Ulu Muda and Pedu Lake Forest Reserve

Ulu Muda and Pedu Lake Forest Reserve

Visitors must ensure that they are mentally and physically fit, as the Forest Reserve is still quite untouched hence making it impermeable at times. Boast with 109 species of mammals (more than 50% of Peninsular Malaysia’s total count) including endangered species like tigers, Sumatran rhinoceros, tapirs, flying lemurs and gaur; 110 bird species including the endangered Malay peacock pheasant and great argus pheasant; as well as 47 endemic tree species. Kedah State Department of Forestry 8th Floor, Bangunan Sultan Abdul Halim, Jalan Sultan Badlishah, Alor Setar - Kedah (04) 733 3844, Fax: (04) 731 0601 - Peninsula Malaysia

GETTING THERE

Via North-South Highway, towards Thailand. Take the exit at Gurun and go along the trunk road to Gulau (TRK10). Keep going north to Gulau and then head towards Pengkalan Kampung Gubir at the Muda lake jetty. It’s approximately 2 hours drive from Alor Star, Kedah. From jetty, there was three hours boat ride to the Labuh campsite at the Forest reserve. Alternative, lots of people choose to stay at the nearest luxury accommodation in Pedu Lake which is nearby, then make a day trip to Ulu Muda or you can arrange to stay at the Pedu lake resort after the camping trip in Ulu Muda forest reserve. For Pedu Lake, continue north for another 30 km.

THE FOREST RESERVE AT A GLANCE

Size: 122. 798 hectares of 150 - 170million year old virgin rainforest forests. Activities: Bird Watching, Jungle trekking, Animals observations. Flora Fauna: The flora in the Ulu Muda Nature Reserve is quite exclusive because of its geographical position. It is this position which affects the climate which is cooler in the North (Thailand) and hotter in the South allowing exotic and unique plants to thrive in the Reserve. Encompasses two major catchments areas this unique geographical position is an attraction to the wildlife which moves along the jungles of Thailand and Malaysia. Boast with 109 species of mammals which are about 50% of the total count in Peninsular Malaysia. This including endangered species like tiger, Malayan Sun Bear, Sumatran rhinoceroses, tapirs, flying lemurs and gaur. There are 110 species of birds in the Reserve including endangered Malay peacock pheasant and great argus pheasant. Ulu muda forest reserve also a home to numerous other species of insects, birds, monkeys and reptiles; as well as 47 endemic tree species. Ulu Muda also act as heaven for Agile gibbon, there are normally stay at the canopy as high as 20m from ground, a tiny black furry creature with incredible long arms. There are about 10 hot springs in Ulu Muda forest reserve. Sira Hangat hot spring are regularly visit by tourist. Visitors will be able to feast their eyes on different species of animals from the mighty elephant to the shy and elusive tapirs. Some of the largest salt licks in Malaysia can be found in Ulu Muda Nature Forest Reserve. Large mammals come from afar to these salt licks therefore making them very strategic places for animal-spotting. Another major activity not to be missed is bird-watching. During a scientific survey which ran for 5 days, 132 species of birds were found in the Reserve. Among the birds found were the Hornbills, Straw-headed Bulbul and Hooded Pita. Pedu Lake is accessible by road whereas the Ulu Muda Lake, the other dam built deeper in the jungle, is still only accessible by river. This wild, expanse of rainforest jungle saddling the two catchment areas creates a corridor for wild animals to cross into the Thailand jungles. Covering more than 105,000 hectares, the area is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for animals such as elephants, tapirs, sumatran rhinoceros, sun bears, seladang, deer, gibbons, otters and numerous species of birds, reptiles, insects and monkeys. This reserve is unique in flora as it sits on the boundary of the northern and southern climatic zones. This is an adventure to be experienced only by intrepid adventurers. When you're out there in the wilderness, you're really miles away from anyone. Just you and your guides. Arm yourself with enough food, some camping equipment and any other jungle survival kit, which you think you may need. A hammock may be a good idea to keep you dry, above the damp soil and out of reach of the many kinds of crawling, stinging insects and venomous reptiles. Also, the rainforest can be very humid and stifling and can get very wet. Clothes may not dry for days, spectacles and camera lenses fog up often. The thick primary forest canopy, several hundred feet above, cuts off most light from reaching the forest floor. Vines and roots twine across the floor, rattans whip themselves round tree trunks and criss-cross the undergrowth. If not careful, the thorns can tear flesh away, exposing wounds that are slow to heal in such damp conditions. This is only the start of it all. For days on end there are no trails except for well-trodden treks made by elephants and rhinoceros visiting favorite salt licks or bathing pools. A number of salt licks and hot mineral springs scattered around are important sources of mineral and vitamin supplements and are frequented by a variety of wildlife. Sira Hangat, possibly the largest mineral spring in Malaysia is a great place to set camp, but if your intention is to see some action, then seat yourself in a comfortable spot high on the treetop where the foliage will hide you and where the cooler breeze will take your scent away. In order to spot wildlife in our jungles, one must be prepared to wait, avoid slapping on any scented creams or sprays that may deter mosquitoes and other pests. Be as quiet as possible.

