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Protected Animals in

Brunei Darussalam





    This site aims at introducing protected animals in Brunei Darussalam and, hopefully, raise the awareness of the people. It is believed that more than half of the population in the country are unaware of the existence of these animals. Conservation of endangered animals has been a global issue since last century. Due to drastic human population growth and other commercial activities, many animals have become endangered, if they have not extinct yet. Many countries in the world today are active in promoting the conservation of biodiversity.

     Brunei Darussalam is blessed to be located in the equatorial region, termed a hotspot for biodiversity. In other words, there are a rich variety of flora and fauna found in our local forest. Furthermore, about 80% of the forested land are still retained. This helps to preserve the living environment of any wildlife species in the area, increasing their chances of survival. Like other countries in the world, Brunei is keen in protecting its wildlife from extinction. In 1978, the Wildlife Protection Act was included in the country's legislation, specifying that any person found guilty for exporting endangered animals would be put to prison for 1 year and fined for B$2,000. In addition to that, Brunei had been a party of CITES since 1990.  

       Judging from the IUCN Red List, it is fortunate that there is no extinct animals in Brunei. However, some of the animal species in Brunei have fallen into the categories:

- Critically Endangered

- Endangered


Interested to know what the Brunei's government has done??




Animals classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as listed on Appendix I of CITES:


- Siamese crocodile

- Sumatran rhinoceros

- Painted batagar (terrapin)



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  Siamese crocodile:

 Species name: Crocodylus (Greek: Pebble worm) siamensis

 Also known as: Siamese freshwater crocodile, 'Buaya kodok'


Characteristics: A small, freshwater crocodilian with broad and smooth snout.


Location: Borneo, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam


Feeding habit: Mostly fish, some amphibians, birds (carrion), and small mammals


Breeding: Matures at 10 years old, and can lay 20 to 50 eggs in each nest with eggs hatching after 80 days

  Threats: These include loss of habitat (land for agricultural use) and poaching for their skin. Current population estimated at 5,000 but it is fast declining

Conservation measure: Strategies implemented to protect this species include extensive breeding in captivity, steps in managing their commercial use and proper agricultural planning


Sources: Crocodilian Species - Siamese Crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis), 2005


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 Sumatran rhinoceros:

 Species name: Dicerorhinus (2 horn-nose) sumatrensis

 Also known as: Hairy rhinoceros, Asian two-horned rhinoceros


Characteristics: Smallest living rhinoceros, weighing 600-800 kg and about 8 to 8.5 feet in length and 3 - 5 ft (1.0 -1.5m) tall. Both male and female rhinos have 2 horns. The bigger of the two horns is the front one, about 15 to 20 inches. Armor-plated look due to presence of folds at various parts of the body including neck, fore and hind limbs


Location: Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Malay peninsula rainforests, North Borneo


Breeding: Females attain maturity at 4 years and males at 7 years. It can give birth to one young each time with a gestation period of 400 days.


 Conservation status: On IUCN's critically endangered list since 1996


 Threats: About 300 animals left, with their existence greatly threatened by fragmentation of the rainforest and poaching activities


 Conservation measure: It is imperative that trade in rhino horn and other products is halted immediately. Little data available on steps taken so far.

 Sources: Sumatran Rhinoceros - Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, 2002


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Painted Terrapin/ Batagar:

  Species name: Callagur borneoensis


Characteristics: It is an aquatic turtle of  50 to 70 cm in length and 1.7 kg in weigh. Male terrapin's head become white with a red stripe during the breeding season, giving a 'painted' look.


Location: Most of South East Asia: Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Sumatra of Indonesia


Feeding habit: It is an omnivore, feeding on plants like algae and animals like snails, frogs, mussels, small fishes and insects


Breeding: The female lays eggs in a clutch of 5 to 10 eggs in a shallow pit and this hatches within 10 to 11 weeks.


Threats: One of the greatly endangered freshwater turtles in the South East Asia region with their numbers severely reduced through loss of habitat, disturbance at their breeding sites and exploitation for their eggs. Eggs are widely sold for human consumption.

Sources: Painted terrapin - Callagur borneoensis; More Information - ARKive, 2005


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Brunei's Endangered Animals

Animals which have been classified as Endangered under the IUCN Red List Category 2004

    - Black faced spoonbill

    - Asian arrowana

    - Storm's stork

    - Banteng

    - Otter civet

    - Bornean tree shrew

    - Asian elephant

    - Bornean marbled cat

    - Orangutan

    - Proboscis monkey

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Black faced spoonbill

Species name: Platalea minor

also known as: Lesser Spoonbill


Characteristics: Skin of beak is black, weighing 1 kg and roughly 76 cm long. Males have longer bills than females and the bills of juveniles are initially pinkish-grey colour.


