Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tabin Wildlife

Tabin Wildlife Refuge is a nature preserve in Sabah, eastern Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. It was created in 1984 to preserve Sabah’s disappearing wild animals. Occupying a large part of the peninsula forming the northern headland of Darvel Bay, it is located 48 kilometers east of Lahad Datu.

Tabin Wildlife Reserve (TWR or Tabin) comprises a rectangular area of approximately 122,539 ha. in the centre of the Dent Peninsula, north-east of Lahad Datu town, south of the lower reaches of the Segama River and north of the Silabukan Forest Reserve. It can be reached via sealed and gravel roads from Lahad Datu in about 40 minutes. The reserve is covered with lowland dipterocarp forest. Tabin has been declared a Wildlife Reserve primarily on account of the large number of animals inhabiting its forests, some of which are highly endangered. The three largest mammals of Sabah, namely Asian Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Tembadau (Bos javanicus) are all found within the reserve; nine species of primate are present, as well as three species of cats all of which are on the protected wildlife list. Of bird species, 42 families representing 220 species have been recorded.

The land belongs to the people of Sabah. It is under government ownership and has Reserve Status. The Wildlife Department of Sabah is the custodian of the animals in the reserve. The Forestry Department of Sabah is responsible for the tress in Tabin. In 1998, the Government has privatized eco-tourism programmes for Tabin and over the last few years, increasing numbers of tourists have been coming to the reserve. Among activities permitted in the reserve are jungle trekking, wildlife viewing, photography and filming. Natural mud volcanoes are an important natural attraction for wildlife seeking salt, and these have become a bonus for visitors to see wild animals.