by K. M. Wong (Author), C. L. Chan (Author)
Natural history, ecology and biodiversity of a World Heritage mountain
World Heritage mountain
For very many explorers, naturalists and conservationists, there is no parallel to the spectacular Kinabalu and its special biological richness. During its genesis, this geologically young mountain attained remarkable height to over 4000 m, and has weathered climate change episodes through millenia that ranged from ice-capped peaks to today’s largely bare granitic summit area. The mountain has an impressive array of natural communities dispersed over a complex formation of rock types and topography, across an impressive elevation gradient from tropical, through temperate, to polar climatic regimes. The precipitous topography has kept many places unexplored and most ecological assemblages and organisms are only beginning to be better studied.
Kinabalu has drawn scholars from far and near, from well over a century ago, and explorers and writers of this region have found an inevitable connection with this incredible mountain. The authors’ earlier account (Kinabalu, Magic Mountain), before Kinabalu Park was inscribed as a World Heritage Site, became very popular beyond the scientific community because it explained in a simple way why this mountain was geologically, biologically and even culturally significant. Very many advances have since been made in the study and documentation of both the plant and animal life, as well as the geology and ecology of this mountain, but much of this research is published in specialised journals or voluminous accounts. At the same time, the advent of easily accessible digital photography has made nature subjects increasingly popular. So it is timely that this book builds on the strengths of the earlier work and presents an expanded synthesis using a wide array of images to further broaden current appreciation of the magnificent Kinabalu.
This book tells the story of Mount Kinabalu: its key natural history attributes and ecological characteristics, the intense and bizarre biodiversity, and the challenges ahead.