wildlife,  NATURE,  Environment,  PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS


Taman Negara (literally "National Park") is acknowledged as the oldest rainforest in the world - intact for 135 million years.  Situated in the centre of the Malay peninsula, it covers an immense 4300 square kilometres.  Home to 250 bird species and 200 mammal species.  You will hopefully see monkeys, gibbons, wildboar, deer (Sambar, Barking, Mouse), Malayan Tapir, Sun Bear and maybe even a Sumatran Rhino, Clouded Leopard, Elephant or Tiger.  There is also, as you may expect, an immense variety of plant and insect life, much of which will be little known to science.  Like many rainforests in SE Asia, it has an annual rainfall of over 2 metres!

My visit was in 2003 at the end of a long photo assignment with conservation group Coral Cay.  Their research was being undertaken on the small Parentian Islands off the east coast of Malaysia.   Here, the forest is largely intact, although disturbance from a growing tourist industry (diving) is a possible threat to some of the endemic subspecies of wildlife.


Taman negara transport  (S)



Spectacled leaf monkey  (S)

Trachypithecus obscurus

Also known as the Dusky Langur its preferred habitat is primary rainforest. Photographed on the Parentian Islands.  It feeds mainly on leaves which it breaks down using a specialised stomach and enlarged salivary glands.


Sunda flying lemur or colugo (S)

Galeopterus variegatus

A strange denizen of the forest canopy.  One of only two types of flying lemur in the world.  Strictly, they glide from tree to tree in search of fresh leaves, flowers and fruit.  Would have loved to have photographed it actually flying, but here it has just landed.  They are normally nocturnal or crepuscular.








Sun bear  (S)


Helarctos malayanus



The often nocturnal Sun Bear stands approximately 4 ft (1.2 m) in length, making it the smallest member in the bear family. Its sickle shaped claws help it to defend itself against tigers as well as to climb trees - some learning to raid coconut and cocoa farms.  Its diet is primarily honey, insects and small mammals and birds.   The males (above) are slightly larger than females (below).   Also found in Sumatra, Borneo and Java.






Leopard cat  (S)

Prionailurus bengalensis

A rare sighting of a small beautiful carnivore about the size of a domestic cat.  Not especially threatened.






Ghost crab  (S)

A widespread crustacean found on the mangrove swamps and beaches of South East Asia.





Another common but more bizarre resident of mangrove swamps.




Water monitor lizard  (S)

 Varanus salvator

Common along rivers and lakes.  It may be that this family of Reptilians can create embryos without fertilization (parthenogenesis or asexual reproduction).  This species grows up to 3 metres long and is the second largest lizard in the world after the Komodo Dragon.  Surely also related to the crocodiles as this photo suggests.






Flying lizard  (S)

Draco spp

A famous Draco (or Dragon) species that inhabits a wide region.  Like the Colugo, it is an animal that has developed a gliding technique to move between trees by use of an expanding flap that sticks out from its belly.





Plantain tree squirrel  (S)




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