Books  Regional Natural History  Natural History of Asia-Pacific 


Art / Photobook

By: Antony van der Ent(Author)

152 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations

Natural History Publications Borneo

Hardback | Apr 2013 | #206900 | ISBN-13: 9789838121422
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £94.99 $122/€103 approx

About this book

“The people of Sabah possesses on this famous mountain of what I believe is the most richest and most remarkable assemblage of plants in the world. There is no other place in the world that supplies in so short a journey such a stupendous transect of plant-life [...] conclude that, if ever there was a nexus of natural phenomena demanding biological research, it is around Kinabalu.”
– Professor John Corner, Royal Society Expeditions 1961 and 1964

Mount Kinabalu (4,095 m) in the East Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and the mountains of New Guinea, as well as the most biodiverse place on earth for its size with an unparalleled ecology with many endemic species. Scientific research undertaken over the last 160 years has recorded over 5,500 plant species comprising over 200 plant families in an area roughly 30 × 40 km in size, making it truly a ‘pinnacle of biodiversity’.

Mount Kinabalu also has the richest orchid flora in the world. Half of all Borneo’s birds, mammals, reptilian species and amphibian species including many rare and endangered species occur on Mount Kinabalu; these include approximately 90 species of lowland mammals and 22 montane mammal species and 326 bird species. The Park was established in 1964, and includes Mount Kinabalu, and the little-known Mount Tambuyukon (2,579 m), the highest ultramafic mountain in Asia. As a World Heritage Site, Kinabalu Park is also the most important tourism ‘hotspot’ in Sabah with close to 500,000 visitors annually, of whom about 10% make it to the highest point in Borneo, a tough 2-day climb.


Preface 1
Introduction 2
The Park 4
Climbing the Mountain Nowadays 9
Mountain Guides 16
Mountain Huts 18
Bowen’s Route and Kotal’s Route 20
The Summit Plateaus 25
Miniangkap Route 33
Mount Tambuyukon 36
The History & Folklore 43
The Sandakan Death Marches 46
A Short History of Scientific Collecting on Mount Kinabalu 48
Folklore 53
Rituals and the Sacrificial Pool 56
Local Names and Places 58
The Mythical Lake and Dragon at the Summit 59
The Mountain 60
The Western Summit Plateau and Low’s Peak 62
The Eastern Summit Plateau 72
Mountain of Mist and Rain 85
Low’s Gully 87
Glaciers and what they left behind 88
Easy Valley and Lone Tree 89
North Ridge 94
Pinosuk Plateau 96
Marai Parai 98
Mount Tambuyukon and Mount Nambuyukon 100
Waterfalls and Raging Mountain Streams 106
The Biodiversity 111
Vegetation Zones on the Mountain 115
The Lowland Rainforest 118
The Lower Montane Forest 119
The Upper Montane Forest 120
‘Mossy’ Forest 121
Ultramafic Vegetation 122
Sub-alpine Plants 129
Pitcher Plants 130
Orchids 135
Rhododendrons 141
Rafflesia 142
Ferns and Mosses 144
Tropical Conifers 144
Wildlife of the Rainforest 145
Birds 147
Giant Blue Worms and Kinabalu Giant Leech 147
Consulted sources and further reading 148
Acknowledgments 149
Index 150

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