New Trip Report: Borneo

Another exciting report from Sabah and Sarawak featuring a Tufted Ground Squirrel, one of my most wanted mammals.

Sabah and Sarawak, 2019: Sophie and Manuel Baumgartner, 1 month & 60+ species inlcuding Banded Linsang, Clouded Leopard, Sunda Pangolin and Tufted Ground Squirrel.




  • Craig Smith

    What a great report. Many thanks,

  • tomeslice

    Great report!!

    I wonder about the flat-headed cats, what could have happened?
    Did you go during “low” tide? “darkest” hours of the night?

    Also – really cool about your special sightings of tufted ground squirrel, banded linsang, and of course clouded leopard!

    Regarding the “mystery” cat, I tend to think it’s either domestic, or an interbreed of domestic X something else. Could even be bay cat. But looking at pictures of bay cat, this cat doesn’t scream out “bay cat” in my opinion. Of course I’m no expert. But if you look closely, especially at the middle picture out of the 3, you would see that there are faint-looking spots on the cat’s body. This kind of gives me the feeling it’s a domestic or domestic hybrid.
    I guess we’ll never know. Anyway, great stuff! What a successful trip.


    • Manul

      Hi Tomer
      Thanks for your input.
      We went out every night until 1-2am. It was low tide but I remember that Osman mentioned that the moon was too bright. Not sure if the moonlight really matters that much.
      We feel the same about the “mystery cat” and will never be able to tell. We also read that the bay cat can look very different and that it could also have spots.
      We are looking forward to further discoveries by researchers!

  • Ben S

    Great report! Were the Dipterocarps fruiting at or near the time of your visit? I heard reports of masting in parts of Borneo over the last year. Tufted Ground Squirrel is reputed to be nomadic and to follow masting events.


    • Manul

      Hi Ben
      Figs were fruiting wherever we went (all of the Binturongs we saw were eating figs).
      As for the Tufted Ground Squirrel it had a Tarap in it’s mouth which was seasonal then as well. We heard the same thing about them but it was interesting to hear that people saw it at the same place where we saw it. Maybe the squirrel knows where to go at what time of the year and goes back to the same places?
      I hope I kind of answer pour question.

      • Ben S

        Most trees in Borneo seed synchronously and unpredictably, maybe once or twice per decade. There was a masting event in many parts of Borneo last summer, the first since 2011. That is to say, knowing the right time of year isn’t enough.

  • Antee

    Nice report.

    I had the same experience with AA Borneo. First they told me “no problem…” and after some waiting time they were fully booked. Then I tried to organize another tour to a “new place” for Flat headed cat… now I have waited 3 month for this answer… 🙂

    Next time I go for Sticky Rice travel. I have also used them before.

    Seems like Danum is almost as good as Deramakot these days for Clouded Leopard.

    Kinabatangan is dead for Flat headed cat and I think it´s no idea to go there anymore for them. Been there twice but it will not be a third time. Need to find a new place.

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