Taman Negara

Wildlife and National Parks Department Km 10. Jalan Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur Tel : 03 9052872 Fax : 03 9052873 Kuala Tahan office, Taman Negara Resort Kuala Tahan, Jerantut, 27000 Pahang Tel : 09 2663500 Fax: 09 2663500

GETTING THERE

By Road

By Road From Kuala Lumpur, a 3hour drive takes you to Jerantut. Then, proceed 16 km north to Kuala Tembeiing Jerantut bound taxis may be found at the Pudu Raya Bus Terminal in Kuala Lumpur. Alternatively, take a bus from the Jalan Tun Razak Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur for Jerantut and from there, take a local bus or taxi to Kuala Tembeling.

By Rail

Train services are available from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The train passes Kuala Tembeling. From Kuala Tembeling, there is a half-hour walk to the jetty.

THE PARK AT A GLANCE

Size: 4,343 sq km Highest Point: Gunung Tahan (2,187 meters) Flora Fauna: Over 10,000 species of plants, 250 kind of birds. Local mammals include mouse deer, barking deer, wild ox, and numerous monkey species. Tapir, elephant, leopard and tiger also present, though not easy to spot. Jungle Walks Amidst Sheer Tranquility Opt for leisurely walks through the lowland forests along scenic jungle paths beautifully landscaped by Mother Nature. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the jungle as you cross clear bubbling streams beneath the shades of centuries old trees. A short walk of 1.5 km (from the Resort) brings you to the Canopy Walkway, a suspension bridge of strong ropes, cable, net and wood hanging 40 meters above the ground!. The walkway offers visitors a scenic walk among the tree tops to observe nature at close range.

Jungle Trekking For The More Energetic

The more active might prefer the tougher challenge of jungle trekking along the numerous trails in the park. Trekking along these trails may take as long as 9 days and require a certain level of fitness but for some, it is a more rewarding experience of an authentic jungle adventure.

Scaling The Highest Peak Gunung Tahan

Offers the adventurous, the heady excitement and challenge of mountain climbing. The journey up and down the mountain takes an average of 9 days. Previous jungle trekking experience would of course be an added advantage though not necessarily a prerequisite.

Thrills And Spills Of Trips Up River

A leisurely 8 km trip up Sungai Tahan to the Lata Berkoh Cascades offers visitors the invigorating experience of swimming in the cool waters of a deep pool below the falls. Then retreat to the rocky area overlooking the rapids for your picnic lunch. The more adventurous would perhaps prefer shooting the seven powerful rapids of the Sungai Tembeling. The 9.1 km ride takes 45 minutes. Hang on tight to your seat and be prepared to get drenched.

Exploring The Mysteries Of Nature's Caves

Two notable caves within the park area are Gua Daun Menari at Kuala Keniam and Gua Telinga, less than an hour's walk from Kuala Tahan. The former attracts visitors with its interesting rock formation and unique wildlife. Gua Telinga is a limestone cave carved by a stream, another fine example of nature's ingenuity.

Observing Wild Life

As Darkness Descends This is a nocturnal activity well worth the effort. There are 6 hides scattered around the Park. Within the relative safety of these hides, overlooking the salt licks and clearings, visitors get a chance to observe the animals as they come to lick up the water and soil for essential salts for their body.

Orang Asli Settlement

Visit Kampung Yong, home to Batek tribe. Gain some insight into the life of the Orang Asli and see how they hunt and survive the wilds.

Bird Watching

Another popular activity within the park, the keen bird watcher will surely not let the park without spotting least a few of the 250 species reportedly to be found here.

Kuala Selangor Nature Park

Birds remain the big attraction, although mammals and reptiles like silvered leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaques, squirrels, smooth otters and monitor lizards are regularly observed. Also recorded are sightings of more elusive mammals like the leopard cat, common palm civet and scaly anteater. It is home to one of the most important wetland sanctuaries and also the unique phenomenon of synchronous flashings of fireflies. Kuala Selangor Nature Park Jalan Klinik 45000 Kuala Selangor Tel: 03 889 2294

GETTING THERE

About 70 km from Kuala Lumpur via Federal Highway to Kuala Selangor at mouth of Selangor River Nature park at base of Bukit Melawati. Look out for signs to the park just before Kuala Selangor town. Alternatively, a more scenic route via Batang Berjuntai road B33, which takes you right pass Kg. Kuantan's "firefly" jetty.

