Compared with East Africa or India, relatively few visitors to Malaysia take the time to explore the region’s national parks and wildlife reserves. Yet there is a great deal to see as the natural habitats of Malaysia are some of the richest on earth, home to remarkable range of animal life.
The tropical rainforests of Malaysia, dominated by gigantic trees are home to a wide range of wildlife that includes numerous species of monkey and smaller primates, such as the silvered-leaf monkey at Bukit Nanas in Langkawi and the nocturnal tarsier that is indigenous to the jungles of Sarawak. The Malayan flying squirrel leaping from branch to branch is quite the specialty here, while down on the ground there are forest elephants, rhinos, tigers, leopards, clouded leopards, honey bears and scaly ant-eaters. One of the most unusual animals is the Malayan tapir, a distant cousin of the elephant, which can be seen in parts of peninsular Malaysia.
Over 620 species of birds have been recorded just on the peninsula. The giant hornbill found in the equatorial forests is one of the more treasured sights. Other bird species include spectacular pheasants and many groups of colorful birds such as kingfishers, sunbirds, woodpeckers and barbets.
Snakes such as the cobra and the python also can be regularly seen. So are the saltwater crocodiles that are found in plenty in many rivers and coastal areas. A variety of lizards, geckos and chameleons can be seen throughout the region, as can improbably colorful tree frogs.
Malaysia is a true ecological gem, the excellent combination of sea, sun, fascinating rainforests, mysterious mangroves, birds and wildlife. So whether you are a simple tourist or an ardent naturalist, Malaysian wildlife is bound to leave an impact on you.
Note: Photos in this post have been used with written consent from Beehive Communications on behalf of Tourism Malaysia.