Belum-Temenggor This is an IBA in danger! 

Country/territory: Malaysia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 283,037 ha

Protection status:

Malaysian Nature Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2018 very high unfavourable low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
(I) Physical CharacteristicsThe Belum area encompasses Belum Forest Reserve (134,167 ha), Grik Forest Reserve (37,220 ha) and Temengor Forest Reserve (148,870 ha) with the dendritic Temengor Lake as its focal point. Temengor Lake is the result of the damming of several rivers for the purpose of irrigation, water catchment and hydro-electic. The major river is Sungai Belum, which flows generally south-southwest and is joined with Sungai Temengor from the south (Davison, 1995a; Jabatan Mergastua, 1975). The East-West Highway also cuts across two of the reserves.Within the general area of Belum, the lowest lying points in the southwest are at about 130 m asl. The ground rises unevenly to about 1,000-1,400 m asl along the watershed forming the Perak-Kelantan State border in the east, and reaches high points of 1,533 m asl at Gunung Ulu Titi Basah, and 1,450 m asl at Gunung Ulu Merah along the Perak-Thailand border to the north. The slopes are generally steep, with some exposures of shale and granitic bedrocks (Davison et al., 1995). The area is also a part of the Banjaran Tittiwangsa (or Main Range), Peninsular Malaysia's backbone. The range is dated to be around 220 million years old, making it among the oldest rock formations found throughout Malaysia (Bourke, 2000). The peaks of the Main Range are demarcated by a north-south band of granite and Permian sedimentary rocks with some associated tuff and lava. From east to west, there follow a series of parallel broad north-south bands, of Silurian sedimentary rocks with associated tuff and lava, of undifferentiated granite, and then a wide expanse of Silurian sediments that extends far to the west and in which are embedded fragments of subterranean limestone (Geological Survey Malaysia, 1994). An interesting feature of Belum and in fact the whole Sungai Perak valley down to Lenggong, is the presence of salt licks, damp mineral soil areas which attract dense populations of big mammals. (II) Climatic ConditionsRainfall averages between 2,160-2,250 mm annually, and is heaviest at higher elevations.The wettest period in the area are from April-May and September-November with a peak in October while the driest period is in February (Tunku M. Nazim Yaacob et al., n.d.).

Key biodiversity
The Belum area is one of the most important and largest IBA site in the northern part of the peninsula for biome-restricted assemblages species and particularly the Plain-pouched Hornbills Aceros subruficollis (globally threatened species) and other hornbill species. Incidently, the occurrence of the Plain-pouched Hornbills is a first for Malaysia. Mass movements of hornbills have been recorded (Ho and Supari, 1993, 1997, 2000) and the forests may support the world's greatest concentration of hornbills (Hymeir, 2000). Overall, Belum is one of the most biologically diverse area after Taman Negara and Krau in the peninsula therefore having major conservation significance nationally and internationally. Furthermore, the flora and fauna of Belum has northern elements which is not present in protected areas such as Taman Negara, Krau and Endau-Rompin.Near Threatened: Great Hornbill (Lim, 2003b; Sutari bin Supari, 1994), Lesser Fish-eagle Ichthyophaga humilis (3rd Belum xpdc), Grey-headed Fish-eagle I. ichthyaetus (Lower Belum xpdc) (Lim, 2003b)

Non-bird biodiversity: Prior to the expeditions in 1993-94 and 1998, Stevens (1968) documented the presence of large mammals in the area. Birch (1909) reported the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris), Sambar Deer (Cervus unicolor), White-handed Gibbon (Hylobates lar), Siamang (H. syndactylus), Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus), Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus), Great Argus (Argusianus argus) and Helmeted Hornbill (Buceros vigil). An intensive survey by Ridley (1910) recorded 590 species of flowering plants, 66 ferns, 126 birds and 20 of mammals in the area from Lenggong northwards but concentrated mainly at Kuala Temengor.More findings were revealed (with more than 30 scientific projects) from the two expeditions led by the Malaysian Nature Society in 1993-94 and 1998 in which a high level of biodiversity was discovered. Many rarities, new records, endemics and new species of flora and fauna were discovered.{species of gymnosperms and flowering plants (excluding gingers and orchids) from 193 genera and 67 families. Endemics include Amischotolype monosperma and a rare Murdannia japonica (Commelinaccae).{species of wild ginger. A species of Etlingera, which has yet to be identified may prove to be either a new record for the peninsula or new to science.{species of ferns and fern allies belonging to 26 families were collected and recorded. {specimens of mosses from 62 species and 5 varieties in 34 genera and 19 families were collected.{species of edible fruit trees.{terrestrial and 7 freshwater molluscs were found.{species of freshwater decapod crustaceans were reported.{species of aquatic and semi-aquatic bugs were collected.{species of odonates, 95 leaf-beetles, a new aquatic fly and 252 smaller moths recorded.{species of freshwater fishes were collected.{species of mammals belonging to 10 orders and 22 families were recorded.{least 274 species of birds were recorded.{species of amphibians, 21 lizards, 23 snakes and 7 freshwater and land turtles were recorded.Important refuge for rhino (WWF 2002a) and tiger (WWF 2002b)(I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, Himalayan Water Shrew Chimarrogale himalayica; ENDANGERED: Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Gaur Bos gaurus, , Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus, Tiger Panthera tigris, South-east Asian White-toothed Shrew Crocidura fuliginosa; VULNERABLE: Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii, Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Dhole Cuon alpinus, Common Porcupine Hystrix brachyura, Smooth Otter Lutrogale perspicillata; NEAR THREATENED: Dayak Fruit Bat Dyacopterus spadiceus, Schreibers' Bat Miniopterus schreibersi, Bronzed Tube-nosed Bat Murina aenea, Least Forest Bat Kerivoula minuta, Hairy-winged Bat Harpiocephalus mordax, Burmese Whiskered Bat Myotis montivagus, Ridley's Bat Myotis ridleyi, Hairless Bat Cheiromeles torquatus, Long-tailed Macaque M. fascicularis, Banded Leaf-Monkey Presbytis melalophos, White-handed Gibbon Hylobates lar, Agile Gibbon H. agilis, Siamang Symphalangus syndactylus, Pangolin Manis javanica; DATA DEFICIENT: Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Asian Brown Tortoise Manouria emys, Spiny Turtle Heosemys spinosa; VULNERABLE: Asiatic Softshell Turtle Amyda cartilaginea, Malayan Flat-shelled Turtle Notochelys platynota, Asian Box Turtle Cuora amboinensis; NEAR THREATENED: Asian Leaf Turtle Cyclemys dentata(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Dipterocarpus kunstleri; ENDANGERED: Shorea leprosula, S. ovata; VULNERABLE: Litsea gracilis, Nephelium costatum, Aquilaria malaccensis; LOWER RISK/conservation dependent: Litsea hirsutissima, Pseuduvaria taipingensis, Koompassia excelsa, K. malaccensis

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Belum-Temenggor. Downloaded from on 27/01/2021.