Malaysia is a country rich in natural resources and beautiful nature landscapes, which brings visitors from all around the world to admire the diverse flora and fauna that can be found in our lush rain forests. Here are some forest facts and trivia to help us gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the wonder and beauty of nature.

You can also find more interesting facts in our Forest Facts Infographic! 🙂

  • About one third of the world’s land area is covered by forest.
  • Forests are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, and tropical rainforests are home to more species than any other terrestrial habitat.
  • Eight out of 10 land-dwelling species and nearly 300 million people live in forests.
  • Rainforests are responsible for the production of over 40% of the world’s oxygen.
  • The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest.
  • Around 1.6 billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods.
  • The giant sequoia tree of North America is considered to be the tallest living thing on the planet, growing to incredible heights of 95 metres.
  • Fir trees are the most commonly used species for Christmas trees, as they do not shed needles when drying, and retain good foliage colour and scent.
  • Malaysia ranks as the 21st most biodiverse country in the world, with 2,199 endemic species.
  • The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) is an endangered tiger subspecies that inhabits the southern and central parts of the Malay Peninsula.
  • Orangutans are only found in the wild in Indonesia and Malaysia, on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
  • In fact, we share 96.4% of our genetic makeup with orangutans!
  • Sabah is home to the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world. The Rafflesia Arnoldii can grow up to 91 cm in diameter and has a petal thickness of 19 cm. The Arnoldii is the biggest of about 16 rare Refflesia species found in the South-East region.
  • The largest undivided leaf in the world is the Alocasia Macrorrhiza, found in Tawau, Sabah in 1966, measuring more than 3m long and 1.9m wide.
  • Forest trees and other plants soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it away as they grow and thrive. Tropical forests alone hold more than 210 gigatons of carbon, seven times the amount emitted each year by human activities.
  • Unfortunately, Malaysia had the world’s highest rate of forest loss (deforestation) between 2000 and 2012.
Photo of an Alocasia Macrorrhiza leaf

Photo of an Alocasia Macrorrhiza leaf

Facts obtained from:
The Malaysia Book of Records (link)
World Wildlife Organization (WWF) (link)
Wildscreen Arkive (link)