SIGNIFICANCE OF OUR RAINFOREST

Tropical rainforests cover only 6% of the planet’s surface but in terms of biodiversity, they contain more than 50% of the world’s terrestrial plant and animal species. On plants alone, tropical rainforests are thought to be the exclusive home for 170,000 of the world’s 250,000 known plant species.

The largest intact tropical rainforest in the world is in the Amazon River Basin and it dwarfs the Malaysian rainforests in size by far. However, age-wise, the Amazon jungle’s estimated age of 55 to 70 million years is way younger. Estimated at around 130 million years old, Malaysia’s rainforests is host to some of the most diverse tropical ecosystems in the world. During the Ice Age, Southeast Asia’s rainforests continued to experience moist temperatures due to its geographical location. This, in turn, allowed them to develop much earlier than the tropical rainforests of Africa and South America, the Amazon included.

Over millions of years, Malaysia’s rainforests have nurtured a tremendous diversity of flora and fauna and has served as home to countless unique mammal and bird species. Scientists estimate that they host around 20% of the world’s animal species. Recognized as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, Conservation International listed Malaysia as one of 17 countries described as “mega diverse”.

Closer to us, the Penang Hill virgin jungle reserve area, on the fringe of which The Habitat sits, is believed to be part of Malaysia’s treasure trove of prehistoric rainforests dating back 130-million years old. Besides its rich biodiversity, it plays an important role as primary water catchment area for Penang island.

Our rainforests also provide essential ecosystem services for sustenance of life including climate regulation, water & nutrient recycling, air purification, carbon storage and soil stability.

MILESTONES

14 Feb, 2012

Pre-Construction Habitat Nature Trail

The original Nature Trail built by the British to maintain the drain that runs the entire length of the trail. The drain was built to control water flowing down from the ridge above and prevent soil erosion.
14 Apr, 2012

Creative Quest Sdn Bhd wins the bid on Penang Hill

The eco-tourism project, estimated to cost over RM3mil, was awarded to local engineering firm Creative Quest Sdn Bhd (CQSB) after the open tender closed on Nov 30, 2010. CQSB director Harry Cockrell said a project team had been assembled and was waiting to start work. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said work on the project would start once the agreement was inked between the state government and CQSB in “a week or two”. Phase one consists of renovation of buildings and the construction of the nature trail and canopy walk. The second phase is to complete the nature trail and build the ‘heli-pad plateau’ rest area, giant swings and remaining rest areas.
8 Jan, 2016

Soft opening of The Habitat

Soft opening of The Habitat Penang Hill 1.6km Nature Trail was launched on 8th January 2016 with Naturalists offering complimentary guided nature walks.
1 Dec, 2016

Chief Minister Launches Phase 1 of the Habitat

The Rt. Hon. Chief Minister of Penang, Mr. Lim Guan Eng, launched Phase 1 of The Habitat on 17th December 2016 officially opening the Nature Trail and Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk.
29 Apr, 2017

Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk Opens to Public

Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk opened to the public with newly installed fiber optic lighting featuring the constellation Orion and also for daily Sunset Walks.
20 Jan, 2018

Phase 2 of The Habitat

The Rt. Honorable Chief Minister of Penang, Mr. Lim Guan Eng, launched Phase 2 of The Habitat Penang Hill, Langur Way Canopy Walk, on 20th January 2018. Langur Way is one of the most unique structures of its kind and is the only two-span ribbon bridge in the world. Each span of the bridge is 115m long making a total span of 230m and it sits 40m above the forest floor. It is likely to be the highest Canopy Walk in the whole of Malaysia located as it is on top of Penang Hill at 700 meters above sea level. It is designed to accommodate 900 people weighing an average of 100kg each at any one time and is the only concrete Canopy Walk of its kind to be built in a pristine rainforest.

"Look deep into nature, 
and then you will understand everything better. 
-Albert Einstein"