Primates on the Kinbatangan

The Kinabatangan River is home to ten species of Primate, one of only two places where this many species live together. Sadly while there I did not see all of those species but I did have the pleasure to see the wonderful and unique Bornean Orangutan which is very difficult to see in the wild, but on the Kinabatangan it is possible. Other notable species are the endemic Proboscis Monkey, Silver Leaf monkey and also the Red Leaf monkey. 

Wild Bornean Orangutan

A trip along the river in the morning often brought with it sightings of several species of primate but the best time to see them was always in the evening as they returned to the trees along the river to find somewhere to sleep. They usually head into the forest during the day and return before dark. The river gives some escape options if there is a predator in the trees but I'm not sure jumping into crocodile filled waters is my idea of a great escape plan. 

 Long-tailed Macaque 

Long-tailed Macaque 

Something which is commonly seen on the smaller tributaries off the Kinabatangan are the rope bridges designed to allow Orangutans to cross the river. The Orangutans are unlike other primates and are unable to jump which necessitates the building of these bridges to help them move between the fragmented patches of forest along the river. Although the other primates are capable of jumping between trees they often take the easier option and use these bridges too. This can lead to comical balancing acts on the high wire above the river.

Silver Leaf Monkey

Male Proboscis Monkey crossing an Orangutan Bridge

Despite the fragmented forests the primates appear to be surviving and adapting to life along the river. This can be seen in recent camera trap photos on Mongabay which show numerous species caught on camera. Hopefully the reamaining forests can be protected and increased to provide corridors between fragmented sections to ensure the animals survival along the river. 

A Silver Leaf Monkey meets a large male Proboscis Monkey on an Orangutan Bridge

The fruit from the Oil Palm trees being transported from the plantations along the Kinabatangan

Bornean Orangutan

More photos from the Kinabatangan can be found in the Kinabatangan Gallery page.