growing next to the padang at Poring in the Kinabalu Park in Sabah. Poring is in the lowlands of the eastern side of Kinabalu Park and is very popular with local holidaymakers because of the hot springs which which have been developed into a mini water park. Ficus variegata (Local name: Tandiran)
Note the straight white trunk and large buttresses typical of Ficus variegata. Tandiran is a common fig of both secondary and primary forest in Borneo.
Tandiran figs ripen green and are dispersed by mammals rather than birds. Typical Tandiran fig dispersers include 3 species of palm civet, binturong, fruit bats, gibbons, macaques and orangutans.
Tandiran figs grow in bunches on the trunk (cauliflorus) and on the branched (ramiflorus). Bird dispersed figs tend to grow at the far end of the branches.
Although they first ripen green, Tandiran figs later turn red perhaps to attract primates from afar. (Fruit bats lack colour vision). But why did these figs fall uneaten from the tree next to the padang at Poring. Why has such a popular fig become an anachronistic fruit rotting on the ground instead of being dispersed by a bat or monkey ?
Secondary forest swiddens (temporary farms) next to Kampong Poring photographed from the Poring Canopy Walkway. The forest at Poring used to be rich in wildlife including sun bears, orangutans, clouded leopards, gibbons, langurs , wild pigs and sambar deer.
The development of Poring as a mini water park has proved very popular with visitors. In turn the local village, Kampong Poring has expanded with shops and B&Bs to cater for the tourists. As a result the wildlife around Poring has been wiped out by local hunters with dogs based in the village.
Park HQ at Poring in the Kinabalu Park.