Gunung Mulu National Park
Gunung Mulu National Park
Natural Malaysia Asia And The Pacific Northern Sarawak, Island Of Borneo

Gunung Mulu National Park on the island of Borneo protects a wide range of natural phenomena. With an altitudinal range from 28m above sea level to the 2,377 m summit of Gunung Mulu, the park has 17 vegetation zones, primarily lowland rainforest (40% of the area) and montane rainforest (20% of the area). Some 3,500 species of vascular plants have been recorded including a high number of endemics found on limestone substrates. The park is considered to be one of the richest sites in the world for palms with 109 species of 20 genera identified. 80 species of mammal and 270 species of bird (including 24 Borneon endemics) have been recorded. The cave fauna, including many trogloditic species, number over 200. The area also has many species of reptile (55), amphibian (76), fish (48) and invertebrate (more than 20,000). The park also supports huge bat colonies (3 million wrinkled-lipped freetail bats inhabit Deer Cave alone) and cave swiflets (several million in one cave).

The park is not only important for this high biodiversity but also for its karst features. There are at least 295 km of explored caves including some of the largest in the world. A range of cave types at different levels exist due to uplift during the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene. The caves, concentrated in the Melinau limestone formation and on Gunung Api, are estimated to be at least 2-3 million years old. Sarawak Chamber, which is 600 m by 415 m and 80 m high, is the largest known cave chamber in the world. There are some exceptional decorated speleothems with spectacular examples of argonite and calcite needles. Another outstanding karst feature in Gunung Mulu National Park is the 'pinnacles', 50 m high sharp blades of rock that project through the rainforest canopy.

In sum, the park protects a substantial area of Borneo's primary tropical forest containing a high diversity of biota including many Borneon endemics and threatened species. The site also has a high concentration of large cave passages and chambers which in turn provide a major wildlife spectacle in terms of millions of cave swiftlets and bats. The area is roadless and has no permanent residents. Local Penans retain traditional hunting rights within the park.