Thursday, November 23, 2006

Forests of Borneo & Mt. Kinabalu

In case you don't know, Borneo is primarily mountainous, with dense areas of rain forest mainly in Sarawak. The highest peak in Borneo, Mt. Kinabalu, stands at 13,455 ft. That's in Sabah. With a generally hot, wet climate, rain is more common than not, with some portions of Borneo receiving between 150 and 200 inches of rainfall annually. Between October and March, monsoons buffet the island. Given the abundance of rainfall, it makes sense that Borneo's flora is among the most diverse in the world. Borneo has nearly 11,000 species of flowering plants, about a third of which are indigenous. How dense is the vegetation? In one 16 acre area of Borneo's lowland forest, over 700 species of trees have been recorded. In comparison, there are only 171 native tree species in all of eastern North America. That's enough to tell you that to be lost in Borneo jungles would really give even the most experienced of trackers a hell of a hard time.

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