Location: The Black-faced Spoonbill occurs only in East Asia. One of the 50 rarest birds of the world with an elongated spoon- shaped beak.


Breeding: The main wintering sites are at Taiwan and  Hong Kong. Little data available.


Conservation status: Listed as endangered on Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS or Bonn Convention).

Threats: Their habitat threatened by pollution and destruction from human activities (industrial and agricultural) Their habitat in Taiwan is threatened by a major industrial project, and pressure on the Deep Bay area in Hong Kong is growing. Census in 2004 discovered around 1500 individuals.

Sources: Black-faced spoonbill - Platalea minor - ARKive, 2004  ; New Black-faced Spoonbill wintering sites, 2005 ; WWF Hong Kong, 2000


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Asian Arowana
Species name: Scleropages formosus
also known as Asian bonytongue

Characteristics: Long, slender body, move in a graceful manner; dorsal fin locates at the back near the caudal penducle; the colour of the body vary according to types of species, such as Gold, Green and Red species

Location: Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Brunei Darussalam)

Habitat: Slow flowing stream

Feeding habit: It is a carnivore that will eat anything which can fit into its mouth. From juvenile stage to adult, the fish generally has a huge appetite.

Breeding: More suitable to breed in its natural habitat (slow flowing stream). A mouth brooder, as in the male will carry the eggs inside its mouth. However, it will take a long time, sometimes up to 5 years, for a young fish to reach its maturity.

Conservation status: Listed Endangered under IUCN since 1996 and in Appendix I by CITES   


Threats: Major threat faced by the Asian Arowana is over-exploitation, as it is high-valued and the demand for this fish is relatively high. Some Chinese and Japanese believe that Asian Arowana can bring good luck.

Conservation measure: Trade of Asian Arowana is illegal and only allow to be bred in registered farms.

Potential for the Aquarium Fish Trade and Conservation Issues; Scleropages formosus (Asian Arowana); The Asian Arowana - Scleropages formusus; The Fate of the Asian Arowana in the Hands of the Aquarium Industry


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Storm's Stork
Species name: Ciconia stormi

Characteristics: Large bird, may be up to 80 cm tall; a long, powerful red beak and long pink legs; a ring of yellow around the eyes; the wings are broad and the tail is short; white throat, nape, belly and tail.

Location: South Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo

Natural habitat: Undisturbed lowland forest, particularly freshwater and peat-swamp forest

Feeding habit: Feed on fish and small animals like insects in open wet areas.

Breeding: Usually nest in colonies

Conservation status: Listed as Endangered in IUCN since 1994. Believed to have extinct in South Thailand and rare in Malaysia. The population is declining rapidly.

Threats: Destruction of lowland forest due to logging, dam construction and conversion of land to plantation. Other threats include hunting, disturbance on nest sites and pollution.

Conservation measure:  (data deficient)

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Ciconia stormi; Storm's Stock


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Species name: Bos javanicus

One of the most beautiful wild cattle species, dark chestnut brown colour but reddish brown in juveniles. Horns are larger and heavier in males. The average lifespan is 11 years but in captivity, can live to 25 years. Males weigh about 1400-1760 pounds but just 1320-1500 pounds in females.

Location: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Habitat: Subtropical or tropical dry forest and savanna.

Feeding habit: Banteng are grazer. Their food include grasses, bamboos, fruits, leaves and young branches.

Breeding: (data deficient)

Conservation status: Listed as Endangered under IUCN since 1996. Banteng is included by CITES in its appendices. Current population is believed to be less than 8,000 or even below 5,000. Unknown number of Banteng in Borneo. Population has declined over the last three generations.

Threats: Illegal hunting (for horns), habitat loss and introduction of alien/new species


Conservation measure: Protected legally in a number of states and protected areas. Several surveys are ongoing and large population is kept under captivity.

Banteng Bos javanicus; IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Bos javanicus


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Species name: Cynogale bennettii


The fur on the body is dark brown, short and dense. Its body weight is between 3 to 5 kg. Can live up to 5 years when in captivity. Little is known about this animal.

Location: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and probably Singapore.

Habitat: Wetland, includes permanent rivers or streams, bogs and marshes.

Feeding habit: Nocturnal (feed at night), food include fish, crabs, freshwater mollusks from water, as well as birds and fruits, which the animal climb up the trees to obtain.

Breeding: Can give birth to 2 to 3 embryos each time.

Conservation status: Listed as Endangered under IUCN since 1994 and also Appendix II of CITES.


Threats: Habitat loss, hunting and persecution.

Conservation measure: (data deficient)

Animal Info - Otter Civet; IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Cynogale bennettii


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Bornean Tree Shrew
Species name: Tupaia longipes
also known as Long-footed tree shrew


Characteristics: Forage on forest floor, also climb on logs, branches and lianas at ground level.

Location: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia

Habitat: Terrestrial


Feeding habit: Nocturnal. Feed on fruits and bugs.

