(I) Physical CharacteristicsThe Klias Peninsula is located on the coast of south-western Sabah, forming the north-eastern shore of Brunei Bay, the south-western shore of Kimanis Bay and bounded on the inland side by Banjaran Crocker and on the western side by a ridge on a higher ground. Four major natural vegetation types occur in the area namely mangrove forest in coastal area, nipa swamp, freshwater swamp forest and peat swamp forest. Much grassland, scrub and other secondary growth occur throughout the peninsula (DWNP, 1987; Scott, 1989; Wells et al., 1975).(II) Climatic ConditionsOne of the heaviest rainfall sites in Sabah, annual average ca. 3,680 mm (at Weston), fairly evenly distributed with a low in February and a high in November. Annual average temperatures vary from 25-31oC (DWNP, 1987).
Padang Teratak (about 100 ha) in the Padas Damit area supports a large population of waterbirds such as Garganey Anas querquedula (2,000 in December 1984) and other globally threatened waterbirds with possibly 1% of the global population of Storm's Stork in its large freshwater swamp (DWNP, 1987; Beadle and Whittaker 1985; Wells et al., 1975). The mudflats are also utilized by migratory shorebirds. Other Near Threatened species recorded in the Klias Peninsula includes the Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster, Grey-headed Fish-eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus, Lesser Fish-eagle I. humilis and Waterfall Swift Hydrochrous gigas (Møller, 2002; Sebastian, 1998; Smythies, 1999; Beadle and Whittaker 1985).
Non-bird biodiversity: A scientific survey was conducted in two peatswamp Forest Reserves, the Binsulok and Klias Forest Reserves, in 1999 which yielded several interesting findings on flora and fauna.One hundred and thirty-four species from 59 families of trees were recorded, which were dominated by Dryobalanops rappa, Stemonurus scropioides, Palaquium rostratum, Gonystylus bancanus and Combretocarpus rotundatus (Berhaman Ahmad and John Baptist Sugau, 2000). Four species of Nepenthes namely N. ampullaria, N. bicalcarata, N. gracilis and N. rafflesiana were recorded (Takahashi and Berhaman Ahmad, 2000).Sixty-six butterfly species from 42 genera were discovered including two uncommon species, Thaumantis klugius and T. nouredin, which are restricted to dark forest understorey (Mohd. Fairus Jalil et al., 2000). Twenty-three species of fishes were collected from salt and freshwater sources (Mohd. Nadzri Ishak et al., 2000).Five species of amphibians, Hoplobathracus rogulosa, Rana erythraea, R. glandulosa, Polypedates coletti and P. leucomystax, were recorded (Ahmad Sudin and Maryati Mohamed, 2000).Four species of small mammals were recorded (Shigeki et al., 2000). Presence of Estuarine Crocodiles Crocodylus porosus (Stuebing et al., 1992, 1994). (I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Proboscis Monkey Nasalis larvatus; VULNERABLE: Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina; NEAR THREATENED: Long-tailed Macaque M. fascicularis, Pangolin Manis javanica, Oriental Small-clawed Otter Amblonyx cinereus; DATA DEFICIENT: Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Green Turtle Chelonia mydas; VULNERABLE: Asiatic Softshell Turtle Amyda cartilaginea(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Hopea pentanervia, Shorea platycarpa; ENDANGERED: Shorea teysmanniana; VULNERABLE: Combretocarpus rotundatus, Calophyllum havilandii, Gonystylus bancanus, Nepenthes bicalcarata
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Klias faces the threat of encroachment by adjacent community into its protected area whereas Binsulok has suffered several fires with only 25-30% of forest currently remains. Small scale of log stealing due to reasons unclear boundary set up by the Forestry Department, unaware of the status of reserve and local need for timber to build own house contributes to the existing conservation problems (Maryati Mohamed et al., 1999). A myriad of threats has been identified in the Klias Peninsula (DWNP, 1987; Wells et al., 1975) namely;Logging and quarrying are minor threats.Agricultural use of some cleared areas.Grazing animals in some open marshes.Sungai Padas heavily fished day and night.Extensive fishing in Klias delta mangroves. Subsistance and cash crop farming in adjacent areas.Mass conversion of mangroves into wood chips.
Some 31,053 ha are state-owned in five Forest Reserves (Sungai Binsulok, Klias, Padas Damit, Kampung Hindian and Menumbok) while the remainder of the region is either Stateland or privately owned. In 1978, 30,900 ha of the coastal parts the Klias Peninsula were gazetted as a National Park but was degazetted in 1980 (DWNP, 1987). It is the last remaining major peat swamp forest in Sabah. Both are Class 1 Forest Reserves, which prohibits logging (Maryati Mohamed et al., 1999).
Habitat and land use
The Klias Peninsula consists of two major sectors. The Klias sector is primarily 36,000 ha of mangrove swamps, nipa swamps, scrub and padang vegetation. The Marintaman-Menggalong sector is an area of peat swamp forest (Gonystylus spp., Dillenia spp., Dryobalanops spp. and Dyera spp.), kerangas forest (Baekia spp., Eugenia spp., Dischidia spp., Mymecodia spp. and Hydnophytum spp.) and swamp forest (Casuarina spp., conifers and screw palms), tall gallery dipterocarp forest along the Sungai Sebuboh, rock ridge forest (Tristania spp., Eugenia spp. and Vaccinium spp.) and mangroves (mainly Rhizophora spp.) near the mouth of the Sebuboh. Most of the vegetation is peculiar to poor nutrient soils (DWNP, 1987; Wells et al., 1975).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Klias peninsula. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 08/08/2022.