Borneo

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The Sambas stream toad, also known as the Bornean rainbow toad, as spent years on the Conservation International list of “Most Wanted Lost Frogs,” and many feared this colorful species was extinct. In fact, it had been so long since scientists had spotted these spindly legged creatures — 1924 was the last known sighting — that only illustrations of the toads existed. That was until June 13, 2011, when scientists spotted three Bornean rainbow toads on a night search in the remote Sarawak region.

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Avid adventurers have embraced the Malaysian island of Borneo as one of the newest hot spots for nature travel thanks to its various local cultures, unspoiled wilds and the wealth of natural attractions its mountainous landscape has to offer.

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While many factors motivate nature travel, you can typically separate adventurers into two groups: those hoping to glimpse a unique foreign culture and those seeking to spot rare and exotic wildlife. Fortunately for travelers heading to Borneo, the state of Sarawak has plenty of both.

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A species of otter that has not been seen in Malaysia for more than 100 years, was recently seen in a photograph snapped on Borneo and has raised hopes that there's still time to save the creature. The photograph was taken in Malaysia's Sabah state in the second half of 2008, but international scientists needed nearly two years to study it before confirming it was indeed the hairy-nosed otter.

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