The diverse land and seascapes of Langkawi are home to a wealth of fascinating wildlife: an incredible cast of characters that includes long-tailed macaques and leaf langurs; giant squirrels and tiny slow lorises; furtive civet cats and ubiquitous eagles; and the rare colugo, the world’s only flying primate. A whopping 230 species of birds, including nine species of hornbill, and over 500 species of butterfly.
GUNUNG MACHINCHANG FOREST RESERVE AREA
Black-hooded Oriole & Black-naped Oriole
From the forest edge to mangroves, these omnivorous birds are found all over Langkawi. The oriole has a clear and almost fluty song, with a distinctive undulating flight. The black-hooded oriole is considered an endemic species in Langkawi.
Found in most parts of Langkawi, these omnivorous birds adapt to differing conditions very quickly. While this specific bird can be found in villages, the other species in this family reside along the edge of the jungle.
This dual-tone blue-coloured bird eats fruits, nectar and occasionally insects. Flying in pairs, these birds exhibit sexual dimorphism, where the male species is much bolder in colour.
Blue-tailed Bee Eater & Bee Eater, Chestnut-headed
These insectivorous birds are elegant flyers with elongated tail feathers. They build their burrows into sandy banks.
Found almost everywhere in Langkawi, the Chinese pond-heron are distinctive when displaying their breeding colours. They are carnivorous birds that often nest with members of the same family.
This is a crow-sized bird that spends much of its time walking while foraging in the undergrowth. They emit a loud booming call.
GUNUNG RAYA RAINFOREST RESERVE AREA
Great Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill & Wreathed Hornbill
Of the ten species of hornbills residing in Malaysia, these three species are the only ones found in Langkawi. They measure up to 1.2m from tip to tail. Gregarious and loud, these are indeed a sight to behold when flying.
With a distinctive bare yellow face, this raptor is often found perched in trees. On rare occasions, they can be observed gliding on broad, paddle-like wings searching for prey, including snakes.
One of the fastest birds in Langkawi, these raptors feed on insects, birds, small mammals and reptiles. They are shy and very difficult to photograph.
KILIM KARST AREA
The symbol of Langkawi, these birds can be found almost everywhere on the island. Their head, neck and breast are white with dianostic black feather shafts. The juveniles are brown with white mottling. These birds can be found along the coast and near inland bodies of water.
Having a wingspan of two metres, this bird has a loud honking call that can be heard one kilometre away. Dark brown when young, they gradually turn grey on top and white on the belly.
Common Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Brown-winged Kingfisher & White-throated Kingfisher
These colourful, cavity-nesting birds are found throughout the island. They will eat anything from small fish and crabs to worms. Their raucous laughing call can often be heard in the mangroves.
PULAU DAYANG BUNTING AREA
House Swallow & Barn Swallow
Spread throughout the island, these small birds are insectivorous and use sheltered corners of buildings as a nesting area. The house swallow will also use caves, often sharing the space with bats.
An insectivorous bird, the paddyfield pipit is usually found walking on open ground looking for food amongst the grass. Occasionally, they can be seen in gardens poking beneath the grass.
Brown Shrike & Tiger Shrike
Migratory and solitary, these birds prey on insects, birds and reptiles. If the prey is too large to be finished in one meal, the bird will impale it on a thorn and return to it later.
Crab-eating Macaque or Long-tailed Macaque
Despite their name, crab-eating macaques do not consume crabs! Instead, they prey on vertebrates and plants. These monkeys are ecologically diverse and can be spotted in coastal lowland forests as well as swamp forests. A clear dominance hierarchy is seen among females, with male members leaving the group at the time of puberty.
Dusky Leaf Langur or Spectacled Langur
These sleepy creatures are easily recognised by the white rings around their eyes, creating the appearance of spectacles and a constant startled expression. Dark grey in colour, langurs breed orange babies, making them a difficult target for colour blind predators. These monkeys are mostly active during the day and live high up in the trees. However, in the evenings, they may come to ground level in forest clearings to feed on tender leaf shoots.
Flying Lemur or Colugo
Flying lemurs are not technically lemurs and do not fly. Instead, they glide as they leap among trees. Feeding on fruits and flowers, these animals are nocturnal, strictly arboreal, and live either solitary or in small groups. They are skillful climbers, but are helpless when on the ground. The only other species of flying lemurs can be found in the Philippines.
Slow lorises are nocturnal animals that have large eyes, with arms and legs in equal length, giving them a pincer-like grip. Their long and flexible trunk allows them to twist and extend to nearby branches. This omnivorous animal moves slowly and deliberately makes little or no noise. When threatened, they stop moving and remain motionless.
Dusky Leaf Langur or Spectacled Langur