THE PARK AT A GLANCE

Size: 300 hectares Activities: Migratory water birds, natural wetland flora and fauna, nature trails, wildlife observation, history of surrounding area. Accommodation : Comfortable basic chalets, hostel, camping sites. Permits/Access: No permits required. Entrance fee is applicable. Flora and fauna: it is home to unique and interesting species such as a variety of birds, insects, spiders, mollusks, crabs, fishes, reptiles and mammals. Some of the special mammalians are silvered leaf monkey, ‘Presbytis cristata’, long-tailed macaque ‘Macaca fascicularis’, short-tailed ‘mongoose Herpestes brachyurus’, smooth-coated otter ‘Lutra perspicillata’, mudskippers, king crab and leopard cat. Protected by their chain mail armour, the notoriously fierce 18th century seafaring Bugis warriors once manned the ramparts and parapets of the Altingsburg fort, at the summit of Bukit Melawati, Kuala Selangor. Their mission was to guard the estuary of the Selangor River from invaders of their newly established fiefdom. The Selangor Sultanate, founded at Kuala Selangor in 1766 by the legendary Bugis ruler Raja Lumu, still endures. The ancient cannons of the Altingsburg fort still stretch seawards across the thriving mangrove habitats of the Kuala Selangor Nature Park, as if protecting this wetland sanctuary from invasion by 21st century bulldozers and dump trucks. The Kuala Selangor Nature Park originally formed part of a rich mangrove ecosystem that spread along the coastline around the Selangor river estuary. During the 1960's, the park was tagged for redevelopment and a levee was constructed through the mangrove forest to drain the swampland habitats and mitigate flooding of the Kuala Selangor village. Subsequently, extensive logging occurred throughout the area and secondary growth vegetation like Acacia trees, creepers, mangrove ferns and strangling figs overran the remnants of the mangrove forests on the inland side of the levee. Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) recognized the natural heritage value of the mangrove and wetland ecosystems and submitted a proposal to the Selangor State Government to jointly develop the area as a conservation site, under a unique collaborative agreement. The Selangor State Government accepted the proposal and in 1987 about 300 hectares of mangrove and secondary forest habitats officially opened as the Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Within the secondary forest area MNS volunteers created a sprawling wetland ecosystem that is now an important feeding and roosting habitat for about 160 species of resident and migratory birds. Built around the perimeter of the lake are three elevated observation hides and three ground-level viewing shelters. Sightings of large groups of brahminy kites and the White-bellied sea-eagle are common from these vantage points. Migratory raptors known to visit the area include black bazas, crested honey buzzards, Chinese goshawks, Japanese sparrow hawks, ospreys and migrant spotted eagles. During the annual Trans equatorial migration between September and April, it is estimated up to 100,000 northern hemisphere water birds who navigate the East Asian flyway will stop over at Kuala Selangor. Representing some 30 species many of these visitors rest and feed around the park's lake and along the estuary mudflats for only a few days, before continuing south to roost in Indonesia and Australia. Other birds will enjoy their entire winter vacation among the area's lush wetland habitat. Common migratory species include redshanks, sandpipers, shrikes, godwits, bee-eaters, plovers, knots, herons, kingfishers and curlews. Sightings of rare species like the Asian dowitcher, spoonbilled sandpipers and nordmann’s greenshank have also been recorded. Boardwalks through the mangrove ecosystem provide comfortable platform to view the mangrove flora and fauna to unobtrusively observe mangrove wildlife, Iike crabs, crustaceans, worms, snails, mudskippers and molluscs. Often seen searching for delicacies among the mangrove vegetation are birds, monkeys and monitor lizards. One boardwalk leads directly into the estuary mudfiats, overlooking rich cockle and fishing grounds in the Straits of Malacca. A continuing supply of nutrients from a healthy mangrove ecosystem along the coastline is inextricably linked to the long-term survival of these important commercial habitats. In 1998, MNS and Zoo Negara established a collaborative captive-breeding project at the park to save the critically endangered Milky Stork from extinction. The project is part of the MilkyStork Breeding Program first established at Zoo Negara in 1987. Working with the zoo, MNS breed the stork at the nature park's specially built aviary for eventual release back into its natural wetland habitat. There are 4 nature trails that allow visitors to stroll in the forest, and study the flora there. Visitors will see varieties of fungi, ferns, palm, and creepers.

Lake complexes

There are 2 artificial lakes that get their supply of brackish water from the Selangor River. The water level is controlled by sluice gates. A few hideouts are strategically located along the edges of the open swamps and elevated hideouts offer shade and camouflage for longer periods of watching the water birds and waders. These facilities provide the opportunity to learn patience and silence necessary for the joy of bird watching.

Night lights or fireflies

The Selangor River offers the opportunity to see millions of tiny fireflies at night. This is a beautiful spectacle when millions of resident fireflies flash synchronously. The best time is between dusk and midnight and it is advisable to avoid the full moon. A local village cooperative provides a regular boat service from Kg. Kuantan jetty and visitors are slowly rowed up river for about 1 km before returning. After your evening meal, this is a heavenly way to end the day.

Bukit Melawati

Melawati Hill is the highest area in the state of Kuala Selangor and is the site of the 200-year-old Fort Altingsburg. You can enjoy the panoramic view of the Straits of Malacca and the surrounding areas where the Dutch surveyed the countryside before capturing it in 1794.

