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Top Five Endangered Animals in Malaysia

The population of these animals have been decreasing over the years and some are said to have become extinct.

I’m from Malaysia, a rainforest country where all types of animals are able to live together peacefully – or that was what used to happen many years ago. Now, some of these animals are under serious threat and are facing the possibility of becoming extinct.

Black Shrew

Black Shrew has rarely been seen by human and there is no official record on its size. However, witnesses have estimated the size to be 20 – 100 mm. One recorded specimen was found in Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. Nobody knows whether this creature has extinct or still occupy a small area in the Sabah state of Malaysia. They tend to be aggressive towards each others and are mostly solitary creatures.

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Estimated number left in the world = Critically endangered. Might already been extinct.

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Sumatran Rhino is the smallest rhinoceros measuring about 250 centimeters in length and 120-145 centimeters tall (shoulder). It is also much lighter than other rhinos, weighing about 500-800 kilograms. The 2-horned rhino can normally be found in swamps and rainforests of Asia countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and India. However, these solitary animals are facing the threat of extinction due to the poaching of their horns.

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Estimated number left in the world = 300

Malayan Tapir

Tapir is a pig-like animal with a short snout. They inhabit the forest regions of South America, Central America and South East Asia. Their closest relatives are the horses and rhinoceroses, and all 4 species have been classified as endangered. In Malaysia, only 1 of the 4 species of tapir exists – the Malayan Tapir. Tapir mainly survive on the forest’s resources such as berries, leaves and fruits. They have not many natural predators in the forest thanks to their thick skin and ability to run fast. As for Malayan Tapir, its strange body colour is often misunderstood as a large rock when lying down. This serves as a good camourflage for the creature. However, their numbers are fast declining due to their habitat loss (establishment of plantations, forest burning and logging), and the hunt for their meat and hide.

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Estimated number left in Malaysia (Malayan Tapir) = about 369

Mouse Deer

Mouse Deer or better known as Sang Kancil in one of Malaysia’s folklores, is a small creature about 70 centimeters long, 30-35 centimeters tall (shoulder), and around 5-8 kilograms in weight. That’s the estimated size of the Greater Mouse Deer while the Lesser Mouse Deer species is estimated to weight around 2 kilograms. Mouse deers can only be found in Malaysia, Borneo and parts of Indonesia. They survive mostly on fruits and leaves. They are also believed to be nocturnal creatures.

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Estimated number left in the world = No population estimate has been made, but has been classified as Endangered


There are basically 2 species of Orangutan – the critically endangered Sumatran species and also the endangered Bornean species. Both these species could only be found in the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The name Orangutan is actually derived from the Malay language Orang Hutan which means “forest man”, due to the similarity between the Orangutans’ behavior and those of the human beings. Orangutans are very intelligent creatures, said to be the smartest creature on Earth after human. However, their numbers have been on a decline in the past few decades due to active logging activities and forest fires.

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Estimated number left in the world (Sumatran species) = about 7000

Estimated number left in the world (Bornean species) = about 45000 – 69000

There are few other unique looking shrews which have already been classified as extinct due to their habitats being destroyed by human beings. I think it’s time for us to take up a more active role in helping these defenceless animals before more of them become extinct.

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User Comments

    On November 17, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I think it’s awful that many animals are going extinct or close to it due to the nature of humans…I didn’t know anything about the top three animals nor did I know that the orangutan is an endangered species. So I learned something new today. Thanks ^_^

  2. malayan tiger

    On February 4, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    i’m still learning at school about extinct and endangered animals and i live from malaysia.(Orangutan) is malaysia language. its awful cause many animal is extinct now.So, for all country please keep save all endangered animal to keep the animal not become extinct ^_^ sorry for bad english because im still school and my teacher told me to learn about extinct and endangered animal so i get learnt in this web side. Sorry for the translation. Thanks :) .

  3. Alvin Lim

    On February 6, 2009 at 4:18 am

    S A JOHNSON : There are 2 types of orangutan and one of them is currently a highly endangered species. :)

    malayan tiger : I’m from Malaysia too and it’s sad to see that there are so many rare animals which have become extinct in the world, and some of them used to be in Malaysia.

  4. AmskyDC

    On February 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Very informative! Nice to know that you’re my neighbor. I’m also against animal hunting. Keep it up!

  5. Alvin Lim

    On February 11, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    AmskyDC : Thanks! :D

  6. Brendon Pow

    On March 18, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Nice work you have there. Anyway its or my project. thanks man, now i have a project thanks to you. Keep the animal job.

