Borneo has lured scientists and adventurers for over 150 years, and has played a key role in the discovery of evolution. Alfred Russel Wallace's theories of natural selection were inspired by his travels on the island in the 19th century. Since that time, scientists have busied themselves discovering and naming new species, and the latest research suggests that they will continue doing so for decades to come - if the forests are not wiped out by deforestation.
You cannot help but be captivated by the wonderful diversity of plant and wildlife to be found. Borneo is conservatively estimated to hold 222 mammals (including 44 endemic – not found anywhere else in the world), 420 resident birds (37 endemic), 100 amphibians and 394 fish (19 endemic). At least 15,000 plants, of which 6,000 are found nowhere else in the world, grace the swamps, mangroves, and lowland and montane forests of the island.
These numbers sound impressive, but how impressive are they really? Surveys have found more than 700 species of trees in a 10 hectare plot of Borneo’s rainforest. This equals the total number of tree species in Canada and the U.S. combined! In addition over 1,000 species of insect have been found in just 1 Dipterocarp tree in the heart of Borneo. Now that’s impressive.
Not only is the Island blessed with a plethora of terrestrial biodiversity, but its eastern seaboard abuts the coral triangle, the centre of marine biodiversity of our planet. Home to more than 3,000 species of fish and over 600 species of hard coral.