Peninsula Malaysia

Malayan Tapir, Tapirus indicus, Taman Negara

This page covers Peninsula Malaysia. Please visit the Borneo page for information on Sabah & Sarawak.

I visited Malaysia in 2004 for five days, spent an afternoon in Kuala Lumpur in 2008, and then a couple of nights back in Taman Negara in 2010 where I finally saw a Malayan Tapir. In 2023 I spent 36 hours looking for bats fairly close to KL.

Bukit Fraser

Bukit Fraser

During a night in 2004 I saw Siamang, White-thighed Langurs and a Himalayan Striped-tree Squirrel.

Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill)

I spent a night here in 2004  and saw Wild Boar, Crab-eating Mongoose, Masked Palm Civet, Common Palm Civet, and a Highland Niviventer (Mountain Rat) (Niventer cameroni).

Kota Gelanggi Caves

Shield-faced Leaf-nosed Bat (Hipposideros lylei)

An afternoon here in 2023 produced some good bats: Sunda Short-nosed Fruit Bat; Greater False Vampire; Diadem, Canton’s and Shield-faced Leaf-nosed Bats; Intermediate Horseshoe Bat; Lesser Sheath-tailed Bat; and probable Pygmy Pipistrelles.

Kuala Selanagor

Selangor Silvered Langur, Trachypithecus selangorensis

Selangor Silvered Langurs were easy to see here (this species is now split from the regular Sillvered Langur, T. cristatus).

Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

In 2008 I had a free afternoon in Kuala Lumpur so visited Bukit Nanas, a small forest reserve in the middle of the city. Bukit Nanas is a well known tourist destination and is next to Dang Wangi station (just three stops from KL Central railway station on the rapid KL line). It is only 16 hectares but it is decent forest and has a lot of wildlife. I saw two Common Tree Shrews, a Grey-bellied Squirrel, Long-tailed Macaques and Selangor Silvered Langurs, in a couple of hours late in the afternoon. I’m not sure whether Lesser Tree Shrews also occur there. But after speaking to someone outside it sounds like Three-striped Ground Squirrels are also quite common.

Long-winged Tomb Bat (Taphozous longimanus)

In 2023 a brief stop at the Horse Adventure Paya Indah Wetlands, close to the airport, produced a few Long-winged Tomb Bats but not the Pouched Tomb Bats we were hoping for.

Taman Negara

Malayan Tapir, Tapirus indicus

During three nights in 2004 I saw White-thighed Langurs (during the boat trip to – and also while at – the Kumbang hide), Robinson’s (Low’s), Plantain and Prevosts Squirrels, Common Porcupine, Yellow-throated Martens, Dark-tailed Tree Rats (aka Sundaic Arboreal Niviventer) (Niviventer cremoriventer), Intermediate Roundleaf bats, Lesser Sheathtail Bats, Lesser False Vampire Bats, Lesser Mouse Deer, Black Giant Squirrels, Black Flying Squirrels, Colugo.

In 2010 during two nights I saw at least one Tapir, a few Dusky Langurs and some Plantain Squirrels. In 2023 I added Long-tailed Macaques to the list though I am suprised I didn’t see them there before.

Community Reports

Kota Gelanggi Caves, 2023: Jon Hall, 2 days & 11 species including Shield-faced and Cantor’s Leaf-nosed Bats and Greater False Vampire Bats.

Singapore and Panti Forest Reserve, Johor Malaysia, 2023: Michael Johnson, 3 days & 8 species including – in Malaysia – Dusky Langur with Siamang and White-handed Gibbons heard..

Peninsula Malaysia, 2022: Coke Smith, 8 days & 13 species including Malayan TapirSiamang and White-thighed Surili.

Taman Negara and Deramakot, 2019: Romain Boquier, 6 days & 30 species including TapirMalayan Slit-faced Bat and Horsfield’s Tarsier.

Sabah, Singapore and Peninsula Malaysia, 2019: Phil Telfer, 18 days & 62 species including Clouded Leopard, Western Tarsier, Otter Civet, Sun Bear and – just to rub salt in the wound – a Sunda Pangolin!

Fraser’s Hill, 2019: Michael Johnson’s notes of an easy mammal trip featuring Siamang and more.

Singapore, Java, Malaysia and Sumatra, 2019: Anita Ericson and Lars Petersson, 6 weeks & 63 species including  – in Malaysia – Brush-tailed Porcupine and Tapir.

Singapore and Southern Malaysia, 2019: Jon Lehmberg, 6 days & 21 species including BinturongShort-tailed Mongoose and Sunda Pangolin.

Taman Negara, 2018: Stuart Chapman, 1 night & 6 species including Malaysian Tapir and Gaur.

Malaysia & Borneo, 2015: Ben Balmford, 1 month & 70 species including Painted Treeshrew, Tarsier, Spotted Giant Flying Squirrel, Flat-headed Cat and Malaysian Tapir.

Malaysia & Singapore, 2014: Mike Hoit, 2 weeks in Malaysia with some nice species including Shrew-faced Gound Squirrel, Spotted Giant Flying Squirrel, Horse-tailed Squirrel, Siamang and Slow Loris.

West Malaysia, 2013: Ben Schweinhart, 17 days & 28 species including Gaur and Shrew-faced Ground Squirrel.

Taman Negara, 2012: Paul Carter, 6 nights & 22 species including some nice rodents, 3 Civet species and Malaysian Tapir.

Indonesia & Malaysia, 2011: Romain Bocquier, 6 weeks & 43 species including Marbled Cat and Sulawesi Dwarf Cuscus.

Javan Rhino Search & Taman Negara, 2011: Phil Telfer, 3 weeks & 28 species including Malaysian Tapir and the sounds of a Javan Rhino.

Borneo and Malaysia, 2011: Indri Tours, 11 days & 33 species including Banded Palm Civet, Malayan Weasel and Western Tarsiers (twice).

Taman Negara Revisited, 2010: Jon Hall, 2 nights and at least 1 Tapir.

South East Asia, 2010: Matt and Maureen Steer, 8 weeks & 31 species including Hairy-nosed Otters, Gaur and Pangolin (Thailand), Short-clawed Otters (Malaysia) and Smooth-coated Otters (Singapore).

Malaysia and Borneo, 2009: Indri Tours, 2 weeks & 50 mammals including a Banded Palm Civet in Tabin and a Sun Bear and a Tapir in Taman Negara.

Greater Sundas (West Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Java), 2008: Tim Mitzen, 2 months and 55 mammals. A full trip report is here.

Mammal watching in Malaysia … A trip report from a local, 2008: a few notes on the island of Penang.

Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, 2007 & 2008: Francine Mejia, species lists from two trips in 2007 & 2008.

Sichuan & Malaysia, 2006: Steve Anyon-Smith, a week in Malaysia & 21 mammals including Colugo and Siamang.

Peninsula Malaysia, 2004: Jon Hall, 5 nights and 23 species including Siamangs and a Crab Eating Mongoose.

Peninsula Malaysia and Sarawak, 1998: Steve Anyon-Smith, 4 weeks & 29 mammals.

Also See

Advice for one day in Taman Negara, July 2023

RFI Tapirs at Taman Negara, May 2023

RFI Banded Langur and Agile Gibbon in northern Malaysia, October, 2019

Reporting Mammal Sightings in Malaysia (or the dangers of citizen science by non-citizens), August, 2019

RFI mammals (especially bats) near Kuala Lumpur, August, 2018

RFI – Colugos in peninsular Malaysia, September, 2017

(Perhaps) a good site for Sunda Pangolins in Malaysia, November, 2014


The Bats of Malaysia – free PDF guide, August 2023

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