Scientific Name : Trachypithecus obscurus
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Endangered

The dusky leaf monkeys spend their time dwelling on high trees and spend their time chilling and searchin for food together in a troop of 5-20 individuals. The newborn duskys clutch on to their mother with their striking golden or yellow fur and cute pink face for about 6 months gradually turn dark grey when mature.

Dusky leaf monkeys are primarily folivorous (a herbivore specialized in eating leaves) eating the greens such as young leaves and shoots of plants.

They inhabit the islands of Penang, Langkawi and Perhentian Besar. Trachypithecus obscurus ssp. obscurus is mainly found in peninsular Malaysia while other subspecies are found scattered in Thailand and Burma.


Scientific Name : Dicrurus paradiseus
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Near threatened

It is known as the polyglot because the perfect imitations calls of many other birds is the racket-tailed drongo. They have an ability to accurately mimic alarm calls of other birds that are learnt through interactions in mixed-species flocks. They have been said to imitate raptor calls so as to alarm other birds and steal prey from them in the ensuing panic. 

These birds are mainly found in forest habitats and feeds on mainly insects but also feed on fruits, and flowering trees for nectar. Having short legs, they sit upright and are often perched on high and exposed branches. 


Scientific Name : Ratufa bicolor
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Near threatened

The beautiful black giant squirrel is one of the largest squirrels in the world. It inhabits tall primary forest and generally remains at high canopy, but at times may be found at lower levels when feeding. It favorite food are fruits, seeds and young leaves, since the leaves nutrient not enough it had to obtain from the other sources such as insects and birds eggs.

Few animals living at canopy which make it solitary in habits and shy, rarely coming to ground. It builds a large speherical nest made from leaves and twigs. 


Scientific Name : Galeopterus variegatus
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least concern

This picture is one of our favourites! Colugos are really misunderstood but beautiful animals. Most of the time people do not see them because they look just like the trees that they are clinging to. In this picture, you can really see the baby looking around. Usually the baby will hide inside the pouch the mother makes by curling up her tail. We do not know if the baby only stays with its mum or whether it is sometimes the father that is the caregiver. This is something we need to study more! Colugos are pretty shy but they often stay still long enough for you to observe them without making noise. Did you know that you can see colugos in Penang Botanic Gardens?


Scientific Name : Geosesarma faustum
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Not Evaluated

Geosesarma faustum is a new species to science; only described in 2016.  The species name is derived from the Latin for fortunate and lucky; alluding to the circumstances leading to the discovery of the new species. Unlike the common aquatic crabs, this semiterrestrial crab species uses plants that has small water-filled cavities as their habitat. This species only occurs at altitudes higher than 700 m, and are characterized by their quadrate carapace as well as their long and slender ambulatory legs.

Blue Malayan Coral Snake

Scientific Name : Calliophis bivirgata
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least Concern

The blue malayan coral snake is a beautiful, but highly venomous, front-fanged elapid. It inhabits the primary and secondary forest, in lowland up to lower montane areas. It dwells amongst the leaf-litter on the forest floor, but seems to emerge early to mid-morning especially when night-time rain has made the leaf litter wet.

Typically this snake is encountered crossing forest trails. It is instantly recognisable by its red head, tail and belly. The dorsal surface is dark blue to black, and most populations have a broad blue stripe on each flank.

Huntsman Spider

Scientific Name : Heteropoda venatoria
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Not Evaluated

Huntsman spiders are large, long-legged spiders, measuring up to 15 centimetres across the legs. Huntsman Spiders are mostly grey to brown, sometimes with banded legs. Huntsman Spiders have compound eyes which is eight.

Many huntsman spiders, especially flat huntsman spiders and including common huntsman spiders and banded huntsman spiders, have rather flattened bodies adapted for living in narrow spaces under loose bark or rock crevices. This is aided by their legs which, instead of bending vertically, the joints twisted so that they spread out forwards and laterally in crab-like fashion.

Many-lined Sun Skink

Scientific Name : Eutropis multifasciata
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least Concern

Skinks are characterised by their smooth, scaled skins, and small legs.It feeds mainly on insects and gives birth to live young.

The Many-lined can be identified by the five or seven dark lines on its ventral surface parallel to its body line.The colour of the flanks can vary from olive-brown to reddish-orange. Throat colour can vary from white to yellow. Older, larger specimens are commonly found lacking the thick tail.

