(I) Physical CharacteristicsEndau-Rompin National Park is located in the northern parts of the Johor State in Peninsular Malaysia and is the southern most National Park in the peninsula (MNS, 2001; Wong, 2000; Kiew et al., 1985, 1987a). The terrain is mostly hilly and several parts have been logged in the 1970s. The highest point in the Park is Gunung Besar (1,036 m asl). Other prominent hills include Gunung Bekok (953 m asl), Gunung Beremban (839 m asl), Bukit Peta (552 m asl) and Ulu Kemapan (854 m asl). The geological history of the park dates back at least 248 million years to the Permian-Carboniferous age. Rock types include low grade metamorphics, volcanics, granite and sedimentary sequence (the Tebak formation). The entire park is covered with with lithosols and shallow latosols with the exception of a few isolated areas. Several important rivers and tributaries run its course through the park namely, Sungai Endau, Sungai Jasin and Sungai Selai. It is an important source of water for Johor State. (II) Climatic ConditionsThe national park experiences heavy rains during north-east monsoon from November-January. The mean annual temperature is 27oC and relative humidity is about 85% (NERCP, 2000).
A total of 253 species of birds have recorded in Endau-Rompin State Park (Chin 2000; Davison 1987), despite an impoverished bird fauna in its unique palm and open heath forest (Davison 1987). It is the most important IBA site in the southern peninsula for biome-restricted assemblages particularly the Sundaic lowland forest. One hundred and twenty-one species are dependent upon the habitat, of which 6 are globally threatened (1 Endangered, 5 Vulnerable) and 60 Near Threatened. Other Near Threatened species recorded included the Lesser Fish-eagle Ichthyophaga humilis and Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis. The state park forms a contiguous forest block in the north with the Rompin-Endau Forest Reserve.
Non-bird biodiversity: The park supports significant populations of large mammals and a small breeding population of Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis (Flynn and Mohd. Tajuddin Abdullah, 1983; Burhanuddin Hj. Mohd. Nor et al., 1995; Hifni et al., 1993). Sixty-two species of mammals and at least 21 species of bats have been recorded (Davison and Kiew, 1987; Davison and Zubaid Akbar, 1987). The park herpetofauna includes at least one caecilian, 26 species of frogs, 14 snakes, 9 lizards and 3 turtles (Kiew, 1987). Forty-three species of freshwater fish can be found in the park's streams and rivers (Mohd. Zakaria-Ismail, 1987).Endau-Rompin is located in an area also known as the 'Riouw Pocket' which is a meeting point of the West Bornean, Sumatran and Malayan flora. It is characterized by a high degree of endemism. A significant number of plant species that are locally endemic or restricted to the southeastern region of the peninsula are found in the park. At least eight species are endemic to the park including Calamus endauensis and Loxocarpus tunkui. In addition, ten species found within the park have a limited distribution in Johor State and eight occur only in the southern and eastern parts of the peninsula (MNS, 2001).(I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis; ENDANGERED: Tiger Panthera tigris, Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus; VULNERABLE: Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Common Porcupine Hystrix brachyura, Gaur Bos gaurus; NEAR THREATENED: Long-tailed Macaque M. nemestrina, Banded Leaf-Monkey Presbytis melalophos, White-handed Gibbon Hylobates lar, Oriental Small-clawed Otter Amblonyx cinereus, Ridley's Bat Myotis ridleyi; DATA DEFICIENT: Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Spiny Turtle Heosemys spinosa, Asian Brown Tortoise Manouria emys; VULNERABLE: Malayan Flat-shelled Turtle Notochelys platynota, Asiatic Softshell Turtle Amyda cartilaginea; NEAR THREATENED: Asian Leaf Turtle Cyclemys dentata(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Dipterocarpus baudii, D. concavus, D. costulatus, D. gracilis, D. kerrii, Shorea acuminata, S. blumutensis, S. singkawang, Dryobalanops aromatica, Hopea johorensis, Anisophyllea reticulata; ENDANGERED: Dipterocarpus crinitus, Shorea bentongensis, S. leprosula, S. maxwelliana, S. pauciflora, S. blumutensis; VULNERABLE: Anisophyllea reticulata, A. curtisii, Cotylelobium lanceolatum, Madhuca sessiliflora, Neobalanocarpus heimii, Mesua kochummenia, Horsfieldia perangusta; LOWER RISK/conservation dependent: Drypetes cockburnii, Schoutenia furfuracea, Phyllanthus watsonii, Koompassia malaccensis, Madhuca tubulosa, Mesua rosea, Trigonostemon rufescens, Rhopaloblaste singaporensis; NEAR THREATENED: Livistona endauensis, Horsfieldia superba, H. crassifolia