Royal Belum Park

The State of Perak has decided to preserve the Belum and Temenggor forests as a permanent nature reserve for research. Department of Wildlife and National Parks Phone: 05 - 527 3411 Perhilitan Perak: 05-7911164

GETTING THERE

The nearest towns to Belum are Grik in Perak and Jeli in Kelantan, which are connected by the scenic East-West Highway. Driving from Kuala Lumpur to Belum takes about six hours by North-South Highway and exit at Kuala Kangsar. Head for Gerik and then to Pulau Banding. Belum is also accessible from Baling in Kedah via Pengkalan Hulu from the north. From Kota Baru, it's a three-hour drive. The nearest railway station is Kuala Kangsar but the station is still a long way off. From there take boat ride to the campsite.

THE ROYAL PARK AT A GLANCE

Size: 117,500 hectares Activities: like fishing, kayaking, jungle walking, bird watching and camping. Flora and Fauna : The Belum forest are rich by rare rainforest hardwoods such as Meranti, Cengal, Keruing and Merbau species, these large hardwoods have survived 150 to 600 years with poor condition soil, lack of nutrients and weather changes. The forest also showcases the flora of the northern region, which has distinct Myanmar-Thai influences. Species like rafflesia, wild ginger, orchids, wild flowers and Tongkat Ali can be found here.It is also home to some 25 rare species of flies, and a few endemic prawns that have live here for centuries that cannot be found in any other part of the country. Belum forest is facing dangers from excessive poaching and the loss of habitat. Local poachers and those from Thailand are the main threat. Wildlife trafficking is becoming a serious problem and more so for the meat and exotic pet market. There are an estimated 60-70 tigers roaming around in Belum, over 100 Seladangs survive here in groups of single males and their harems, the Sumatran Rhinos are estimated at 160 individuals and there are over 100 Tapirs. Elephants live in large tight knit families, Binturongs come out at night, Malayan Sun Bears scale trees for huge honey combs and the Serow hide away in the limestone hills. The wild fishing cats sit patiently for its food to swim down the streams as the wildcats crouch in thick undergrowth. Here, so many species share space in Belum such as Leopard Cats, Clouded Leopards, Black Panthers, Vipers, Flying Foxes, Otters, Porcupines, Armadillos, Reptiles, Dholes and 200 species of colourful birds. It is estimated that there are at least 60 salt licks scattered around the Belum area. These Salt licks are usually visited by all types of animal tracks. The Sambar Deer, the Kijangs, Tapirs, Elephants, wild boars, the Sumatran Rhino, Seladang and the Malayan Gaur - come down to the licks, usually under the cover of the darkness. The animals also smear mud onto their bodies to clear themselves of parasites, boar ticks and sometimes to seal open wounds from infection and contamination. Males often urinate and defecate around the salt lick area to mark out their territories as they leave. Ancient limestone hills in Temenggor Lake believe to be 220 million years old. Some of the limestone islands at the southern reaches of the lake were once majestic rock cliffs dating back to 400 million years ago; before the Jurassic era. These are said to be among the oldest outcrops in Malaysia. For a visit to the Terhong Waterfall, you can depart to Post Chiong on a 2 hours boat ride and trek 4 hours to the waterfall via Terning, remembering to visit the Pering saltlick along Sungai Terming and Rafflesia. [tab] [/tab] Pictures by Dev Mahendra

Perlis State Park

The Park consists of Mato Ayer Forest Reserve and Wang Mu Forest Reserve with a total area of about 5,000 hectares. District Forest Officer km2, Jalan Kaki Bukit 01000 Kangar - Perlis - Malaysia (West) Tel: 04-9776626 - Fax: 04-9776626 Forestry Office - Wang Kelian Perlis - Malaysia (West) Tel: 04-9457898 - email: psp@pd.jaring.my

GETTING THERE

By Road

From Kangar take route 7 about 30km towards Padang besar, soon after Timah Tasoh Lake, take a turning to Gua Kelamand then head for Kaki Bukit. Once arrive at Kaki Bukit Town, head towards R15, uphill along windy road. Keep on this road which will take you to the bottom of the ridge at Kampung Wang Kelian, the is a T-junctions. turn right and after 3km you will see the park Visitor Centre on the right hand.

THE PARK AT A GLANCE

Size: 10.800 hectares Highest Point: Gunung Perlis Flora Fauna: The forests are on limestone with many plant species found only on this habitat some of which are not found anywhere else in Malaysia. These include rare species of gingers, ferns and balsoms. In Malaysia, the White Meranti Gerutu Seasonal Forest is found in Perlis since is has a long dry season every year. The trees of this forest shed their leaves during the dry season. The forests are rich in animal life, including the Serows, Panthers and 6 species of Hornbills. Perlis State Park is also the only place in Malaysia where the Stumped Tail Macaque is found. The forests are located next to the Thaleban National Park, across the Thai border and the two areas form a forge forested area rich in wildlife.

