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Research Interest

Little work is being conducted on their distribution, abundance, status and ecology of some of the species of mammals in Borneo. Some species are only known from one or two specimens and localities. In early 1970s, I was involved with the conservation of large mammals, particularly the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros. With rapid habitat destruction and hunting pressure in Malaysia, I am now concentrating my research effort to document on the distribution, population status and basic species ecology, and find ways for in situ conservation of the species and their natural habitats in Malaysia. Since 1994, biodiversity surveys funded by the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak in Borneo have resulted in the discovery of several new distribution records of mammals. New information on the species may be useful in our effort to save and protect species from being pushed to the brink of extinction amidst fast rainforest destruction.

  • Selected Research Grants [click here]
  • Graduate students' research projects 2003-2015 [click here]

Selected Publications


Abdullah MT, Wong Siew Fui and Besar Ketol. 2010. Catalogue of mammals in the UNIMAS Zoological Museum. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Publication, Kota Samarahan. ISBN 978-967-5527-02-9. [pdf]


F. A. Anwarali, V.J. Swier, P.A. Larsen, S. Solari, K. Besar, M. Wahap, S. Ellagupillay, M.Marklarin, M.T Abdullah and R.J. Baker. 2008. Using Genetics and Morphology to Examine Species Diversity of Old World Bats: report of a recent collection from Malaysia. Occasional Papers at Museum of Texas Tech University. [pdf]

Refereed Journals Publication


Isham Azhar, Mohd-Ridwan A. R., Licia Ho, Millawati Gani, Sarina Mat Yasin and M. T. Abdullah. 2013. A Note on Bats from Camp 5, Mulu World Heritage Area, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Accepted Malayan Nature Journal

Thayaparan, S., Robertson, I., Amraan, F., Su'ut, L., Abdullah, M.T., 2013, Serological Prevalence od Leptospiral Infection in Wildlife in Sarawak, Malaysia. Borneo J.Resour.Sci.Tech 2(2), 79-82.

Fong Pooi Har, Yuzine Esa and Mohd Tajuddin Abdullah. 2013. Genetic variations and population structure of the genus Cynopterus in Malaysia by  Accepted by Pertanika JTAS for 13 August 2013 issue.


Tingga, R. C. T., Anwarali, F. A., Mohd Ridwan A. R., Senawi, J. and Abdullah, M. T. 2012. Small mammals from Kuala Atok-Taman Negara, Pahang. Sains Malaysiana 41(6): 659-669. (Impact Factor - JCR/SE 2011 = 0.268, Q3; SCOPUS-indexed). [pdf]

Tingga, R.C.T. and M.T. Abdullah. 2012.  Preliminary Morphometric Analysis of Aethalopsaequalis populations in Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Tropical Natural History Journal 12(1): 29-41. [pdf]

Sigit Wiantoro, Ibnu Maryanto and M.T. Abdullah. 2012. Phylogeny and Phylogeography of Myotis muricola (Gray, 1846) (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the West and and East of Wallace's Line Inferred from Partial MtDNA Cytochrome b Gene. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science 35 (2): 271-292. (SCOPUS-indexed). [pdf]

Jayaraj, V.K, C.J. Laman and M.T. Abdullah. 2012. A predictive model to differentiate the fruit bats Cynopterus brachyotis and C. cf. brachyotis forest (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) from Malaysia using multivariate analysis. Zoological Studies 51(2): 259-271. (Impact Factor – 0.975). [pdf]

Sazali, Siti Nurlydia, CJ. Laman and M.T. Abdullah. 2012. Morphometric variations of Malaysian Hipposideros species. Malaysian Journal of Mathematical Science 6(1): 47-57. [pdf]

Mohd Ridwan A. R. and M.T. Abdullah. 2012.  Population Genetics of the Cave-dwelling Dusky Fruit Bat, Penthetor lucasi, Based on Four Populations in Malaysia. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science 35 (3): 459-489. [pdf]

Tingga, R.C.T. and M.T. Abdullah. 2012.  Phylogeny and Phylogeography of Aethalops from Sundaland using 12S rRNA gene. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science 35 (3): 485 – 510. [pdf]

Eileen Lit, Muhamad Ikhwan Idris, Wahap Marni, MohamadJ alani Mortada and M.T. Abdullah. 2012. Species Diversity of Small Mammals in Lubuk Sembilang Recreational Park, Langkawi Island, Kedah. Pp 124-135. In Mazlin Mokhtar and Sharina Abdul halim [eds.]RIMBA 2: Regional SustainableDevelopment in Malaysia and Australia. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Charles Darwin University. Institute for Environment and Development (Lestari) and Universiti KebangsaanMalaysia.