  7. Alvin Lim

    On March 18, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Brendon Pow: You’re welcome. Glad that it helps. :)

  8. chong

    On March 23, 2009 at 4:44 am

    i thnk u neglected one species… the Malayan Tiger… only left few hundreds of them in the wild ;

  9. Alvin Lim

    On March 23, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    chong: thanks for pointing out. I think I’ve really missed that one. Not many Malayan Tigers are left in the wild. :(

  10. Random

    On May 11, 2009 at 8:49 am

    sigh can you try making a top 20 endagered species? o-o

  11. Alvin Lim

    On May 11, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Random: 20 may be too much since it is only based in Malaysia. Maybe a list of 10 is possible. :)

  12. Saiful

    On May 18, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Alvin Lim: i don’t think a list of 20 is too much because malaysia is one of twelve biologically megadverse countries in the world..other endangered species i know include malayan tiger, malayan gaur, banteng, agur pheasant, water shrew, bulwer’s pheasant, asian elephant, borneo pygmy elephant, binturong, flying lemur, slow loris, gibbon, siamang, probosci monkey, sun bear, bearded pig, leopard, clouded leopard, bay cat golden cat, flat-headed cat, fishing cat, leopard cat, leatherback turtle, green turtle, freshwater turtle,…we are never short of endangered species..^_^

  13. Alvin Lim

    On May 18, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Saiful: You got a point there. I’m particularly interested in turtles and sadly, most of them are highly endangered species. Also the mysterious dugong. *sighs*. The other day, I went to Mulu national park and the rangers told us that there used to be quite a number of sun bear spottings but in recent years, most of them have disappeared. That’s really very sad…because it’s happening in one of our national parks.

  14. umarwafi

    On August 19, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    i think that human should change some of thier habit to ensure the existance of this pitifull creatures…..all the animal and us are god\’s creation,so why we can live in harmony? like all races in beautiful Malaysia…

  15. Black Shrew

    On September 2, 2009 at 8:48 am

    I\’m learning endangered animal in school but I can\’t find the predator for the black Shrew..does anyone know??

  16. Anonymouss...

    On September 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    wow thanks this is sooo interesting and informativee…this is exactly what i would need for this project im doing in school…this is really awful how animals are going extinct or endangered because of us….but anywho…thankss for the iNformationn!!!! =]]

  17. Rajarshi

    On November 21, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Very good info.

  18. Alvin Lim

    On January 1, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Thanks people.

    For the predators of the black shrew, I’m not sure but the creature is so small that…well, basically it’s easy for them to become a prey. I think there are not many big cats in Sabah though.

  19. donkey

    On January 6, 2010 at 5:08 am

    this articles is quite cool!!
    but i think its not enough

  20. daniel

    On January 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    for the best to save flora n fauna.without them.there would b no us.

  21. darren15my

    On March 16, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Interesting post.

  22. jacey

    On April 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    im learning about malaysia in school. I need to no like what are like the most comnon animals there. could u help me

  23. Shavondra

    On April 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    very good organized information
    This helped me a lot
    THANKS :)

  24. Jereena Babu

    On June 12, 2010 at 7:57 am

    im new in this site but this has helped me a lot ………………………………………………………………………………………………

  25. Jereena Babu

    On June 12, 2010 at 8:01 am

    oh forgot to mention GREAT SITE nice informations

  26. Malaysian

    On October 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

    It is a great site and also tanks a lot!!!:)

  27. FaXahra Windoo

    On October 22, 2010 at 1:10 am


  28. lennyloo kailin

    On January 21, 2011 at 6:01 am

    many animals and plants is going to be extinct! but, no one conserve or preserve them! just because of illegal and excessive logging and hunting! i hope…all the country(Earth) will be back to their own weather! STOP CUTTING DOWN TREES!

  29. syahir

    On January 21, 2011 at 9:10 am

    nice job…
    you have help me done my homework
    heheheh… :D

  30. girlie swagger

    On February 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    this was really helpful but next time include the foreign names for them pweez

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    On April 22, 2011 at 3:17 am

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  33. KAte

    On February 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    SO CUTE!!!

  34. Sakura-chan

    On March 27, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Thanks a bunch! You’ve really helped me out on my project. I just hope my part’s good enough.. XD thank you thank you thank you!! You’ve helped a desperate malaysian secondary school girl and saved her from the one-hour lecture the teacher would’ve given. Again, Thank you so much!!! Very to-the-point which was what I liked about it the most.

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