Two new bird species discovered in Kalimantan

Two new bird species discovered in Kalimantan

Borneo’S remote Meratus Mountains are home to two species of bird previously unknown to scientists.

According to a new study published in academic journal BirdingASIA, the mountain range in South Kalimantan, Indonesia, is home to two species that have been named the ‘Meratus White-eye’ and the ‘Meratus Jungle Flycatcher.’

Whilst the mountainous regions of Malaysian Borneo in Sarawak and Sabah are relatively well-explored, Indonesia’s Kalimantan provinces have been seldom visited by avian experts. The only previous documented ornithological survey in the region was made in October 1996, was significantly hampered by heavy rainfall, and only focused on areas below 900 metres.

The 2016 study found that habitat between 500 and 700m was largely destroyed for cinnamon and rubber plantations, gradually giving way to degraded forest with recent and ongoing logging activity. Between 900 and 1,400m, where the researchers undertook observation, was closed-canopy forest.

Simon Mitchell, part of the team involved in the exciting double discovery, said “we headed to the area specifically because we knew it was so understudied and there was the chance of some really exciting discoveries.”

“It seems likely there are still a handful of [new] bird species waiting to be found across Borneo and Indonesia, which makes the idea of birding the most remote parts of the region very exciting.”

Clockwise from top: The proboscis monkey, pigmy elephant and orangutan. Source: jaromircihak/Yusnizam Yusof/Shutterstock Read more at
Clockwise from top: The proboscis monkey, pigmy elephant and orangutan. Source: jaromircihak/Yusnizam Yusof/Shutterstock Read more at

Borneo is the largest island in Asia, boasts one of the richest ecosystems on earth and is home to many species not found anywhere else.

This includes 420 birds, more than 40 of which are endemic, as well as the pygmy elephant, proboscis monkeys and Asia’s only great ape – the orangutan. Orangutans only exist on Borneo and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Across the swamps, mangroves and rainforest of Borneo, some 15,000 plants can be found, 6,000 of which are endemic. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), three species are discovered every month in the Heart of Borneo conservation area.

South Kalimantan’s Meratus Mountains. Source: Wikipedia Commons  
South Kalimantan’s Meratus Mountains. Source: Wikipedia Commons


But much of the Meratus Mountains remains unprotected, except for southern areas that lie in the Pleihari Martapura Wildlife Reserve – placing the habitats of the Meratus White-eye and Jungle Flycatcher at risk.

This article was part of an article first published in on 20th March, 2017. 

Tags: nature
Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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