It inhabits primary and secondary forests, and is often found on the forest floor where the sun breaks through the canopy. Mainly on land and active during the day, they are to be found basking under the sun along forest tracks or on tree trunks. However, it can also be found close to villages, along river banks and in areas of rock outcrop.


Jumping Spider

Scientific Name : Phidippus audax
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Not Evaluated

The jumping spider family (Salticidae) contains more than 500 described genera and over 5,000 species, making it the largest family of spiders with about 13% of all species. Jumping spiders have good vision and use it for hunting and navigating. They are capable of jumping from place to place, secured by a silk tether. Both their book lungs and the tracheal system are well-developed, as they depend on both systems (bimodal breathing).

Jumping spiders live in a variety of habitats. Tropical forests harbor the most species, but they are also found in temperate forests, scrub lands, deserts, intertidal zones, and even mountains.

Asian Emerald Dove

Scientific Name : Chalcophaps indica
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least Concern

This is a common species in rainforest and similar dense wet woodlands, farms, gardens, mangroves and coastal heaths. It builds a scant stick nest in a tree up to five metres and lays two cream-coloured eggs.

It often prefer flies low between the patches of dense forest, but when disturbed it will frequently walk away rather than fly.

It has distinct emerald green wing with an iridescent sheen. Its body, neck and underparts are a pinkish brown and it has a white bar on the lower back especially observable when in flight.

The male has a white patch on the edge of the shoulders and a grey crown, which the female lacks. Females will tend to have a browner complexion with a grey mark on the shoulder.


Scientific Name : Platerodrilus sp.
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Not Evaluated

Trilobite beetles are strange but little-known insects that have been found in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and India.

A trilobite beetle looks very different from other beetles. The body is flattened and is divided into segments that look like plates of armour. The plates are decorated with knobs and projections and are known as scutes. The head is tiny in relation to the size of the plates and is retractable.

The beetle’s appearance reminded early observers of extinct marine animals called trilobites. Some of the females that have been discovered are colourful and beautiful insects.


Alstonia penangiana

Scientific Name : Alstonia penangiana
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Critically Endangered

Alstonia penangiana is found in primary or disturbed lowland dipterocarp forest at 200 – 550 m altitude. The tree can reach up to 32 m in height and 35 cm in diameter. Its bark is of smooth texture with a grey or pale brown colour. Unlike other Alstonia species, A. penangiana’s bark does not produce white latex.


Recent phytochemical study of A. penangiana revealed the presence of bisindole alkaloids with pronounced in-vitro growth inhibitory activity against an array of human cancer cell lines.

Long-tailed Macaque

Scientific Name : Macaca fascicularis
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Vulnerable

These primates are diurnal and highly social creatures, forming groups of one or more males as well as 3 - 20 females with their young. As a general rule, the majority of mature individuals of a group are females.

Males usually disperse upon reaching maturity to form new groups or join bachelor herds. Males live in a well-defined linear hierarchy system, where individuals are ranked depending on age, size, and fighting skills. Young females, on the other hand, remain with their natal group, forming the core of the group. Related females typically live in close relationships.


Geostachys penangensis

Scientific Name : Geostachys penangensis
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Endangered.

The original specimen of Geostachys penangensis was first collected in 1885 on Government Hill by Charles Curtis, the Superintendent Penang Botanic Gardens, and described in 1899 by H.N. Ridley, the Director of Singapore Botanic Gardens.

This ginger grows on forest litter and on cracks and crevices with very little soil on shady hill slopes and ridges. It is restricted mainly in the summit areas of Penang Hill and not found in lower slopes. Due to its hyper-endemism, the major threat to this species is habitat disruption and deforestation. Populations of G. penangensis on the various hill summits of Penang is vulnerable to  trampling by hikers on areas with high foot traffic as they may be growing on or along popular jungle trails.

Hanguana malayana (Jack) Merr.

Scientific Name : Hanguana malayana.
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Critically Endangered

Specimens of Hanguana malayana were discovered from a few localities on Penang Island: Government Hill, 1885; Batu Ferringhi, 1900; Government Hill Road, 1919.
Recent field surveys and taxonomic revision by Leong & Niissalo (2017) indicates that H. malayana is endemic to Penang Island, with EOO (extent of occurrence) not exceeding 45 km2. There is no recent evidence of this species still being present in Batu Ferringhi due to change of land use pattern in the area. Only 25 mature individuals were seen to occur mainly in forested areas around Penang Hill and Air Itam Dam, rendering the species to be treated as Critically Endangered.


