Betta brownorum has a restricted distribution and is only found in the peat swamp forests of Sarawak, in the Malaysian part of Borneo - from the type locality in the Sibu region in the north to the Kuching region in the south.

Tropical peat swamp forests (PSFs), are waterlogged forests growing on a layer of dead plant material up to 20 metres thick. They are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world.

More than 60% of the world’s tropical PSFs are found in south east Asia. PSFs comprise an ancient and unique ecosystem characterised by low nutrients and highly acidic black water - down to pH3.

They provide crucial ecosystem services, including:

  • control of water storage
  • coastal erosion prevention
  • flood mitigation
  • future atmospheric carbon sequestration
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