The island Borneo is home to a number of endemic species which attract attention due to their unusual looks. Think only of pygmy elephants, bay cats, Hose's palm civet, and of course, proboscis monkeys.
Proboscis monkeys are also called bekantan in the local dialect. They are on the red list of threatened species, but fortunately it is still easy to find them if you are looking in a right place. They are famous mostly because of a huge nose, which symbolises the maturity of a male.
Proboscis monkeys can be found in mangrove forests, lowlands, and around swamps. In Sabah you can visit Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. In Sarawak the best place in Baku National Park. In Brunei you need to take a boat tour along the Brunei River or Tutong River to meet these unusual primates.
Also, it is recommended to look for Proboscis monkeys in the early morning or at dusk.
What is the best time to spot Proboscis monkeys in Borneo?
Proboscis monkeys are mostly active during the early morning and dusk periods in Borneo due to their eating habits and the high temperatures and humidity during the afternoon. They prefer to eat leaves, which they carefully choose, during these periods. Hence, it is best to plan a visit to observe them during these hours. Show more
Where can I find Proboscis monkeys in Sabah and Sarawak?
Proboscis monkeys can be observed at the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and the lower Kinabatangan River areas in Sabah. In Sarawak, Bako National Park is ideal for spotting them. Additionally, one could explore mangrove forests, lowlands, or swamp areas of both states. These regions are suitable habitats for Proboscis monkeys. Show more
How are Proboscis monkeys distinct from other primates in Borneo?
The physical appearance of Proboscis monkeys is distinct from other primates in Borneo. Their most notable feature is their long nose, but they also have a unique body shape and color. They have high stomachs and long limbs that enable them to move efficiently on the ground and in the trees. Besides, their digestive system is specialized to process their preferred diet of leaves and unripe fruit, which can take up to 80 hours to digest. Show more
What are the other interesting endemic species in Borneo besides Proboscis monkeys?
Borneo is home to many endemic species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. One of the most renowned is the pygmy elephant, while other rare mammals such as bay cats, Hose's palm civet, and flat-headed cats are also found only on the island. Furthermore, Borneo is the only natural habitat of the orangutan. Show more