(I) Physical Characteristics Krau Wildlife Reserve is located east of the Banjaran Titiwangsa (or Main Range) in Pahang State. It is one of the oldest protected areas in Malaysia and biologically diverse. The area is amongst the driest in the peninsula due to its location where the north-east monsoon is shielded by the mountains in the east while the south-west monsoon is shielded by the range. The terrain is described as mostly hilly with flat lowlands, some of which is quite hilly. The low-lying areas are mainly found in the south and central part while the mountain range is located in the north-east. Four major rivers are found within or bordering the area, namely Sungai Krau (east), Sungai Lompat (central), Sungai Teris (south-west) and Sungai Tekal (south-east). Gunung Benom (2,107 m asl), the fourth highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia, is situated within the reserve. Other prominent peaks within are Bukit Rengit (671 m asl) and Bukit Tapah (778 m asl). The mountain is granitic in nature but the soils of the lowlands are sandy (DWNP, 2000; Lim, 1999; Payne, 1978). The soil of the lowlands consists of a mixture of hornblend-granite, syenite, pyroxene-granite prophyry and dioxite, covered by sedimentary and organic top (DWNP, 1995). (II) Climatic ConditionsThe wildlife reserve is within parts of Pahang, which is among the driest areas in the peninsula due to its location where the north-east monsoon is shielded by the mountains in the east while the south-west monsoon is shielded by the Banjaran Titiwangsa. Annual rainfall is about 2,000 mm, with the highest in April and November. The daily temperature is about 33oC.At Gunung Benom, however, the mean annual rainfall is in the range of 2,000-2,200 mm, distributed in two maxima (October/November and April) and two minima (July and February) yearly. The daily range of temperature decreases with increasing altitude, with the mean value falling from 12.3oC to 6.3oC between 300 m asl through 1,525 m asl (Lim, 1999).
Krau Wildlife Reserve is the second largest protected area in peninsula. The reserve is important for biome-restricted assemblages species and globally threatened species due to its size. More than 330 species of birds have been recorded (Department of Wildlife and National Parks 1995; Ng 1998; Medway and Wells 1971; Siti Hawa Yatim et al 1986). About 70% of the totally protected species under the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 can be found in the reserve. The protected area also linked by a 'biological corridor', mainly forest reserves, to Taman Negara in the north.
Non-bird biodiversity: The biological diversity of Krau Wildlife Reserve has been intensely researched since the colonial days. Ninety percent of the research activities were concentrated on the lowland forest with only a single expedition at Gunung Benom in 1967. Since then, more discoveries have been made. The biodiversity of Krau is high including several endemics such as Xanthopyllum griffithii on Gunung Benom.115 species of mammals (Chivers, 1971, 1975, 1980; DWNP, 1995; Francis, 1994, 1997; Lopez, 2000; Bennett et al., 1983; Hassan Kassim et al., 1999; Kington et al., 1997; Saharudin Anan et al. 1998). The area has the highest diversity for insectivorous bats in the world with 52 species (Kingston, pers. comm.).150 species of amphibians and reptiles (DWNP, 1995; Lim, 1999; Jasmi Abdul et al., 1999; Norsham et al., 2001).70 species of freshwater fishes including rare species such as Esomus malayensis, Ompok bimaculatus, Homoloptera tweediei, Vaillantella maasi, Channa melasome and Achiroides leucuorhynhos. This constitutes 62% of the known species in the peninsula (DWNP, 1995; Mohd Zakaria-Ismail, 1993).A total of 362 plant species (including lianas, figs, climbers, epiphytes) have been recorded and of these, 337 are tree species.Presence of Rafflesia cantleyi, recently discovered in 2001 (Laidlaw et al., 2001).92 species of butterflies (Zaidi and Abin, 1995).(I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis; ENDANGERED: South-east Asian White-toothed Shrew Crocidura fuliginosa, Otter-Civet Cynogale bennettii, Tiger Panthera tigris, Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus; VULNERABLE: Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Dhole Cuon alpinus, Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii, Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Serow Capricornis sumatraensis, Gaur Bos gaurus; NEAR THREATENED: Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis, Banded Leaf-Monkey Presbytis melalophos, White-handed Gibbon Hylobates lar, Siamang Symphalangus syndactylus, Malayan Pangolin Manis javanica, Smoky Flying Squirrel Pteromyscus pulverulentus, Oriental Small-clawed Otter Amblonyx cinereus, Grey Fruit Bat Aethalops alecto, Dato Meldrum's Bat Chaerephon johorensis, Naked Bat Cheiromeles torquatus, Dayak Fruit Bat Dyacopterus spadiceus, Small Woolly Bat Kerivoula intermedia, Least Forest Bat K. minuta, Hutton's Tube-nosed Bat Murina huttoni; DATA DEFICIENT: Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus, Benom Pipistrelle Pipistrellus societatis(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Spiny Turtle Heosemys spinosa, Asian Brown Tortoise Manouria emys; VULNERABLE: Asiatic Softshell Turtle Amyda cartilaginea, Malayan Flat-shelled Turtle Notochelys platynota; NEAR THREATENED: Asian Leaf Turtle Cyclemys dentata(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Dipterocarpus baudii, D. cornutus, Hopea sangal, Shorea acuminata, S. hopeifolia, S. lepidota, S. ochrophloia, S. sumatrana, Vatica bella;ENDANGERED: Anisoptera laevis, Shorea bracteolata, S. leprosula, S. maxwelliana, S. pauciflora, Schoutenia cornerii; VULNERABLE: Castanopsis nephelioides, Knema hookerana, Nephelium costatum, Aquilaria malaccensis;LOWER RISK/conservation dependent: Koompassia excelsa, K. malaccensis;NEAR THREATENED: Castanopsis curtisii, Horsfieldia superba;DATA DEFICIENT: Ochanostachys amentacea
