Central Titiwangsa Range

Site description (2003 baseline):

Site location and context
Physical CharacteristicsBukit KintaBukit Kinta Forest Reserve lies in central east Perak state, between Banjaran Bintang to the west and Banjaran Titiwangsa to the east. Its topography is hilly and mountainous. Limestone hills rise from its lower western flank and its highest peaks include Gunung Korbu (2,138 m asl), the second highest mountain in the peninsula. Bukit Kinta Forest Reserve is the basin of many important rivers in Perak, including Sungai Kinta, Sungai Kampar and Sungai Raia. Several of these and other rivers supply water for Ipoh, Kampar and other major towns and are also used for hydro-electricity generation.Cameron HighlandsCameron Highlands is situated entirely on the Banjaran Titiwangsa (or Main Range) and is one of the oldest and largest of hill resorts in Malaysia, which is also well-known for its tea plantation, vegetable farms and cut flower industry. The area is a natural plateau with an elevation ranging from 1,524 - 2,032 m asl surrounded by several mountain peaks namely Gunung Beremban (1,841 m asl), Gunung Brinchang (2,032 m asl), Gunung Perdah (1,576 m asl) and Gunung Jasar (1,696 m asl). Gunung Brinchang is the highest peak in the area. Most of the flatlands around the area is located the Tanah Rata area (WWFM, 1998; Perumal and Chan, 1995). The soils of Cameron Highlands are granite in origin and generally broadly grouped as lithosols and shallow yellow latosols. The soils tend to be reddish in the northern part of Cameron Highlands and yellowish or beige in the southern part (Ooi, 1976). The drainage system of Cameron Highlands is complex with about eleven major rivers. These rivers form the headwater catchment areas that eventually flow to three different states in the peninsula. The Sungai Telom, Sungai Mansum and Sungai Bertam drain into Pahang State and are tributaries of the Sungai Pahang. The Sungai Raia flows into Kelantan State while the Sungai Kinta and Sungai Batang Padang drain into the Sungai Perak (Perumal and Chan, 1995).Fraser's HillBukit Fraser (or Fraser's Hill) is situated in the central position of the Banjaran Titiwangsa (or Main Range) straddling the Pahang-Selangor State border. It is one of the popular hill resort in the peninsula. The terrain is consists mostly of ridges and steep valleys. Granitic rock, formed by igneus activity during the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic (Hutchinson, 1989 in Muhammad Barzani Gasim et al, 2001), is a major component of Bukit Fraser, with grain size varying from fine to coarse. The soil of the Rengam Series consists of sandy quartz and peaty at the ridge and quartzite habitats of the lower montane forest (Sahibin Abdul Rahim et al, 2001). The area is bordered by several peaks namely Pine Tree Hill (1,505 m asl), Bukit Jeriau (1,300 m asl), Bukit Peninjau (1,367 m asl), Bukit Fraser (1,300 m asl) and Gunung Ulu Semangkok (1,440 m asl). The Jeriau valley descends to a waterfall at 630 m asl. The highest point, the Pine Tree Hill is a small peak along a ridge system, which forms the boundary the two states (Kiew, 1998). At least ten rivers with varying sizes forms the drainage system in Bukit Fraser; Sungai Selangor, Sanglai, Yet, Teranum, Teras, Rambutan, Semangkok, Hijau, Kerling and Man (Muhammad Barzani Gasim, 2001).

