8 Endangered Animals in Malaysia

These are some of Malaysia’s beautiful and sadly endangered animals.

Malayan Tiger

8 Endangered Animals in MalaysiaThis elegant creature is a subspecies unique to Peninsular Malaysia, with the three priority areas for tigers being Taman Negara, Endau-Rompin Forest Complex and Belum Temenggor Forest Complex. In 2015, it was placed under the Critically Endangered list. From 3,000 tigers in the 1950s, the number has reduced to around 300 today.

Black Shrew

8 Endangered Animals in MalaysiaThe Black Shrew is a mouse-like mammal that has so far only been spotted in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The solitary creature feeds on insects and can be aggressive to each other. Limited to that particular region, it is so rare that no one actually knows if it is still critically endangered…or already extinct.

Malayan Tapir

8 Endangered Animals in MalaysiaClosely related to the elephant and rhino, the Malayan Tapir is a herbivorous mammal with a short trunk and dual-colored body. Found in three regions of Southeast Asia including Malaysia, they are facing extinction due to deforestation and hunting. There are supposedly less than 350 Malayan Tapirs left.

Orangutan

8 Endangered Animals in MalaysiaThis gentle and intelligent “man of the forest” are at risk of being wiped out because of habitat loss. There are many organizations helping to protect them, most notably the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah.

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Borneo Pygmy Elephant

8 Endangered Animals in MalaysiaThis adorable and miniature elephant species are less aggressive than other Asian elephants, with shorter trunks, long tail and larger ears. In Sabah, they are typically found near the Kinabatangan River. Even today, poachers still seek them out for their husks and the demand for palm oil threatens means that their home is still being wiped out.

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Sumatran Rhinoceros

8 Endangered Animals in MalaysiaThe Sumatran Rhinoceros is the smallest rhinoceros in the world, weighing about 500-800 kilograms. Due to poaching, its population has dwindled and there are only three known rhinos left in the country. In Dec 2019, the last surviving female Sumatran rhino is reported to be in severely ill health and, with the veterinarians unable to even harvest her eggs, this can sadly signal the end of its days.

Update: The last Sumatran rhino, Iman, died on 23 November 2019. Sadly, this species is regarded to be extinct in Malaysia. It now only survives in Indonesia.

Proboscis Monkey

8 Endangered Animals in MalaysiaDistinct in appearance with its long nose and large stomach, the Proboscis Monkey was once widespread in the coastal mangroves of Borneo. As its numbers drop by 80% in the last three decades and now is estimated at 7,000, it has been listed as endangered since 2000.

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Sunda Pangolin

8 Endangered Animals in MalaysiaPangolins are some of the most heavily trafficked protected animals in the world, as they fetch a high price for their scales, meat and skin, which are believed to have medicinal benefits. In 2016, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) imposed a total ban on international trade on all species, including the Sunda Pangolin.


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Malaysia is filled with lush rainforests as well as diverse flora and fauna that leave travellers awestruck. LokaLocal connects you to fun & unique activities, tours and workshops that support local communities and leave a positive social impact.

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