The Limestone

The limestone of the Nakawan Range is of the Setul Formation which is about 500 million years old older than the dinosaurs! The hills have steep cliffs separated by enclosed valleys called "wangs" ' Caves of various sizes can also be found here, ranging from narrow passageways to huge chambers. There are many fantastic formations in the caves which contain various kinds of animals such as the cave racer (a type of snake), bats and insects.

Bird Watching in Perlis state Park

Every year, thousand of migratory birds from cold weather country migrate in search of warmer parts in southern countries. The Timah Tasoh Dam, which located in the migratory path of the birds become the first stop of birds such as the Cotton Bellied Sea-Eagle species. Migrations starts in April till August and it is more conspicuous in the morning and during sunset. Species from West Asian countries like China, Russia and Siberia are also plenty in this dam. [tab] [/tab] Pictures by: Sari

Penang National Park

Penang National Park is all lush green and the fragrance of the sea breeze is enchanting. It conveys to us the message of eco-balance that everyone should live life joyfully. Its ecosystem consists mainly of tropical lowland forest with coastal features. Be it beaches, hills, forest trails or even lake, it offers big biodiversity as a national park. Penang National Park Jalan Hassan Abas,Teluk Bahang - 11050 Pulau Pinang Tel : 04-881 3530/ 04-881 2016 - Fax: 04-881 2016 E-mail : tnpp@streamyx.com Wildlife Department Tingkat 40, Komplek Komtar Penang Road, 10000 Pulau Pinang Tel : 04-261 3039 - Fax : 04-261 0330 E-mail : jphltnpp@streamyx.com

GETTING THERE

North west corner of Penang Island about 230 km from Kuala Lumpur via NorthSouth Expressway. Entrance through the fishing village of Telok Bahang at the end of Batu Ferringhi Road.

THE PARK AT A GLANCE

Size: 2562 ha Facilities: Nature trails, Camping Sites, simple waterfront chalets, food stalls at Telok Bahang. Attractions : Natural forests, rare fauna and flora, unique seasonal meromictic lake, nature trekking, camping Accommodation: Camping State Forestry Department, facilities on site. Full range of accommodation in Penang. Permits / Access: No permits required. Main access via Telok Bahang about 25 km from Georgetown Flora & Fauna : Gazetted as National Park in 2003 it is biologically rich and environmentally fragile stand of coastal lowland and hill dipterocarp forest is a rare and unique alural heritage ecosystem in Penang. Although logged up to 1962 the area is substantially intact, including a pristine virgin jungle stand of about 80 hectares.The diversity of ecosystems also includes steep granite Lonoes and peaks, coastal mangrove forests, moist and shaded gullies, sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, boulder strewn shorelines ard a rare Meromictic Lake. A web of nature trails allows visitors to experience the natural beauty of the area, and the abundance and diversity of fauna and flora that lives throughout the park. All trails include sections requiring strenuous exertion. Some trails involve hard, rigorous climbing, up and down steep slopes and over large boulders. Trails range from moderately easy 60 minute round treks of about 1 kilometre each way, to tough 5 to 6 hour round treks of about 7 kilometres each way. The popular trail to the Mulka Head Lighthouse starts near Bahang Bay jetty and follows the coastline of the way. The trail leads past the University Sains Marine Research Station at Aling Bay to sandy beach at Duyung Bay. This section of trail requires climbing over several clusters of large boulders. It is adventurous and challenging but does demand caution. The climb from the beach to the 1883 vintage lighthouse on the top of Muka Head is via steep steps requiring about 30 minutes of vigorous leg pumping. Several other trails traverse the reserve. One leads to the west facing Pantai Kerachut (Kerachut Beach), the site of Malaysia's only Meromictic Lake. Three species of turtle have been observed at the west facing beaches during the breeding months. Also recorded in the reserve are more than 105 species of birds and 140 species of arboreal and nocturnal mammals, reptiles, insects and amphibia. These include monkeys, otters, mousedeer, wild boar, monitor lizards, flying lemurs, tree shrews, giant fruit bats and pythons. Interesting flora includesstag horn and birds nest ferns, pitcher plants, wild orchids and ginger. The Meromictic Lake at Pantai Keracut is an unusual seasonal phenomenon that occurs when the fresh water of the monsoon rains combine with the saline water from the Straits of Malacca to form a shallow, high salinity lake, on the foreshore. The dual water compositions in the lake do not integrate with each other but instead form a twolayer stratum, with a seam of warmer fresh water suspended above a seam of cooler saline water, resulting in a state of chemical stratification known as 'meromixis'. After experiencing the ecological abundance and living beauty of the Pantai Achein Forest Reserve, it is easy to bond with this ancient land and appreciatethe importanceto protect and preserve its biologically diverse, fragile and vulnerable ecosystems as a natural heritage treasure; in perpetuity. [tab] [/tab]

Kuala Gula Birds Sanctuary

The mangrove forest and mudflats of Kuala Gula are particularly important for more than 60 species of water birds including egrets, herons, storks, rails, shore birds terns and gulls, as well as some wetland dependent raptors and kingfishers.The flagship species of Kuala Gula is the globally threatened Milky Stork. Kuala Gula is currently the only known resident area for this vulnerable species in Malaysia. Another Vulnerable stork species, the Lesser Adjutant can be found here easily. Waterbird Conservation Centre c/o Jabatan PERHILITAN 34350 Kuala Gula Perak, Malaysia Tel: +60 5 8902207

GETTING THERE

From Kuala Lumpur, get onto the North South Highway, heading North. Once you reach Perak state, take the Taiping Utara exit and head towards Simpang Empat. From Taiping, you can get to Kuala Gula via Simpang Empat or Selinsing. From the North, take the Parit Buntar exit through Kuala Kurau.

