| Most of Tabin Wildlife Reserve is covered with lowland dipterocarp forest and the plant species composition is typical of that occurring throughout eastern Sabah.
There are about 5000 ha of fresh water swamp forest and 2000 ha. of mangrove forest in the north-eastern part of the reserve. Many parts of the reserve were logged during the 1960's to 1980's and these areas therefore exhibit a variety of succession stages as they evolve toward climatic climax (primary) forest status.
The Core Area (about 10% of total Reserve area) and the 2,000+ ha. Of five virgin jungle reserves within Tabin support primary forest. Tabin is described as being largely a “dipterocarp forest” (see photo right & below) and many Dipterocarpaceae (dipterocarp trees; e.g. Shorea spp.) are highly desirable wood species known in English as “camphor” trees. At least 48 species are known in Tabin.
A forest such as this exhibits extreme biodiversity and includes many of the 20-25,000 flora species (including 6-7,000 endemics) reported by Fujii et al (1999) as occurring in Borneo. So far more than 85 families that include 1,000 species of woody plants have been listed in Tabin. Surveys and collections continue (e.g. Fujii et al & Magintan et al, 1999). A preliminary list of 85 families and associated genera has been presented on this site. This gives an indication of the species diversity of Tabin flora.
Right: view of dipterocarp forest along the Raleigh Trail at km. 21. ICN photo