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Attempts were made to log the Wildlife Reserve in the early 1960s. Some areas have been degazetted and logged. However the vast majority of the interior is till intact. Road building by the military about 30 years ago cuts through the northeast of the reserve and also the biological corridor between Taman Negara and Krau. Consequently, the opened up areas enabled villagers to establish themselves along the road. In 1971, part of the corridor was excised for the villagers (DWNP, 2000).Apart from that, an aquaculture project was initiated with the construction of ponds and living quarters within the biological corridor in 1996. The whole area, however, has yet to be legally degazetted.The reserve is also surrounded by various land developments, mostly for oil palm cultivation. As a result, logging, forest conversion, land clearing right up to the boundary, the biological corridor, over-harvesting of non-timber forest products, introduced exotic species and poaching are some of the issues currently faced by the department. The negative effects of such activities are already quite pronounced in certain areas due to the fact that the reserve does not have buffer zone around its perimeter (DWNP, 2000).The latest proposal for the East-West Highway, which will link Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan, will pass the reserve's southern boundary by less than 5km. It is expected that the number of visitors to the reserve will increase once the highway is completed.With the adoption of the National Policy in Biological Diversity in 1998, the Pahang State Government is keen to maintain the size of the reserve through suitable replacement for the degazetted areas. Furthermore, a collaborative effort between the Malaysian (Ministry of Science, Technology and Environmment) and Danish Governments (DANCED) was initiated in 1998 through the "Krau Wildlife Reserve Management Plan, Capacity Building and Human Resource Development Project." The main outputs of the project include a Management Plan for Krau and the creation of a Protected Area Division within the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP, 2000; Elagupillay, 2000; DWNP-DANCED, 1996).
First proposed for conservation by Stevens (1968), Krau Wildlife Reserve was gazetted on 9th June 1923 (55,182 ha). The established was primarily to preserve the Seladang Bos gaurus, an important game, which was once numerous along the Krau valley. After the formal establishment of the DWNP in 1937, the wildlife reserve was enlarged to 65,268 ha in 1939, utilising natural features such as rivers and mountain peaks as boundaries. In 1965 and 1968, two portions of the northeastern part of the area with 1,984 ha and 891 ha respectively were degazetted to accommodate the local aborigines' (Jahut tribe) villages) (Sivanathan, 2000).Mohd. Taufik Abd. Rahman and Mohd. Salleh Daim (2002)The Bukit Rengit Wildlife Training Centre, Kuala Gandah Elephant Management Centre, Jendrak South Seladang and Deer Breeding Centre, a Research Centre at Kuala Lompat and Wildlife Ranger Posts at Perlok and Bukit Patong/Klau are located within the Wildlife Reserve which are maintained by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Peninsular Malaysia) (Elagupillay, 2000). Krau Wildlife Reserve is classified as an IUCN Category IV protected area.
Habitat and land use
Krau Wildlife Reserve encompasses six distinct major vegetation zones from lowland to mountainous terrain (DWNP, 1995; Lim, 1999).The lowland dipterocarp forest (less than 750 m asl) is characterised by lowland species of dipterocarps, mainly Shorea spp. of the red meranti group, in the canopy.The hill dipterocarp forest (750-1,000 m asl) is dominated by Shorea curtisii.The submontane dipterocarp forest (1,000-1,500 m asl) is characterised by the presence of Shorea platyclados and S. ciliata and the scarcity of S. curtisii.The montane oak-laurel (1,500 m asl and above) is characterised by the abundance of oak such as Quercus spp. and Lithocarpus spp. Dipterocarps are usually not present.The mountain ericaceous forest, which occurs on the highest mountain above the oak forest, is represented by dwarf and mossy vegetation. Oak species are few and ericaceous tree species such as Cytheai, Vaccinium and Rhodendrion are prevalent.Riparian habitat occuring mainly on the lowland between the riverine systems of the reserve and among patchy areas of freshwater swamps. Trees commonly found here include Dipterocarpus longifolius, Syzygium sp., Ficus sp. and Lauraceae species.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Krau Wildlife Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 06/06/2020.