The Borneo elephant also called the Borneo pygmy elephant inhabits northeastern Borneo. Its origin remains the subject of debate. A definitive subspecific classification as Elephas maximus borneensis awaits a detailed range-wide morphometric and genetic study. Since 1986, Elephas maximus has been listed as endangered by IUCN as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years. The species is pre-eminently threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.
The genetic distinctiveness of Borneo elephants makes them one of the highest priority populations for Asian elephant conservation. In Malaysia, the Borneo elephants are protected under schedule II of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment. Any person found guilty of hunting elephants is liable on conviction to a fine of $RM 50,000 or five years imprisonment or both.