Highlights from the Borneo at Night Tour

13th Dec 2019

Borneo Leopard Cat © Ian Green

An amazing trip for Mammals. We saw no less than fifty species and only five of them were bats! There were several major highlights. Perhaps first has to be the Flat-headed Cat which gave away its presence by pouncing on something at the water’s edge and then we had a few minutes with this chubby little character as it washed it face and then sauntered off.

We also saw the Chubby of the Civet world – the extraordinary Otter-Civet. This rarely seen animal was found at Imbak where they had never been recorded before. It was one of 6 civet species seen. Aside from the three commoner species 5 Binturongs, including a mother with two half-grown babies, and no less than five separate sightings of the beautiful and usually scarce Banded Civet. Leopard Cats were common at Deramakot, with twenty five seen. I’ll never forget the image seen through the thermal of one getting up and walking away and there were three little lumps of light – tiny kittens! Really uncommonly seen animals were really the order of the tour and reflected the hard work Mike in particular put into finding them. A Moonrat, a Long-tailed Porcupine, a Yellow-throated Martin and two Smooth Otters. We had lots of Colugo sightings, night and day, including an orange one, and amazingly managed to see Slow Loris on thirteen out of fourteen nights. Four species of Flying squirrel and large numbers too and of course great daytime primates with brilliant encounters with Orang-utans. We missed Elephant which was a disappointment and we would have loved to see either of Marbled Cat or Bornean Clouded Leopard too. We got close to the latter driving past tracks that hadn’t been there when we drove along two hours earlier! There were many other highlights too. The superb Reticulated Python and huge Estuarine Crocodiles at Sukau and Mike pulling out snake sightings everywhere! Birdwings, flying frogs, flying lizards, crazy insects and of course the magnificent huge rainforest trees of Borneo. Three times more carbon per hectare than the Amazon – not surprising given how tall they are. Birds- well we were only looking incidentally but some great stuff including all the Bornean species of hornbill in one trip! Can’t wait for another go at the nights in Borneo!