Southeastern Borneo




J. Hales



Major Habitat Type

Tropical and subtropical coastal rivers

Drainages flowing into

Java Sea, Makassar Strait

Main rivers to other water bodies

Rivers that drain into the Java Sea include the Jelai, Kendawangan, Seruyan, Mentaya (Sampit), Kahayan, Barito, and Negara. There are also smaller rivers that drain east of the Meratus Mountains into the Makassar Strait.



This ecoregion encompasses the southernmost drainages of Borneo that empty into the Java Sea, from the Negara drainage in the east to the Jelai-Kendawangan drainage in the west. The ecoregion lies predominantly in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan, but also crosses into South Kalimantan and West Kalimantan.

Terrestrial habitats

Terrestrial ecoregions in Southeastern Borneo include the Borneo lowland rain forests [IM0102], Sundalan heath forests [IM0161], Borneo peat swamp forests [IM0104], Southwest Borneo freshwater swamp forests [IM0153], Sunda Shelf mangroves [IM1405], and an area of Borneo montane rain forests [IM0103] (WWF 2001).

Description of endemic fishes

Eighteen endemics have been recorded, but there may be as many as 40 (M. Kottelat pers. comm. 2006). Genera with multiple endemic species include Hemirhamphodon (Hemiramphidae), Parosphromenus (Osphronemidae), Rasbora (Cyprinidae), Sphaerichthys (Osphronemidae), and Sundasalanx (Sundasalangidae).

Justification for delineation

For Southeast Asia, delineations were determined using a bottom-up approach that employed both published and unpublished field data and expert assessment (Abell et al. 2008; Kottelat et al. 1993; Kottelat & Whitten 1993). The little published data suggest the presence of a number of endemic species. In addition, the aquatic fauna of this ecoregion has zoogeographic affinities with Southern Sumatra - Western Java [ecoregion 739] (M. Kottelat pers. comm. 2006).

Level of taxonomic exploration

Although there had been some surveys conducted in some basins (especially the Barito basin), data have not been available. The species richness can only be estimated, and little is known of its composition (M. Kottelat pers. comm. 2006).  


  • Abell, Robin,M.L. Thieme,C. Revenga,M. Bryer,M. Kottelat,N. Bogutskaya,B. Coad,N. Mandrak,S.C. Balderas,W. Bussing,M.L.J. Stiassny,P. Skelton,G.R. Allen,P. Unmack,A. Naseka,R. Ng,N. Sindorf,J. Robertson,E. Armijo,J.V. Higgins,T.J. Heibel,E. Wikramanayake, (2008). "Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Biogeographic Units for Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation" BioScience 58 (5) pp. 403-414.
  • Kottelat, M.;Whitten, A. J. (1993). "Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi: additions and corrections" Hong Kong: Periplus.
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (2001) \Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World\ "<"">"
  • Kottelat, M.,Whitten, A. J.,Kartikasari, S. N.;Wirjoatmodjo, S. (1993). "Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi" Hong Kong: Periplus.
  • Kottelat, M. and Whitten, T. (1996) \Freshwater biodiversity in Asia with special reference to fish, World Bank Technical Paper No. 343\ Washington, DC, USA. The World Bank.