Breeding: Is active on forest floor but may nest in trees.

Conservation status: Listed as Endangered in IUCN since 1996


Threats: Human-induced habitat loss


Conservation measures: Data-deficient

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species : Tupaia longipes


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Asian elephant
Species name: Elephas maximus
also known as Indian Elephant

Characteristics: The ears are straight towards the bottom. The size is relatively smaller when compare to other elephants, with weigh between 6,615 and 11,020 pounds, with the height of about 7 to 12 feet.

Location: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand & Vietnam.

Habitat: The savanna, rainforest, deciduous forest of the tropics, & mountain forest (Himalayas)

Feeding habit: Large herbivores, feeding on leaves, trees and shrubs. The plant it feeds on range from Acacia to mango trees.

Breeding: Gestation period of 19-22 months and an Asian elephant will take 4 to 6 years between two pregnancies.

Conservation status: It has been listed as Endangered under IUCN since 1986 and also in Appendix 1 of CITES. However, the population has been believed to be increasing.

Threats: Loss of habitat for warfare, agriculture, human settlement and logging, and poaching for ivory tusks

Conservation measures: (data deficient)

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Elephas maximus; UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre


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Bornean marbled cat
Species name: Catopuma badia
also known as Bay cat, Bornean bay cat

Characteristics: An endemic animal in Borneo, with body length of 50 cm and tail length is 30 cm. Reddish brown fur, with a grey variant.

Location: Borneo

Habitat: Subtropical and tropical moist forests.

Feeding: A nocturnal predator, preying on birds, rodents and sometimes, monkeys.

Breeding: (data deficient)

Conservation status: Used to be Vulnerable in 1996 under IUCN and became Endangered when assessed in 2002. In  CITES, it is under Appendix II. The animal is rare and hence, not much study has been done on it.

Threats: Habitat loss and poaching.

Conservation measures: Protected legally in Borneo and the trade of this animal is banned in Kalimantan, Sabah and Sarawak.

Bay Cat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Catopuma badia


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Species name: Pongo pygmaeus

Characteristics: An intelligent animal. The animals spend most of the time in the trees and they make new nest in tress every night. They have been observed with using tools.

Location: Kalimantan, Sarawak and maybe Brunei.

Habitat: Subtropical/tropical moist forest, typically lowland Dipterocarp, freshwater and peat swamp forests

Feeding habit: Feed on any food available.

Breeding: Males only start to have their cheek pads at age between 10-15. Cheek pads have been used to attract females. Before the males have their cheek pads, they mate with the females forcefully.

Conservation status: Listed endangered in IUCN since 1986. In 1996, it improved to the category of Vulnerable but returned to the             Endangered list by 2000 (estimated 6,000 individuals) and is claimed to be decreasing by 1000 per year. Usually 6 to 8 died in trade for everyone born.

Threats: Human-induced habitat loss (timber extraction, forest fire and agriculture), hunting for their meat, cultural, scientific and leisure activities.

Conservation measures: Young orangutans are keep in captivity until they mature. Then they are released back into the wild.

IUCN Red List Of Threatened Species: Pongo pygmaeus; Orangutan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; ORANUTANS.COM Interesting Orangutan Facts - Did you know "..." about orangutans?


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Proboscis Monkey
Species name: Nasalis larvatus
also known as Long-nosed monkey

Characteristics: Has a reddish-brown body. Big protruding nose is seen in males (believed to attractive females monkeys). Male monkeys can be as tall as 78cm (tail length:75 cm) and weigh about 24kg. Whereas, females grow to 60 cm long and weigh half as much as the male. Both male and female monkeys have big bellies, due to the gas released by their gut. They are good swimmers, living in groups and each monkey can move from one group to another freely.

Location: Borneo

Habitat: Subtropical or tropical dry forests and mangrove forests

Feeding habit: Leaf-eaters, also feed on green fruits, seeds and leaves. (Their digestive system is unable to digest ripen food)

Breeding: Only one offspring at a time.

Conservation status: Classified as Vulnerable under IUCN since 1986 and came under Endangered when assessed in 2000. Under CITES, it is protected under Appendix I legislation. The current population is less than 7,000.

Threats: Human-induced habitat loss or degradation and poaching

Conservation measures: Protected throughout Borneo.

Sources: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Nasalis larvatus; Proboscis Monkey ;Proboscis Monkey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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 In Brunei...

       Brunei Darussalam's management and protection of wildlife are placed under the Museum Department. The law has been drafted so as to prevent illegal poaching, collection of the animals, their eggs or youngs, etc. Brunei's Wild Animal Act drafted in 1978 and amended in 1984, encompasses 34 wild animal species (some of which are featured in this website). Furthermore, the Museum Department is keen in organizing talks and exhibitions about the protected animal species to the public.

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