It is not about timber only. An integral part of the forests is its fauna resources.  Wildlife resources in Deramakot Forest Reserve (DFR) have received little attention in the past, as the primary objective was timber management.  Timber production will remain the dominant factor in planning land use in DFR.  But as of late, and in having to meet the requirements of forest certification, a simple, practical guide to monitor and document wildlife resources and their habitat in DFR, has been developed by Dr. Isabelle Lackman-Ancrenaz and Dr. Marc Ancrenaz (1999).  It was not until the year 2001 that this system was put into use.

DID YOU KNOW?  About 75% of mammals in Sabah can be found in Deramakot. DFR is a key habitat for five globally threatened large mammals, namely Orangutan, Borneon Pygmy Elephant,Tembadau (Banteng), Proboscis Monkey and Clouded Leopard.

To see more camera trapped animals in Deramakot, click here
Three monitoring components are currently being carried out in DFR.  These are:
i.    Salt Lick (camera trapping);
ii.    Orangutan aerial nest count (every two years);
iii.    Opportunistic Sightings (daily)

Four natural salt licks in DFR were identified with the assistance of Dr. Hisashi Matsubayashi, a mammalogist from the University of Tokyo, Japan. Natural salt lick is one attribute to High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF).
Natural salt-licks are identified during pre-harvest planning and are excluded from harvesting. They are demarcated with a 50 meter buffer on the ground and subsequently monitored using camera traps.

Read articles below for more information about salt licks in DFR:
   Sambar Deer


Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) are exceptionally shy animals, which contribute to the fact that their population and distribution cannot be readily assessed by direct sightings.  The aerial census methodology by counting Orangutan nests along pre-determined transects, is being used in DFR.

It is estimated that a minimum of 900 Orangutans are currently residing in DFR. The recent survey indicates that there are more nest building activities in the central and eastern part as compared to the west of DFR.  The focus of the various forest management activities (harvesting, rehabilitation and silviculture tending) that are now currently concentrated in the west, could be the reason for this.


As planned in the FMP, approximately three quarters of DFR remains undisturbed or closed to forest management activities at any given time.  This means all forest management activities (silviculture, enrichment planting and harvesting) is focused on a small portion (10,000 ha) of DFR staggered over a period of ten years, which translates to a management cycle of about 40 years.  This is planned primarily to encourage plant succession without disturbance, and at the same time they act as a sanctuary for wildlife that thrives in DFR.

Wildlife and their habitat contiguity is ensured simply because DFR is a well managed forest and hopefully, it will stay that way in perpetuity.  Regardless of this, mitigating measures are put in place to minimize the impact of human presence and interference to the eco-system.

The wildlife monitoring system employed in DFR is currently being revised by Dr. Marc Ancrenaz of HUTAN.

In addition, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) has collaborated once again with Sabah Forestry Department to assess the impact of the different forest management regimes on mammalian biodiversity in Sabah. This involves amongst other, DNA fingerprinting with blood sucking leeches.