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Agathis borneensis

Agathis borneensis
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Product Information

Scientific name: Agathis borneensis   Warburg 1900

Synonyms: Agathis beccarii Warb., Agathis beckingii Meijer Drees, Agathis endertii Meijer Drees, Agathis latifolia Meijer Drees, Agathis macrostachys Warb., Agathis rhomboidalis Warb.

Common names: Borneo kauri, Malayan kauri, Western dammar, Dammar minyak (Malay)



Tree to 35(-60) m tall, with cylindrical, unbuttressed trunk to 1.6(-3) m in diameter. Bark smooth and light brown to light gray at first, darkening with age and weathering, sometimes becoming almost black, and flaking in small, thin or thick scales to become densely and deeply pockmarked, often sported with resin. Crown narrowly dome-shaped, with irregularly spaced, large, stiffly spreading to upwardly angled branches bearing tufts of branchlets. Branchlets green from the beginning, without a waxy film, densely clothed with foliage. Leaves light green to yellowish green above and beneath, (3-)6-9(-12) cm long (to 14 cm in juvenile), (1-)2-3.5 cm wide (to 4 cm in juveniles), widest near the middle (a little before the middle in juveniles), tapering gradually to the triangular tip, usually prolonged in a narrower sharp to blunt, and more abruptly to the concavely wedge-shaped base on a short petiole about 5-10 mm long. Pollen cones distinctly widest near the middle, 3-7(-9) cm long, (14-)20-30(-40) mm thick, with two or three pairs of small, clasping sterile scales at the base, on a stalk 1-10 mm long. Each pollen scale with two seven pollen sacs and a rounded external face. Seed cones often flushed with purple just before maturity, not waxy, distinctly longer than wide, (6-)7-10(-15) cm long, 5.5-8(-13) cm thick. Seed scales without a large, tonguelike projection. Seed body 10-12 mm long and (5-)8-9 mm wide, the larger wing 15-20 mm by 9-16 mm, the smaller one bluntly triangular, projecting about 1-2 mm.

Southern Malay Peninsula, northern and central Sumatra, and Borneo (Malaysia and Indonesia). Scattered as an emergent over various kinds of lowland and lower montane rain forests but forming pure stands on sterile white-stands; (200-)300-1,000(-1,400) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered

Agathis borneensis has in the past been confused with Agathis dammara, and the 1998 assessment of Agathis dammara treated Agathis borneensis as a synonym. Agathis endertii was also previously considered a good species (Farjon 1998, 2001) and hence assessed separately for the IUCN Red List, however, Farjon (2010) now considers it to be conspecific with Agathis borneensis. Deforestation and targeted logging have been ongoing for many years, have accelerated in recent decades, and are continuing to deplete the global population of this species, especially in Borneo and Sumatera which form the major part of its range. An estimate of 50% reduction between 1950 and 2025 is probably on the conservative side. This puts the species in the category Endangered. Agathis borneensis occurs in lowland to upland tropical rainforest as scattered emergent trees and in low lying kerangas forest on sandy or sometimes peaty soils, where it can form extensive pure stands. This species has been very heavily over-exploited in many areas and as a result its total area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to have at least been reduced by half and this is still ongoing. Stands covering an estimated total of 30,000 ha discovered in Kalimantan in the 1930s had effectively been logged out by the mid 1960s. Most stands outside the few well protected nature reserves (mostly situated in the Malay Peninsula and in Sabah) have been seriously depleted and it is doubted that regeneration will be sufficient to restore the losses. Habitat degradation has caused further reductions in recruitment of young trees to replace felled ones. This species is one of the most valuable and sought after timber trees in Southeast Asia and it is traded on the international market. This species (and Agathis dammara) are planted on a fairly large scale in forestry plantations in Jawa, but only locally on a small scale within its native range. This species is present in several protected areas, but these only cover a tiny proportion of the global population and are skewed geographically to parts of Malaysia; in Indonesia there are few reserves relevant to this species.



  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeAGAE7ZEH44

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