Thailand: Gibbons at Dawn - Album Cover

Borneo: Nepenthes Forest

Gentle rain, frogs, birds and a thunderstorm recorded in one of Borneo’s unique habitats.

Recording Location: Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah, Borneo
Habitat: Lower montane rainforest and heath forest
Duration: 93 minutes (1 track)
Year of Release: 2022 © All rights reserved
Download Formats: mp3 & FLAC (48kHZ/24bit)


Borneo: Nepenthes Forest - Album Cover

Album Info

Known as Sabah’s ‘Lost World’, Maliau Basin is a spectacular area of pristine forest deep in Borneo’s interior. A range of habitats can be found in Maliau Basin including lower montane rainforest and rare montane heath (kerangas) forest. These moist, mossy heath forests are home to an abundance of carnivorous pitcher plants (Nepenthes) which grow both on the ground and as epiphytes.

In 2015 I went on a three-day hike into the area, recording sounds from a variety of habitats. This album features recordings from the ‘nepenthes forests’ of the lower montane areas of Maliau Basin. In contrast to the vibrant lowlands, the soundscapes of this habitat were more subdued with less active birdsong and subtle insect choruses. Rain was frequent and thunderstorms developed each afternoon, the sounds of water dripping from the foliage above was a constant in these misty forests.

Read the ‘Track Notes’ below for a more detailed description of the sounds on this album.

Listen to a Sample

Recording Location

Borneo - Maliau Basin map

Track Notes

1. Borneo: Nepenthes Forest (93:02)

Published as a single 93 minute track, this album consists of a selection of five recordings captured over the period of a three days in the Maliau Basin. Each recording overlaps briefly with the next, resulting in a single seamless long track.

  • The first 20 minutes feature the sounds of predawn – the calls of a variety of frog species along with the sounds of water dripping from the trees above.
  • At 20:08 the first birds of dawn begin to call – Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Chestnut-rumped Babbler and Rufous-crowned Babbler, and the morning birdsong is active for another 20 minutes or so.
  • At 41:25 the atmosphere becomes even calmer, with calls from Bornean Bristlehead, Dark-throated Oriole, Chestnut-winged babbler, Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler and a few deep calls from Mountain Imperial-Pigeon.
  • From 45:52 a storm moves over the forest and the air feels heavy. Thunder rumbles as the dark clouds build and a Mahogany Frog calls from a nearby flooded gully. Red Leaf Monkeys cackle and are restless in the trees above, as the rain starts to fall at around 55:00 and continues for about 15 minutes.
  • The soundscape drifts into evening at around 72:00 as the rain lightens and the frog and insect activity increases.

Bird species heard on this album include:

Yellow-bellied Bulbul, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Chestnut-rumped Babbler, Chestnut-winged Babbler, Rufous-crowned Babbler, Rufous-fronted Babbler, Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler, Bornean Bristlehead, Dark-throated Oriole, Chestnut-capped Thrush and White-crowned Shama.

Album Photos