THE PARK AT A GLANCE

Size: 40.000 Hectare Activities: Birdwatching primarily during the northern winter migratory season (Sept to March); culture (traditional fishing villages); seafood dinners and exploring the mangrove bunds by day or night. Flora Fauna: Kuala Gula was gazette a permanent forest reserve way back in 1906. 80% of the forest is still used for the production of mangrove woods including Bakau minyak and Bakau kurap, on a sustainable yield basis. The forest is watered through the daily flooding brought in by the tide. Since the Village was founded seventy years ago with 3 Chinese and 2 Malays families, the people of Kuala Gula have lived in harmony with thousands of birds that make their annual migratory trek to the estuary. The birds flying around the fishing village add color to the scenery of Kuala Gula – a haven for birds. Egrets, particularly the Great Egret and Little Egret are the most abundant species and can be seen very easily in the area. Migratory shorebirds are common here during the northern winter between the months of September and April. About 28 species of shorebirds over winter here or stop over while on passage. The most common ones are the Common Redshank, Terek Sandpiper, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Curlew Sanpiper, Red-necked Stint and Bar Tailed Godwit. The most common terns and gulls are the Brown headed Gull, White¬ winged Tern and Common Tern. Besides these, the common wetland dependent birds occurring here are the White bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, and White throated, Stork billed and Collared Kingfisher. Besides waterbirds, Kuala Gula is also a sanctuary for many other bird species. These birds utilize mainly the landward side of mangroves, cultivations and open country area. They include raptors, pigeons, parrots, cuckoos, owls, swifts, kingfishers bee eaters, woodpeckers, swallows, bulbuls, drongos, babblers, thrushes, warblers, flycatchers, wagtails, shrikes, mynas, sunbirds, sparrows and munias. The flagship species of Kuala Gula is the globally threatened Milky Stork. Kuala Gula is currently the only known resident area for this vulnerable species in Malaysia. Another Vulnerable stork species, the Lesser Adjutant can be found here easily. Other globally threatened species and near threatened species which can be found here are the Endangered Nordmarin's Greenshank; Vulnerable Chinese Egret, Masked Finfoot and Spoon billed Sandpiper; Near Threatened Black headed Ibis, Asian Dowitcher, Jambu Fruit Dove, Cinnamon headed Green Pigeon, Black bellied Malkoha, Chestnut bellied Malkoha and Mangrove Pitta.

Migration of Kuala Gula birds

Migratory birds arrive here from northern breeding grounds as early as August and while some are on passage, many remain to over winter. Two thirds of the water bird species of Kuala Gula undertake migration every year. They include shorebirds such as sandpipers, plovers, curlews, godwits and other water birds such as egrets, herons, bitterns, terns and gulls. The shorebirds inhabit wetlands and undertake the longest migrations from breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere to wintering areas in the south. Some of them fly more than 24,000 km annually from as far as Siberia to Australasia. The extensive mud flats, estuaries and mangroves of Kuala Gula provide food, roosting sites and shelter for water birds and other species. Thus this bird sanctuary is vital for the survival of thousands of these birds. In particular, Kuala Gula is home to 13 species of globally threatened and near threatened bird species. Pulau Kelumpang and Pulau Terong, with their permanently inundated lakes are important feeding and roosting sites for many storks, herons and egrets. In view of its importance for many species of globally threatened birds, Kuala Gula has been included in the List of Important Bird Areas by Malaysian Nature Society and BirdLife International in 2004.

A birding hot spot for waterbirds

No doubt about it, Kuala Gula is a birdwatching hotspot with habitats that host an exciting list of birds. You will have plenty to see as nearly 200 species have been recorded here including more than 60 species of water birds, 12 species of raptors, 11 species of pigeons and doves, 10 species of parrots and cuckoos, 7 species of kingfishers and 5 species of woodpeckers. At night, you may see a few species of owls around the cultivated areas. From Kuala Gula, you can also visit Malaysia's largest known breeding colony of the Black crowned Night Heron at Bagan. [tab] [/tab]

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

Remaining forests and connecting habitat corridors became fragmented and unsustainable for free ranging elephant herds. Wild elephants inevitably encroached into cultivated areas and plantations, searching for food. The elephant liked what it found and soon developed a huge appetite for succulent young, oil palm shoots. Subsequent extensive crop damage resulted, pitting planters and their commercial interests against Malaysia's largest mammal and its survival. Site Ranger - Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary Kuala Gandah - Lanchang, 28500 Pahang Tel: 011 334 576 Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) Tel: 03 9075 2872 - Fax: 03 9075 2873

GETTING THERE

On the southern reaches of the Krau Wildlife Reserve, about 120 km north east of Kuala Lumpur via Karak Highway and the town of Lanching.there is a small road heading north, just before a BP station then left at the next intersection. From this point on just head due north and there are enough signposts to guide you. It's About 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.

