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January-February 2012

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Borneo's Mount Kinabalu—Moutain of Life

Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain on the island of Borneo, is one of the most biologically diverse locations on the planet. Located at 6.5° north of the equator and just 30 miles from the South China Sea, Kinabalu is surrounded by an ocean of lush rain forest. At over 13,000 feet high, the peak and the area directly surrounding it encompass six distinct climate zones from tropical lowland to alpine, supporting a wealth of life, including more than 1,000 species of orchid, more than 600 species of fern, and more than 300 species of birds. Named by the United Nations as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site for its biodiversity, Kinabalu is home to a total of over 5,000 different plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

ED DARACK is an independent writer and photographer. Visit his Web site at

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