Scientific Name : Nycticebus coucang
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Endangered

The sunda slow loris is a rare and endangered animal in Malaysia. However, a small number of them do live on Penang Island. They are the only venomous primate in the world. One bite can cause a person to go into anaphylactic shock which can be fatal. However, slow lorises are peaceful and gentle animals and will never attack unless in self-defense. They generally want to be left alone to feed on the sap of trees, insects, and nectar. Their name comes from the fact that they move really slowly, but they can actually move away really fast when they are scared. This slow loris was the first we spotted in Penang and we were really lucky to take this picture.


Scientific Name : Paradoxurus hermaphroditus
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least Concern

While you are sleeping, the common palm civet is probably one of our most common nighttime visitors to your gardens! Sometimes you may hear them running on your rooftop or playing chasing games in your ceiling. Civets have been able to adapt to living in agricultural areas and in housing estates. You can tell a common palm civet by the three lines along the length of its body. They feed on wild fruit, the sap of flowers, lizards, snakes, frogs, eggs, and insects.


Scientific Name : Lomys horsfieldii
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least Concern

This small species of flying squirrel is a nightmare to capture on camera! They move so fast and are really hard to see. Most of the time we can hear them but cannot see them. In this picture, we were lucky to see two individuals just hanging out on a branch without moving too much. Unlike what their name says, these squirrels don’t really fly, they glide from tree to tree.


Scientific Name : Tragulus kanchil
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least Concern

An iconic species of the Malaysian rainforest, the mousedeer is also the world’s smallest known hoofed mammal. A full-grown mousedeer weighs only 2 kilos and is only about 45 cm long. In Malaysian folklore the mousedeer makes up for its diminutive size with its great intellect which allows it to outsmart predators wanting to make a meal of it. The reality is that today the mousedeer is vulnerable to predation by animals like feral dogs living at the edge of human settlements.


Scientific Name : Cynopterus spp.
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Not Evaluated

Fruit bats like their name suggests eat fruits! The one in this picture is eating a sea almond or ketapang (Terminalia catappa). Fruit bats have good eyesight unlike the smaller bats that use echolocation to hunt insects. These bats are important seed dispersers for a number of species of fruiting trees. They are easy to spot at night as they have red eyeshine like many nocturnal mammals.


Scientific Name : Otus lettia
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least Concern

This adorable owl is really tiny! It makes a particular sound which is easy to recognize at night as a single hoot “buuo”. They are not easy to see as they are really small and well camouflaged in the forest. They feed on beetles, grasshoppers and sometimes lizards.


Scientific Name : Ketupu ketupu
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least Concern

With its distinctive yellow eyes and its alarmed expression, this owl is probably the biggest you will see on Penang Island. It is mainly seen near beaches, rivers and mangroves. Buffy fish owls mainly feed on fish, crabs and reptiles but they also prey on rats, large insects and bats.


Scientific Name : Manis javanica
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Critically Endangered

There are eight species of pangolin and the one in Malaysia is called the Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica). Pangolins are the world’s most hunted animal. They are sought after for their meat and scales which are used in traditional medicine. The Sunda pangolin is Critically Endangered. It is a totally protected species so it is illegal to kill them, keep them, or even disturb them. They only eat insects.


Scientific Name : Prionailurus bengalensis
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Least Concern

The leopard cat is one of the most successful hunters of the Malaysian rainforest! It is just a little bigger than a domestic cat and weighs between 3 and 7 kilos. Admired for their striking markings and fur, these small cats are efficient at catching their favourite prey of rodents, lizards, and birds both on land and in the trees. In fact, unlike most cats, leopard cats are also good swimmers and have slightly webbed paws to assist them in the water!

Licuala acutifida

Scientific Name : Licuala acutifida
Global Conservation Status (IUCN): Vulnerable

Licuala acutifida is a small to medium sized palm that prefers growth in lowland to upper hill dipterocarp forests, mainly upon Penang Hill. In the colonial era, some of the Indian convicts upon ticket of leave, gained their livelihood by making walking sticks with a bulbous head from this palm, nick-named “Penang Lawyers”. Penang lawyers was constructed by scrapping off the exterior coating with glass, and then the stick was straightened with fire. These walking sticks were sold on the spot, and many were exported to Europe and America.