Terrestrial Life at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park


Only Pulau Gaya has undisturbed coastal dipterocarp forest and mangrove swamps. Here in the tropical lowland forest, figs - including strangling varieties - provide food for birds and monkeys. Lush growths of false bracken fern line the trails. Mangroves play a vital role in preventing coastal erosion and as breeeding grounds for marine life. Much of the original vegetation on the other islands has been replaced by secondary forest. The shoreline vegetation shares similarities with those of other Pacific islands. Pine-like aru and pandan are common. In more exposed areas, primitive cycads cling to rocky cliffs while twisted sea teak trees line the outcrops, stunted by strong winds.


Fauna includes variety of birds and small mammals. Among feathered species recorded are the white bellied sea eagle, the pied hornbill, the green heron, sandpipers, flycatchers and sunbirds. Wood swallows, pigeons and other fruit eaters are occasional visitors. Flocks of migrant wading birds and Great Crested Terns are also seen. Insects including butterflies and cicadas are common. Land animals include long- tailed macaques, monitor lizards, bearded pigs and pangolins.