The Star reported on 23rd April 2010 that according to The World Wildlife Fund, in its report entitled Borneo’s New World: Newly Discovered Species in the Heart of Borneo, there are 123 new species discovered since the Heart of Borneo (HoB) conservation plan started in February 2007.
Jointly implemented by the governments of Malaysia, Brunei & Indonesia, it covers an area of 220,000 square kilometers of tropical rainforest spanning the said 3 countries.
Amongst the most interesting species discovered are:
The lungless frog (Barbourula kalimantanensis)
The 7cm-long Bornean Flat-headed Frog was discovered in 2008 and is the world’s first frog without any lungs. Instead of lungs, it breathes through its skin. Other organs occupy the space where the lungs are expected to be, hence making it appear flatter the other frogs.
The ninja slug (Ibycus rachelae)
This colourful long-tailed slug was discovered on leaves at altitudes of up to 1,900m on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah. The tail is 3 times longer than it’s head. Total length is 4cm. This unusual animal uses harpoon-like “love darts” made of calcium carbonate during courtship, which sticks to and injects a hormone into a chosen mate.
The world’s longest insect (Phobaeticus chani)
That looks dangerously close to the guy’s eyes – still, whatever shoots out of the thing’s mouth is probably better than the best anti wrinkle eye cream the western world could offer…
This was found near Kinabalu Park, Sabah and is 56.7cm long. Only 3 specimens have ever been found.
In the HoB, there can be found 10 primate species, 350+ birds, 150+ reptiles and amphibians and more than 10,000 endemic plants. And the numbers keep growing: 3 new species are found every month.