus Cynopterus of Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. Regional Conference on Environmental and Ecological Modeling, School of Mathematical Sciences and School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia on the 15-16 September 2004.
  • Leh, C., 1993. Borneon Bay Cat Rediscovered. Sarawak Gazette. Cxx:1523.
  • Lim BL. 1965. Food and weight of small animals from First Division, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal, 12:360-372.
  • Lim BL, Chai KS, Muul I. 1972. Notes on the food habit of bats from the Fourth Division, Sarawak with special reference to a new record of Borneon Bat. Sarawak Museum Journal 20:351-357.
  • Lim BL, Muul I. 1978. Small mammals. Pp 403-457, In Kinabalu Summit of Borneo. Luping DM, Wen C, Dingley ER, (eds) Sabah: The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu.
  • MacKinnon K, Hatta G, Halim H, Mangalik A.1998. The ecology of Kalimantan. Oxford University Press, London.
  • Mayr. E. 1944. Wallace’s line in the light of recent zoological studies. Quarterly Review of Biology 19:1-14.
  • Medway L. 1971. The Quanternary mammals of Malesia: a review. In Quanternary era in Malaysia. P. Ashton and M. Ashton (eds).
  • Medway L. 1977. Mammals of Borneo: field keys and an annotated checklist. Monographs of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society No.7. Kuala Lumpur.
  • Medway L. 1978. The wild mammals of Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) and Singapore. Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur.
  • Mickleburg SP, Hutson AM, Racey PA. 1992. Old world fruit bats: an action plan for their conservation. IUCN/FFPS/ZSL/WWF/JWPT/NWF/Sultanate of Oman.
  • Mohd. Azlan J., Ibnu Maryanto , Agus P. Kartono and MT Abdullah. 2003 Diversity, Relative Abundance and Conservation of Chiropterans in Kayan Mentarang National Park, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Sarawak Museum Journal 79: 251-265.
  • Nor SM. 1996. The mammalian fauna on the islands at the northern tip of Sabah, Borneo. Fieldiana Zoology 83:1-51.
  • Nor SM. 1997. An elevation transect study of small mammal on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. PhD thesis, University of Illinois, Chicago.
  • Payne J, Sahat MJH. 1987. Brunei Darussalam mammal records. Brunei Museum Journal 6: 104-120.
  • Payne J, Francis CM, Phillipps K. 1985. A field guide to the mammals of Borneo. Sabah Society and World Wildlife Fund Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu.
  • Reinhold L. 1997. Taxonomy of bent-winged bats (genus Miniopterus) in northern Australia and New Guinea. BSc (Hon) thesis, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia.
  • Richard PW. 1952. The tropical rain forest. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Salleh MA, Sim UH, Rahman MA, Abdullah MT. 1998. Isolation of genomic DNA from fruit bats for DNA archiving and determination of genetic variation. In A Scientific Journey Through Borneo: Bario. G. Ismail & LB Din (eds.) pp231-240. Pelanduk Publications, Kuala Lumpur.
  • Schmitt LH, Kitchener DJ, How RA. 1995. A genetic perspective of mammalian variation and evolution in the Indonesian archipelago: biogeographic correlates in the fruit bat genus Cynopterus. Evolution 49(3):399-412.
  • Start AN. 1974. The feeding biology in relation to food sources of nectarivorous bats (Chiroptera: Macroglossinae) in Malaysia. PhD thesis. University of Aberdeen.
  • Storz, J. F., H. R. Bhat, and T. H. Kunz. 2001. Genetic consequences of polygyny and social structure in an Indian fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx, I. Inbreeding, outbreeding, and population subdivision. Evolution, 55: 1215-1223.
  • Tuen, AA. Abdullah MT, Laman CJ, Rahman MA, Hang ESU, Ketol B, Sait I & Marni W. 2002. Mammals of Balambangan Island, Sabah. Journal of Wildlife and Parks 20:75-82.
  • Wong KM, Chan CL. 1998. Mt Kinabalu: Borneo's Magic Mountain. Natural History Publication, Kota Kinabalu.
  • Wallace AR. 1860. On the geography of the Malay Archipelago. Proceedings of the Linnean Society 4: 173-184.
  • Wallace AR 1896. The Malay Archipelago. Oxford University Press.
  • Whitmore TC. 1981. Wallace’s line and plate tectonic. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
  • Whitmore TC. 1985. Tropical rain forest of the far east. Claredon Press, Oxford.
  • Whitmore TC. 1987. Biogeographical evolution of the Malay archipelago. Clarendon Press, London.
  • Wilson DE, Reeder DM. 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographical reference. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.
  • Yasuma S, Andau M. 2000. Mammals of Sabah.

See also

External links

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