Habitat and land use
The vegetation of the Park is mostly lowland mixed dipterocarp forests and to a lesser extent the edaphic hill forests (MNS, 2001; Wong, 2000). The lowland mixed dipterocarp forests include two main sub-types;Keruing/ Red Meranti forests which are found mainly below an elevation of 250 m asl in the valleys of the Sungai Endau and its main tributaries; andKapur Dryobalanops aromatica forests which occur in several localities below 300 m asl on the north-eastern and eastern flanks of the Lemakoh and Kinchin valleys.The edaphic hill forests of Endau-Rompin occur include several sub-types;Seraya Shorea curtisii ridge forests, most commonly found on Gunung Besar and also on Gunung Beremban;Livistina palm forests that are usually found either on ridges or on parts of the park's sandstone plateaux (Gunung Beremban, Gunung Janing and Padang Temambong); andHeath forests and 'padang' communities, occuring on shallow podzols on Gunung Keriong, Gunung Janing and Padang Temanbong.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The park boundaries are not demarcated at the present and may pose as a future problem in the event of the park's extension. Boundary protection is minimal. Erosion of buffer zones and poaching of forest products and animals have been detected in the park. Recent surveys indicated that the Sumatran Rhinoceros population have been severely decimated by poaching (Siti Hawa Yatim, pers. comm.). The carrying capacity for ecotourism should be monitored to ensure a balance with all the park's objectives and to avoid tourism related problems. The introduction of exotic animals and plants is also cause for concern (MNS, 2001; MOCAT, 1997).
The creation of a park in Johor and Pahang to protect several important headwaters in both States began in 1972 under the recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries based on Steven's proposal (1972). In 1983, a management plan for Endau-Rompin was prepared by Flynn on behalf of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsualr Malaysia (DWNP) for the conservation of the Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis. However, the plan was not implemented due to the issue of right of the State to manage forested land prevented the park in the Endau-Rompin area being established under the National Parks Act 1980.During the Malaysian Nature Society's Endau-Rompin Scientific and Heritage expedition in 1984, the Johor State Government announced that a 25,200 ha block of land in the upper Sungai Endau area had been reserved for national park purposes.In 1987, the Pahang and Johor State Government announced that two state parks with a total area of 93,000 ha would be created in Endau-Rompin. In 1989, Johor created a National Parks Corporation with powers to establish a state-controlled national park. On 2 September 1993, the Endau-Rompin (Johor) National Park was promulgated by means of Gazette Notification Jil 37, No. 18 under sub-section 3(i) Enakmen Perbadanan Taman Negara (Johor). In terms of this enactment, 25,318 ha of land were allocated to the park in the Bekok area of Segamat and a further 23,767 ha was reserved for park additions. Currently, the park covers a total area of 48,905 ha. Extensions of the park may be proposed in the future.The Johor National Park Corporation (JNPC) manages the park under a multi-use concept of conservation and utilization by maintaining three management zones; the visitor activity, core and conservation zone. The guiding principle for management is that no activity should negatively impact the overall conservation and sustainability of the park and its biodiversity. Four types of use occur within the park; management and conservation of natural resources, scientific research, education via an established centre and ecotourism (MNS, 2001; Wong, 2000).