|Little research has been done directly on Tabin reptiles but they are a prominent feature of the reserve and will certainly receive attention as Tabin achieves its rightful place among conservation and research centres. A few reptile species have been identified by the wildlife staff during field work within the reserve. Observed reptiles include the strictly protected Asian brown tortoise, the reticulated python, the king cobra and two species monitor lizard. Crocodiles have been sighted on the nearby Segama river but have not been recorded within the Tabin reserve boundaries.
According to Lim & Das (1999) 25 species of turtle, terrapin or tortoise are found in Malaysia. Of these five are sea turtles. The other 20 species , representing four families, are listed below. Of these species the Chinese softshell turtle and the red-eared slider are regarded as being “exotic”. Species already observed in Tabin include the strictly protected Asian brown tortoise and the river terrapin.
A Field Guide to the Snakes of Borneo by Stuebing & Inger (1999) is the definitive guide to the subject cited in its title. Inger & Stuebing report that Borneo is home to at least ten snake families that are represented by more than 150 species.
An overview of Borneo lizards is provided by Inger & Tan (1996) and through treatment is given to the subject by Indraneil Das and Ghazally Ismael in their Virtual Museum of Natural History project “A Guide to the Lizards of Borneo” at http://www.arbec.com.my/lizards/index.htm.
Definitive checklists of Tabin reptiles are a work in progress so the process of observation is being assisted by the present guide through the presentation of lists that include species known to occur in lowland Borneo fresh water and forest habitats and reasonably expected to occur in Tabin. As observations and data are accumulated these lists will progress from the “presumptive” stage to the “confirmed” stage.
As a wildlife observer in Tabin you can play an important role in this process.