THE PARK AT A GLANCE

Facilities: Visitor centre, elephant enclosures. Accommodation: None at site. Attractions: Close observation and handling of Asian elephants. Permits: No permits required. Entry arranged through Department of Wildlife and National Park. Early efforts to chase the elephants back into the remaining forest cover failed, due to the animal's strong territorial instincts and determination not to accept the passive surrender of its ancestral home range. The elephant's bulk and determination, however, was no protection against the bullets, poisonous baits, and wire snares used by its adversary. Consequently, elephant numbers throughout West Malaysia were mercilessly reduced during the early years of the 20th century. By 1972, wild elephant populations in West Malaysia had fallen to about 500 individuals. Recognizing the elephant's plight, wildlife authorities worked to find a solution that would protect the elephant herds and the commercially important agricultural crops. The use of powerful electric fences charged with 5,000 volts that pulse through three strands of heavy gauge wire proved an effective deterrent. More than 1,000 kilometres of these fences have been erected around vulnerable areas of young palm oil plants, throughout West Malaysia. When the plants are about 5 years old and they become unpalatable to elephants, the fences are moved to other locations. In 1974, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) introduced its most effective, and costly, control method, the elephant capture and translocation program. In 1985, the DWNP established its Elephant Management Sanctuary at Kuala Gandah, in Pahang, as a permanent base for the elephant capture unit. The 24 member unit of highly trained wildlife rangers specialises in the dangerous and difficult task of capturing, subduing and translocating problem elephants from trouble spots throughout West Malaysia, to sustainable habitats in other parts of the peninsula. The centre has six trained adult elephants and two young ones. The trained animals help to guide captured elephants out of the forest to waiting translocation transports. At the sanctuary, the DW4P has established a visitor information centre based on elephant conservation. Visitors can participate in daily activities, like feeding and grooming the centre's elephants and helping with the daily bathing of each animal in the nearby river. Each morning rangers collect the fibrous stems of wild banana plants from the surrounding forests to feed the elephants twice each day. The elephant's diet is also supplemented with vitamin and mineral pellets. Laws in Malaysia protect the Asian Elephant as an endangered species. And the dedicated efforts of the DWNP's elephant management unit has successfully secured the immediate future of the remaining wild herds in West Malaysia. Elephant numbers are increasing, and provided wildlife authorities are able to continue their conservation efforts as part of an ongoing program, there is every reason to be optimistic about the future of wild elephant populations in Malaysia. Visit My Elephant to suport this sanctuary. [tab] [/tab]

Kenong Rimba Park

District Forest Officer Government Office Complex - 27200 Kuala Lipis, Pahang - Malaysia (West) Tel: 09-311273, 3144106 & 2777767 (Toll-free)Tourist Office - KTMB Railway Station 27200 Kuala Lipis - Pahang - Malaysia (West) Tel: 09-313277 & 213144 - Fax: 609-311117

GETTING THERE

By Road

A 5 minute walk away from the railway station (9th mile, Kuala Lipis) is the jetty of Sungai Jelai. Take a sampan for a 20 minute ride to Tanjung Kiara. Alternatively, the journey by the river from Kuala Lipis takes between 2-3 hours. There is a tour package organized by a travel agency and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad.

THE PARK AT A GLANCE

Size: 121 sq. km Highest Point: Bukit Batu Kapur Flora Fauna: Within the shade of the cool green forests the keen nature lovers is bound to spot some beautiful varieties of wild orchids clinging on to the bigger trees from which they derive their sustenance. Here you will find an interesting variety of plant life that include Tualang (Koompasia excelsa), the tallest tree in the tropical rain forest. Also in abundance is the gigantic ficus tree "Pokok Ara", popularly featured in many local folklore, proverbs and rhymes. A profusion of pink and white water lilies floating on the still green waters adds to the enchantment. The area is home to birds such dove and white rumped shama prized by bird lovers for their singing ability. Mammals such as prickly porcupine whose spiky bristle spread out menacingly at the fir sight of danger, the Deer, Malayan Tapir may be found within the park.

ACTIVITIES

Climbing

Gunung Kesung and Gunung Putih with its scale the steep rocky face is a great place for those who have a head for heights. Home to Mountain goat, you might be enough to see the footprints.