Kishen Bunya, Madinah Adrus and M.T. Abdullah. 2012. Review and Validation of Selected Materials on Illicit Hunting in on illegal hunting in Malaysia. Pp 41- 57. In Mazlin Mokhtar and Sharina Abdul Halim [eds.] RIMBA 2: Regional Sustainable Development in Malaysia and Australia. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Charles Darwin University. Institute for Environment and Development (Lestari) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Kishen Bunya, Wahap Marni, Huzal Irwan Hussin, Titol Peter Malim, Khairul Nizam Kamaruddin, Mohd. Nizam Mat Saat, Fatimah Abang and M.T. Abdullah. 2012. Preliminary taxonomic checklist of mammals in Imbak Canyon Conservation Area. Pp 253-264. In A. Latif and Waidi Sinun (eds.). Imbak Canyon Conservation Area, Sabah: geology, biodiversity andsocio-economic environment. Akademi Sains Malaysia and Sabah Foundation.


Nur Aida Md Tamrin and M. T. Abdullah. 2011. Molecular phylogenetics and systematics of five genera of Malaysian murine rodents (Maxomys, Sundamys, Leopoldamys, Niviventer andRattus) inferred from partial mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. Journal of Science and Technology in the Tropics 7: 75-86. [pdf]

Sazali, S.N., Besar, K. and Abdullah, M.T. 2011. Phylogenetic Analysis of the Malaysian Rhinolopus and Hipposideros Inferred from Partial Mitochondrial DNA Cytochrome b Gene Sequences. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science. 34(2): 281-294. [pdf]

Sazali, S. N., Anwarali, F. A., Besar, K., Marni, W. and M.T. Abdullah. 2011. New distribution record of the Ashy roundleaf bat Hipposideros cineraceus Blyth 1853 in Sarawak Malaysian Borneo: Conservation implications. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation. 8: 83-88.[pdf]

Mohd Ridwan A. R., Tingga, R. C. T., Hasan, N. H., Azhar, M. I. & Abdullah, M.T. 2011. Bats of Wind Cave Nature Reserve, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Tropical Natural History 11: 159-175. [pdf]

Madinah A., Fatimah A., Mariana A., and M.T. Abdullah. 2011. Ectoparasites Of Small Mammals In Four Localities Of Wildlife Reserves In Peninsular Malaysia. The Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine And Public Health. 42(4): 803-813.

Jayaraj Vijaya Kumaran, Besar Ketol, Wahap Marni, Isa Sait, Mohamad Jalani Mortada, Faisal Ali Anwarali Khan, Fong Pooi Har, Leslie S. Hall & M. T. Abdullah. 2011. Comparative Distribution and Diversity of Bats From Selected Localities In Sarawak. Borneo Journal Resource Science and Technology. Tech. 1: 1-13. [pdf]

Hasan, N.H., Abdullah, M.T. 2011. A morphological analysis of Malaysian Kerivoula(Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae). Mammal Study 36: 87-97. [pdf]


Faisal Ali Anwarali Khan, Sergio Solari, Vicki J. Swier, Peter A. Larsen, M.T. Abdullah, Robert J. Baker. 2010. Systematics of Malaysian woolly bats (Vespertilionidae: Kerivoula) inferred from mitochondrial, nuclear, karyotypic, and morphological data. Journal of Mammalogy. 91(5): 1058-1072. [pdf]

Rahman, Mohd Riduan Abdul and M.T. Abdullah. 2010. Morphological Variation in the Dusky Fruit Bat, Penthetor lucasi, in Sarawak, Malaysia. Tropical Natural History 10(2): 141-158.

Abdullah M.T., Wong Siew Fui and Besar Ketol. 2010. Catalogue of mammals in the UNIMAS Zoological Museum. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Publication, Kota Samarahan. ISBN 978-967-5527-02-9.

Rahman, MRA and M.T. Abdullah. 2010. Morphological Variation in the Dusky Fruit Bat, Penthetor lucasi, in Sarawak, Malaysia. Tropical Natural History 10(2): 141-158.

Apun, K., K.L. Kho, Y.L. Chong, F.H. Hashimatul, M.T. Abdullah, M.A. Rahman, M.B. Lesley and L. Samuel, 2010. Detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in wildlife from disturbed habitats in Sarawak, Malaysia. Res. J. Microbiol., 6: 132-139. DOI: 10.3923/jm.2011.132.139 (SCOPUS Cited Publication).[pdf]

Rahman MRA., Tingga RCT., Hasan NH, Wiantoro S., Achmadi AS., Eileen Lit, Besar Ketol, Huzal Irwan Husin & M.T. Abdullah. 2010. Diversity of bats in two protected limestone areas in Sarawak, Malaysia. Sarawak Museum Journal. 88:209-246. [pdf]


Sigit Wiantoro, Eileen Lit, Mohd Fizl Sidq, Nor Salmizar, Isa Sait and M.T. Abdullah. 2009. Notes on Field Survey and New Distributional Record of Small Mammals in Mount Murud, Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation, 5: 71 – 79.