Key biodiversity

Non-bird biodiversity: Bukit KintaBukit Kinta Forest Reserve has several sites where the rare parasitic plants belonging to the family Rafflesiaceae are found, including Rafflesia cantleyi and Rhizanthes lowii. Many endemic plants grow on the limestone hills in the area. The limestone hills harbour many endemic mollusks.(I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Tiger Panthera tigris, Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus; VULNERABLE: Gaur Bos gaurus, Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Serow Capricornis sumatraensis, Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina; NEAR THREATENED: Siamang Symphalangus syndactylus, White-handed Gibbon Hylobates lar, Long-tailed Macaque M. fascicularis, Banded Leaf-Monkey Presbytis melalophos(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): No information.(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): LOWER RISK/conservation dependent: Ilex grandifloraCameron HighlandsCameron Highlands contains several endemic plants and animals. Mammalian fauna consists of a mixture between montane and lowland species (Bernard and Brooke, 1994). A high diversity of small mammals is recorded. Twenty-seven species of non-volant small mammals were identified in a 15-year study of the area (Lim, 1974). One hundred and sixty-four species of orchids or approximately 40% of the total highland orchids (Shahril Kamarulzaman, 1998). Malaysia's tallest palm, the 30 m tall Giant Fish-tail Palm Caryota maxima is also found here. Three species of pitcher plants, Nepenthes macfarlanei, N. sanguinea and N. albomarginata are found at several locations around Cameron Highlands (Clarke, 2002).(I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Tiger Panthera tigris, South-East Asian White-toothed Shrew Crocidura fuliginosa; VULNERABLE: Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii; NEAR THREATENED: Grey Fruit Bat Aethalops alecto, Siamang Symphalangus syndactylus, Banded Leaf Monkey Presbytis melalophos, Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa; DATA DEFICIENT: Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): VULNERABLE: Impressed Tortoise Manouria impressa(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): VULNERABLE: Elaeocarpus rugosus, Eugenia goniocalyx, Goniothalamus montanus, Schefflera nervosa, Nephelium hamulatum, Mesua purseglovei, Horsfieldia punctata; LOWER RISK/conservation dependent: Acanthopanax malayanus, Chionanthus caudifolius, Cyathocalyx scortechinii, Elaeocarpus glabrescens, E. symingtonii, Heliciopsis montana, Saurauia mahmudii, S. malayana, Schefflera nanocephala, S. pueckleri, Nothaphoebe pahangensis; NEAR THREATENED: Eugenia nitidula; DATA DEFICIENT: Schefflera wrayi, Prunus odorataFraser's HillSelected biological studies conducted by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (2000) revealed several findings for both flora and fauna.Nineteen species from 17 families of benthic macro-invertebrates were found in Sungai Hijau (Ahmad Abas Kutty, 2001b).Two species of freshwater fishes; Acrossochilus hexagonolepis (family Cyprinidae) and Glyptothorax aff. platypogonoides (Sisoridae) (Abdullah Samat and Gires Usup, 2001).Forty-eight species of wasps from two families, the Ichneumonidae (39 species in 13 subfamilies) and Braconidae (9 species in 7 subfamilies) (Idris et al, 2001).Twenty-seven species of cicadas in 13 genera (Zaidi et al, 2001a).Twenty-six butterfly species in 19 genera, representing 9 subfamilies in four families (Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae and Lycaenidae) was recorded (Zaidi et al, 2001b).Five species of anurans representing four families (Neeta Devi Sinnappah, 2001). Population of Siamang Hylobates syndactylus, Dusky Presbytis obscura and Banded Leaf-Monkeys P. melalophos can be seen quite easily in the area (Bernard and Brooke, 1994). Saiful Arif Abdullah (2001) recorded the presence of White-handed Gibbons Hylobates lar. Several montane rodent species has been also recorded from the area (Saiful Arif Abdullah, 2001; Yong, 1974).Bukit Fraser is a critical area for plant conservation (Kiew, 1992, 1998, no date). One hundred and seventeen (14%) of flora are either rare, endangered or possibly extinct. Bukit Fraser is the southern limit on the Asian continent for 13 Indo-Chinese species, a meeting point of the northern, southern and eastern vegetation species. The Jeriau valley is the most important site for plant conservation in the area (Kiew 1998).More than 836 species of seed plants including two new and 31 endemics have been recorded (Kiew, 1992; Latiff et al, 2001). Several species are monotypic ie. genera with single species such as Klossia montana, Orchadocarpa lilacina and Tricalistra ochracea. Examples of endemics include Trevesia rufo-setosa and Pterisanthes pulchra.It is the only known locality of the Trig-oak Trigonobalanops verticillata in the peninsula, which forms a distinct "belt-like" distribution from 800-1,100m asl, along the north bank of Sungai Hijau crossing several small streams flowing to it (Kiew, 1998; Mat-Salleh et al, 2001).Eighty-three species of lichens (Zuriati Zakaria et al, 2001).One hundred and seventy-two taxa of mosses which represents 35.8% of the known taxa in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore (Damanhuri and Nizam, 2001).A total of 209 taxa of pteridophytes (192 taxa of ferns, 17 fern-allies), representing 32.3% of the known taxa for the peninsula, with first records of Cyathea wallacei, Grammitis knutsfordiana and G. padangensis (Haja Maideen et al, 2001).Three species of pitcher plant; Nepenthes sanguinea, N. macfarlanei and N. ramispina (Clarke, 2002).(I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): VULNERABLE: Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii, NEAR THREATENED: White-handed Gibbon Hylobates lar, Siamang H. syndactylus, Banded Leaf-Monkey Presbytis melalophos(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): VULNERABLE: Impressed Tortoise Manouria impressa(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Vaccinium whitmorei, Shorea maxima, Vatica lowii; VULNERABLE: Adinandra corneriana, Elaeocarpus fraseri, Endiandra scrobiculata, Eugenia goniocalyx, Glochidion stylosum, Goniothalamus holttumii, Styrax fraserensis, Microcos erythrocarpa, Lithocarpus burkillii, Horsfieldia elongata, H. punctata; LOWER RISK/conservation dependent: Adinandra integerrima, Elaeocarpus cruciatus, Eugenia pahangensis, Heliciopsis montana, Tristania razakiana, Knema oblongifolia, Nepenthes sanguinea, Madhuca tubulosa; NEAR THREATENED: Eugenia nitidula, Saurauia rubens, Aglaia crassinervia, A. forbesii, A. foveolata, A. malaccensis, A. rufinervis, A. rugulosa, Horsfieldia crassifolia. H. superba, Knema intermedia

