Mount Kinabalu

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Mount Kinabalu (Malay: Gunung Kinabalu) is a prominent mountain on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It is located in the east Malaysian state of Sabah and is protected as Kinabalu National Park, a World Heritage Site. Kinabalu is the tallest peak in Borneo's Crocker Range and is the 4th tallest mountain in the Malay Archipelago after Indonesian Papua's Puncak Jaya, Puncak Trikora and Puncak Mandala.[1] Mount Kinabalu is also the 20th tallest mountain in the world by topographic prominence.[2]

In 1997, a re-survey using satellite technology established its summit (known as Low’s Peak) height at 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea level, which is some 6 metres (20 ft) less than the previously thought and hitherto published figure of 4,101 metres (13,455 ft).[3]

The mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites in the world, with over 4500 species of plant, 326 species of birds, and 100 mammalian species identified. Among this rich collection of wildlife are famous species such as the gigantic Rafflesia plants and the orangutan. Mount Kinabalu has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage status.[4][5]

The main peak of the mountain (Low's Peak) can be climbed quite easily by a person in peak physical condition. If not fit enough, though, the climb can be very hard despite there being no need for mountaineering equipment at any point on the main route. Other peaks along the massif, however, require rock climbing skills.

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Biology

Significantly, Mount Kinabalu along with other upland areas of the Crocker Range is well-known worldwide for its tremendous botanical and biological species biodiversity with plants of Himalayan, Australasian, and Indomalayan origin. A recent botanical survey of the mountain estimated a staggering 5,000 to 6,000 plant species (excluding mosses and liverworts but including ferns),[3][6][7][8][9][10] which is more than all of Europe and North America (excluding tropical regions of Mexico) combined. It is therefore one of the world's most important biological sites. It includes the Kinabalu montane alpine meadows ecoregion in the Montane grasslands and shrublands Biome.

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