Malaysia has a valuable forest heritage and wildlife with flora and fauna being aplenty. Being a tropical country, Malaysia is tremendously green. Situated a few degrees north of the Equator, the steady high temperatures, humidity and frequent rainfall all guarantee a green countryside. The nation is covered almost 75% by tropical rain forest. One can stroll hundreds of miles under a never-ending cover of greenery, wondering at what the plant and animal kingdom have to offer. Malaysia has a stunning variety of flora. There are about 8000 species of flowering plants, including 2000 tree species, 800 different orchids and 200 types of palm trees.
Malaysian forest is one of the oldest on earth, older than the forests of the Amazon or the Congo. During the Ice Age, glaciers that kept the global climate chilly covered much of the Earth. Many of the planet's tropical rain forests could not grow until the glaciers moved away. Malaysia's forests were located far away from the ice and thus enjoyed a good growth of tropical rain forests.
Mangrove-forested wetlands exist on the west coast of the Peninsula. They also rule much of the Sabah and Sarawak coastlines. The east coast is famous for its long sandy beaches and offshore islands, like Tioman and Redang, which have crystal-clear waters and rainforests. The mountain ranges in Titiwangsa and Crocker provide a moderate climate for tea plantations and market gardens.
Hibiscus is known as the Queen of Tropical Flowers and the flower is a sign of peace and happiness. It is found in abundance in Malaysia. Hibiscus grows 1-3 m in height. Traders first introduced the flower to Malaysia in the 12th century, bringing it from its original homelands in China, Japan and the Pacific Islands. Rafflesia is the world's largest flower and weighs around 9 kg. Seven out of fifteen species of Rafflesia can be found in Malaysia. This flower is found in lowland forests in Peninsular Malaysia and in highland areas of Sabah and Sarawak. Most species of Rafflesia are highly localized and susceptible to extermination because of habitat disturbance. Rafflesia is found in few areas, its long-term existence is threatened by the reduction of the Malaysian rainforest. Because of this, the flower is under state protection. Protected areas of the Rafflesia natural habitat are Kinabalu Park and Crocker Range Park in Sabah and Gunung Gading National Park in Sarawak.
The islands of Borneo, Sumatra and Java along with the Malay Peninsula are located on a shallow submarine continental extension known as 'The Sunda Shelf'.. The diverse environment of Malaysia is a shelter to a host of the world's most remarkable animals: the Sumatran rhinoceroses, elephants, crocodiles, the clouded leopard and the Malaysian tiger, the sun bear, the monitor lizard, macaques, red and silver leaf monkeys and the orangutan are just a few of them. A good variety of birds can be found in East Malaysia. The lowland forests of Malaysia are important for the survival of wildlife animals.
Last Updated on: 07-12-2009