Habitat and land use
Vegetation TypeBukit KintaIts natural vegetation include lowland and hill dipterocarp forest with typical Shorea and Dipterocarpus tree species. Montane oak/laurel and ericaceous (mossy) forests are found on the upper slopes and higher peaks. Cameron HighlandsThe vegetation of Cameron Highlands displays an altitudinal zonation characteristic of Malaysian vegetation types with two dominant forest type; upper dipterocarp forest and montane oak forest. At Ringlet, the upper dipterocarp forest occurs at an elevation of 750 - 1,200 m asl on the Banjaran Titiwangsa. The canopy trees are about 25-30 m tall in this forest.Between the altitudes of 1,200 - 1,500 m asl, the montane oak forest occurs, surrounding the Tanah Rata and Brinchang areas. Large numbers of trees from the Fagaceae (oak) and Lauraceae (laurel) families are found here. At some parts and exposed ridges on Gunung Jasar, Gunung Perdah and Gunung Brinchang, the montane ericaceous forest comes into existence. Where these forest happen to occur at cloud level, the trees tend to be dwarfted to about 10m tall and are therefore known as "mist forest", "cloud forest" or "elfin forest". Large numbers of mosses, liverworts, fern and fern allies, rhododendrons and vaciniums are associated with these forests.In many areas where natural vegetation has been removed or disturbed, there are secondary forests.Fraser's HillThe main vegetation of Fraser's Hill are lower and upper montane forests (Kiew, 1998, n.d.; Perumal et al, 2001). The lower montane forest is dominated by Lauraceae and Fagaceae families. A total of 216 species and 53 families have also been recorded in this habitat such as Calophyllum, Canarium, Syzygium, Gluta, Payena and Quercus. Within this habitat type, four distinct plant communities occur, characterised by their species composition, namely ridge, quartzite, streamside and the pioneer communities.The ridge habitat supports species such as Alpinia murdochii, Balanophora fungosa, Camptandra ovalifolium, Cryptostylis arachnites, Dacrycarpus imbricatus, Freycinetia javanica, Henckelia hirta, Sonnerila rudis, Pterisanthes pulchra, Argostemma yappii, Filetia hirta, Pinanga perakensis and Sonerila albiflora. In deep layers of moss, Burmannia longifolia and Labisia longistylis are characteristic.The quartzite community has a lower and more open canopy than lower montane forest on non-quartzite soil and is identified by the abundance of the Oleandra fern. It also supports Ilex grandifolia, Illicium spp., Medinilla clarkei, Psychotria brachybotrys, Vaccinium bancanum, Falcatifolium falciforme, Dioscorea laurifolia, Geostachys secunda, Smilax barbata, Henckelia nana and Ardisia solida.The streams are poor in aquatic plants with the exception of Piptospatha perakensis. The banks and waterlogged margins support a rich flora such as Impatiens oncidioides, Amischotolype spp., Colocasia esculentum, Cyrtandra pilosa, Elatostema acuminata, Ficus oligodon, Hydrocotyle javanica, Ophiorrhiza spp., Oplismenus compositus, Klossi montana and Begonia fraseri.The roadside flora is dominated by pioneer species including Homalanthus populnea, Exbucklandia populnea, Weinmannia blumei, Toona sinensis, Lindera pipericarpa, Schima wallichii, Saurauia nudiflora, Schefflera latifoliolata and many fig species. The tree fern, Cyathea contaminans, is a characteristic member of this community.The upper montane forest (or ericaceous forest) is found only on the highest peak, Pine Tree Hill. Dacrydium comosum is the dominant tree species. The summit consists of thick ericaceous scrub, which is about 2m tall. The summit, contiguous ridges and slopes are home to a number of rare plants.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Infrastructure development, highland highway, tourism development, poaching and collecting, noise, air and light pollution, soil erosion, presence of alien exotic species, conversion to oil palm & rubber, horticulture, agriculture, pesticide/chemical pollution, logging, rising temperature, lake sedimentation.

Protected areas
Forest reserve (not protected), wildlife reserve.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Central Titiwangsa Range. Downloaded from on 26/09/2023.