Besar Ketol, F. A. Anwarali, Wahap Marni, Isa Sait, Maklarin Lakim, Paul Imbun Yambun, Mohd Azib Salleh, Mustafa Abdul Rahman and M.T. Abdullah. 2009. Checklist of mammals from Gunung Silam, Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation, 5: 61 – 65.

M. N. Dzulhelmi and M T. Abdullah. 2009. An Ethogram Construction For The Malayan Flying Lemur (Galeopterus Variegatus) In Bako National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation, 5: 31 – 42.


Anwarali, F. A., V.J. Swier, P.A. Larsen, S. Solari, K. Besar, M. Wahap, S. Ellagupillay, M.Marklarin, M.T. Abdullah, and R.J. Baker. 2008. Using Genetics and Morphology to Examine Species Diversity of Old World Bats: report of a recent collection from Malaysia. Occasional Papers at Museum of Texas Tech University.

Ryan, J.R., K.H.G. Andy, V.K. Jayaraj, Y. Esa, A.A. Sallehin and Abdullah, M.T. 2008. Malaysian fruit bats phylogeny inferred using ribosomal RNA. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science 31(1):107-117. [pdf]

Siti Nurlydia Sazali, Noor Haliza Hasan, Charlie J. Laman, M.T. Abdullah. 2008. A Morphometric Analysis of Malaysian Rhinolophus Species. Malaysian Journal of Mathematical Sciences 2 (1): 83-95.

Faisal Ali Anwarali Khan, Mohamad Faishal Bujang, Mohd. Azmin Kassim, Yap Sheau Yuh, Abang Arabi Abg Aimran, Zaidi Mawek, Abang Abdul Mutalib Abg Tajudin, Haidar Ali, Besar Ketol, Wahap Marni, Isa Sait, C.J. Laman, M.T. Abdullah. 2008. Diversity and Abundance of Birds and Mammals in Niah National Park, Sarawak using Transect Survey. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation 4(1): 23-37.

Jaya Seelan Sathiya Seelan, Faisal Ali Anwarali Khan, Sepiah Muid, M.T. Abdullah. 2008. Bats (chiropteran) Reported With Aspergillus Species From Kubah National. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation 4(1): 81-97.

Faisal Ali Anwarali Khan, Siti Nurlydia Sazali, Jayaraj Vijaya Kumaran, Siali Aban, Mohd Kasyfullah Zaini, Besar Ketol, Jeffrine Rovie Ryan, Ahmad Mashur Julaihi, L.S. Hall and M. T. Abdullah. 2008. Bats of Bako National Park. Sarawak Museum Journal LXIII (84):267-300.[pdf]

Mohd Azlan J, Taha, S.H., Laman, C.J.M. and Abdullah, M.T. 2008. Diversity of bats at two contrasting elevations in a protected dipterocarp forest in Sarawak, Borneo The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Australia 24: 151–156.


Abdullah, M.T. 2007. Mammals of Borneo online. Prospect Malaysia 2: 84-85.

Abdullah, M.T., Puttipong Jusait, Prakwat Wo Han Di, MZ Ariffin and LS Hall. 2007. Observations of bats in three national parks in Thailand. Tigerpaper 34(4): 5-10.

Ryan JRJ, Khairul Adha AR, Dennis KP, Khan FAA, Abdullah M.T., Marilyn J and Esa YB. 2007. Distribution and Composition of Freshwater Fishes of Jempol and Serting Rivers, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Journal of Wildlife and National Parks 22: 87-95.


Abdullah M.T. and VK Jayaraj. 2006. Preliminary investigation on the relationship of the nominate C. brachyotis with the small-sized and large-sized C. brachyotis using clustering analysis. Sarawak Museum Journal 83: 223-236.

Besar Ketol, Sekudan Tedong and M.T. Abdullah. 2006. Distribution of the rare flying lemur in Kota Samarahan and Kuching area, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal 83: 237-241.

Jayaraj V.K., Besar Ketol, FAA Khan, LS Hall, Abdullah, M.T. 2006. Bat survey of Mount Penrisen and notes on the rare Kerivoula minuta, Kerivoula intermedia and Hipposideros coxiin Sarawak, Borneo. Journal of Biological Sciences 6(4): 711-716. Available online at


Mohd-Azlan, J, Neucholos J and Abdullah M.T. 2005. Diversity of chiroptera in limestone forest area, Bau, Sarawak. Malaysian Applied Biology 34(1): 59-64.


Hall LS, Gordon G. Grigg, Craig Moritz, Besar Ketol, Isa Sait, Wahab Marni and Abdullah, M.T. 2004. Biogeography of fruit bats in Southeast Asia. Sarawak Museum Journal 80:191-284.[pdf]


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