Caves Galore

The park boasts of a complex network of caves, each with its own unique geological formation and fascinating legend. The most beautiful is Gua Batu Tinggi the habitat of a variety of captivatingly lovely orchids species. It is also the home to some beautiful birds and is perfect for nature lovers and bird-watchers. Another notable cave is Gua Batu Tangga, whose rock formation bears an uncanny resemblance to a flight of stairs. Other caves include, Gua Batu Tangkup and Gua Batu Telahup. Within the interior of Gunung Kesung are several attractive caves which include Gua Kesung, Gua Hijau, Gua Buta and Gua Harimau. All these names are probably derived from the unique geological formations making up the caves, suggesting an intriguing set of fascinating legends.

Jungle Trekking

Nature lovers will be able to appreciate the natural beauty of the park by venturing along the jungle trails. Experienced guides will make the trip much more interesting with their rich store of information and local folklore. Trekking are varies from 2 to 6 days duration.

More Leisurely Activities

Air Terjun Tujuh Tingkat (Seven step waterfalls) is Kenong's very own waterfall, a vision of frothy white tumbling down into a clear rocky pool below. The spot is ideal for swimming and relaxing picnics. It is also a good place to cast your line and reel in your catch. [tab] [/tab]

Forest Research Institute Malaysia

Now established as an internationally respected research, education and training institute, FRIM is dedicated to the advancement of the nation's forest and allied industries together with the cultivation of greater community awareness and understanding of environmental and conservation issues. The Public Relations Officier Forest Research Institute Malaysia 52109 Kepong - Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03 630 2380

GETTING THERE

From Kuala Lumpur, About 16 km northwest of Kuala Lumpur at Kepong via Selayang Kepong Highway. Commuter train stops at Kepong, taxi's available to FRIM.

THE PARK AT A GLANCE

Size: 1,528 hectares Facilities: Sports ground and club house, cafeteria, picnic areas, souvenir shop, obstacle course, walking trails. Accommodation : Camp sites for 60 80 people Attractions: Natural setting, nature trails, botanical garden, arboreta bird watching, wetlands area, forestry museum, lush tropical atmosphere. Permits/Access: Public access. No permit The institute invites the public to experience the peace, tranquility and floristic abundance of the diverse range of natural habitats that flourish throughout its 1,528 hectares of forest ecosystems, gardens, arboreta and wetlands. The institute's 8 arboreta display more than 750 species of dipterocarp and non dipterocarp timber producing trees, fruit trees, conifersand manytypesof bamboo. Local medicinal plants, palms, herbs, ferns, mosses, algae and fungi are also cultivated. Four nature trails meander through habitats of different vegetation types. Each trail has several informative plaques, explaining a particular floristic feature. These trails and the wetlands area provide the best opportunity for birdwatching and sighting wildlife like squirrels, reptiles and insects. The Salleh trail starts near the administration buildings and leads through 1.5 kilometers of old plantation stands and natural species re growth. You will see examples of many forest shrubs, bamboo, rattan and medicinal plants. You will learn why ground cover foliage like ginger, ferns, orchids and aroids are such a vital component of the forest ecosystem. You will experience the crown shyness of the Kapur tree and learn about this unusual and visually surreal phenomenon. The 1 kilometer Engkabang trail starts near the football field opposite the Malacca house. It passes through former wetland and grassland areas plus a stand of Engkabang trees whose fruit is harvested for its fat before ending near the dipterocarp and monocot arboreta. Information plaques explain the process of the forest nutrient cycle while decomposing forest matter and regenerating rainforest flora provide living examples. You will discover which tree species is useful in the reclamation of degraded wetlands and why fungi are so valuable to the cycle of floristic forest life. Along the 1.5 kilometres Keruing trail, you will discover how a once degraded forest has healed and re established since reclamation works commenced in 1926. You will see a healthy selection of Malaysia's prime commercial timber species like Kapur, Keruing, Chengal, Merbau and Meranti and you will learn what properties constitute a good timber tree and how to identify the different species. The 3 kilometers Rover track winds around the hills of previously logged forest and vegetable garden areas. You will see how this once disturbed and damaged habitat has regenerated vegetation types. Informative plaques explain the growth rate of certain species like Damar minyak, Keruing padi, Jelutong and the commercially valuable Keladan tree. You will see examples of trees taller than 30 meters that were planted more than 60 years ago. The forestry museum has displays that trace the cultural and commercial history of Malaysia's timber industry. Exhibits include examples of different timber species, commercial timber products, innovations from past and present research programs plus a rare and historical collection of for two traditional timber houses that reflect the individual cultural and architectural influences of Terengganu and Melaka. The Terengganu house is about 100 years old while the Melaka house was built around 1917. Forest canopy some 30 meters above the ground. This treetop canopy trek was built in 1992 for researching upper level forest life. Public use is allowed but strictly controlled via bookings through the Canopy Walkway Centre, located in the Terengganu house. Access to the walkway is by the Canopy Walk and waterfall trails or by the Rover track, which intersects both trails. FRIM's Central Grounds feature some rare flora specimen and early plantings. FRIM's living and static exhibitions will stimulate an awareness and appreciation of the importance to protect and the vulnerable and fragile ecosystems of Malaysia's tropical rainforest habitats.