Full List of Deramakot Forest Mammal Sightings

*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means when you make a purchase, I get a commission at no cost to you! Read more about my affiliates on my Affiliate Links Disclaimer.

When I went to a conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I KNEW I had to take some time to go mammal watching in Borneo. As a wildlife biologist, searching for cool, wild animals is one of my favorite things to do.

I especially wanted to see the Bornean orangutan.

Bornean orangutan on an eMammal camera trap.
Bornean orangutan on an eMammal camera trap. From the Smithsonian Borneo Mammal Survey at LEWS Project

A lot of tourist go to Danum Valley to see orangutans. It’s the most famous ecotourism destination in Borneo. But when I looked into Danum Valley, I thought it was pretty expensive, seemed kind of touristy, and it was also starting to book up fast. Instead, I decided on a safari in Deramakot Forest Reserve.

Animal crossing sign in Deramakot.
Animal crossing sign in Deramakot Forest. Yes, that is Michael Jackson in there too. The park manager apparently loves him.

The Deramakot Forest Reserve is a protected area located in Northeastern Borneo, north of Danum Valley. It differs from Danum Valley in that it is not all pristine (e.g., untouched by development). Parts of Deramakot have been selectively logged since 1956, but it is still rich in wildlife. This is largely because it is a Forest Management Unit.

Searching for mammals in Deramakot Forest Reserve.
Searching for mammals in Deramakot Forest Reserve.

I went by myself with a guide and his wife. We spent four days scouring the park for the coolest animals, but especially mammals. I study mammals so they are my preferred taxon. In this post, I share with you all of the mammals we saw on our morning and night safaris.

Sometimes the animals got away from us or we were too far to snap a good photo, but that’s okay. I used photos from iNaturalist and the Smithsonian Borneo Mammal Survey at LEWS Project in eMammal.

Western tarsier

This was probably my favorite mammal sighting and something I really wasn’t expecting to see. Western tarsiers are not necessarily rare, but they are super tiny primates and therefore can be difficult to see. We spotted this one at night from its eye shine.

We were so lucky to see a western tarsier so clearly!
We were so lucky to see a western tarsier so clearly!

I would have loved to put my hand in the photo to give you some perspective. They are about that size.

Western tarsier we saw in Deramakot Forest, Borneo, Malaysia.
Western tarsier we saw in Deramakot Forest, Borneo, Malaysia. Check out more of my photos in this blog post.

This tarsier was not that shy and let us watch him/her for awhile. I was able to get some great footage. Check it out below.

Large flying fox

On our way driving to Dermakot, once we entered the forest, we saw a large flying fox in hanging upside down in a tree. Unfortunately it was too far away to a good photo. The one below is from iNaturalist.

We saw a large flying fox in Deramakot, but I couldn't get a good photo.
This photo is from iNaturalist by pfaucher.

Silvered langur monkey

I first saw this monkey in the Sungai Congkak Forest, located about an hour’s drive outside of Kuala Lumpur. I was happy to see them again in Deramakot. I wish I would have seen the orange babies though.

Silvered leaf monkey.
Silvered leaf monkey with baby. Note the baby is orange. Photo by Joshua Addesi from iNaturalist.

Pig-tailed macaque

Pig-tailed macaques are easy to tell apart from the other monkey species. Just look for a short tail. We did see them in Deramakot, but I posted photos from my river cruises on the Kinabatangan River because we saw them much better there.

Pig-tailed macaque near the Kinabatangan River in Borneo. I didn't get good photos of one in Deramakot.
Pig-tailed macaque near the Kinabatangan River in Borneo.
A group of Pig-tailed macaques near the Kinabatangan River in Borneo. I didn't get good photos of one in Deramakot.
A group of Pig-tailed macaques near the Kinabatangan River in Borneo.

North Borneo gibbon

We saw gibbons several times, but man, they are fast! They are pretty shy so they always quickly moved whenever we stopped the car. We did hear them well though. Make sure you listen to the video below.

North Borneo gibbon by hokoonwong in iNaturalist.
North Borneo gibbon by hokoonwong in iNaturalist.

Gibbons are apes, not monkeys. Even if the gibbons are fast, you can usually tell it is a gibbon right away from the movement. They swing from branch to branch with a hand-over-hand motion called brachiation. This highly specialized movement from their ball-and-socket wrist joints gives them high speed through the trees (to unfortunately get away from us before we could snap photos).

It’s usually much easier to hear gibbons than see them. They have amazing vocalizations.

Red giant flying squirrel

This squirrel was actually one of the coolest animals I saw. I know what you are thinking,. It’s a squirrel…How could it be that cool? They are! They are a lovely bright red and large (hence the name) making them easy to see from a pretty far distance. It’s fun to watch them glide from tree to tree.

It was so incredible to see the red giant flying squirrel.
Photo by Scott Baker from iNaturalist.
The red giant flying squirrel is the perfect name for this animal
The red giant flying squirrel is the perfect name for this animal. It is definitely large and very red. Photo by Chien Lee from iNaturalist.

Long-tailed porcupine

We saw a long-tail porcupine in person on our first night, but it moved too fast to get a good photo. My guide said this animal is not seen frequently and that he’s only seen one five times. I consider myself lucky.

long-tailed porcupine
Long-tailed porcupine on camera trap.
Long-tailed porcupine on camera trap.
Long-tailed porcupine on camera trap.

Yellow-throated marten

Usually you see most mammals at night, but we saw these two yellow-throated martens cross the road on our way back from a very early morning safari. You can watch the footage in the video below.

Yellow-throated martens we saw crossing the road in Deramakot Forest.
Yellow-throated martens we saw crossing the road in Deramakot Forest.

Small-toothed palm civet

We saw four different species of civets. Civets are not canids or felids, they are in their own family called Viverridae, along with genets.

Camera trap photo of small-toothed palm civet.
Camera trap photo of small-toothed palm civet.

Island palm civet

I do have some video footage of a island palm civet in Deramakot, but these photos from a resort near the Kinabatangan River are much clearer.

We saw this palm civet in a different location in Borneo, but we saw several palm civets in Deramakot.
We saw this palm civet in a different location in Borneo, but we saw several palm civets in Deramakot.
We saw this palm civet near the Kinabatangan River in Borneo, but we saw several palm civets in Deramakot.

Malay civet

Another pretty civet. Check out those cool neck markings!

Camera trap image of a Malay civet in Borneo.
Camera trap image of a Malay civet in Borneo.
Camera trap image of a Malay civet in Borneo.
Camera trap image of a Malay civet in Borneo.

Masked palm civet

We saw a lot of civets and some of them are hard to tell apart. The masked palm civet has a cream colored tail tip. You can see it clearly in the photo I took. This is the only species with that coloration so we knew for sure it was a masked palm civet.

Masked palm civet that we saw.
Masked palm civet that we saw. Unfortunately it got away too fast for a good photo.
A better photo of a masked palm civet caught on a camera trap.
A better photo of a masked palm civet caught on a camera trap.

Civets are also known from their role in civet poop coffee. This is the world’s most expensive coffee. It’s actually made with partially digested coffee beans from civets. It’s supposedly fantastic coffee, but you shouldn’t buy it. The civets used to make the coffee are kept in horrible conditions.

civet poop in Deramakot
Civet poop and smooshed track in Deramakot. People actually use civets to make coffee with the partially digested beans in their poop.

Leopard cat

I was on the lookout for clouded leopards, but was pleasantly surprised by this little wild kitty. We saw them so many times, but I never grew tired of it.

Leopard cat we saw in Deramakot
Leopard cat we saw in Deramakot. We saw them so many times!
Leopard cat by the Road in Deramakot
Leopard cat by the Road in Deramakot.

Greater mouse-deer

Not a mouse or a deer, but super cute! They are in a family with the smallest hoofed mammals in the world. The greater mouse-deer was way too fast for a photo.

Greater mouse-deer.
Greater mouse-deer. Photo by 黄秦 from iNaturalist.

Sambar deer

This is my second time seeing sambar deer. I also saw them when I was in India. We get this animal a lot on our camera traps too.

sambar deer
Sambar deer we saw crossing the road.
A better photo of a sambar deer from a camera trap.
A better photo of a sambar deer from a camera trap.

Bearded pig

You can see how this pig gets its name. We saw one scurry across the road.

Lovely camera trap photo of a bearded pig.
Lovely camera trap photo of a bearded pig.
Bearded pigs scurrying around the forest in Borneo.
Bearded pigs scurrying around the forest in Borneo.

That’s the full list of all of the mammals I saw in Dermakot forest. I really, really, really wanted to see an orangutan, but it didn’t happen. We saw many nests and freshly eaten fruit, but no orangutans.

After Deramakot, I continued my search for orangutans in a spot north close to the Kinabatangan River.

Did I see one? You’ll see…

Asian elephant dung in Deramakot Forest.
I’ve seen African elephants many times, but I really wanted to see an Asian elephant. We were so close! Fresh elephant dung on the road out of Deramakot.

Headed to Borneo to look for wildlife? Make sure you get the Phillips and Phillips field guide. It’s the best.

Phillips and Phillips is the ultimate field guide for mammals in Borneo.
Phillips and Phillips is the ultimate field guide for mammals in Borneo.

Love this post? Share it with friends!

9 thoughts on “Full List of Deramakot Forest Mammal Sightings

  1. Hello! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I had to ask.

    Does operating a well-established blog such as yours take
    a large amount of work? I’m completely new to blogging however I do write in my journal everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or
    tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

  2. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative.
    I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  3. Admiring the hard work you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material.
    Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site
    and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.