Nakawan Range

Country/territory: Malaysia

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

Area: 28,600 ha

Protection status:

Malaysian Nature Society

Site description
(I) Physical CharacteristicsBanjaran Nakawan constitutes a continuous chain of hills stretching north to south on the Perlis State's border with the Satun Province of Thailand, with Thaleban National Park making up the Thai side of the range.Two Forest Reserves [Mata Ayer (2,156 ha) and Wang Mu (2,859 ha)] form the northern portion of the range, with Wang Tangga (private and State-owned land) in between them. The Perlis State Park is made up of these three areas. There are plans to incorporate the southern part of the range comprising of Bukit Bintang and Kurong Batang Forest Reserve into the Perlis State Park (hereafter PSP). Sungai Timah drains Mata Ayer and Wang Mu areas before flowing into the Timah-Tasoh Dam, which is situated adjacent to the proposed park (Bourke, 2000; DWNP, 1993; Hymeir 2000b; Khoo, 1997; Sharma, 1992; Latiff et al, 2001). The range comprises of granite and mudstone in the northern tip and limestone of the Setul Formation for the rest of the Range. The northern portion of the of Mata Ayer lies on granite while the southern sections, Wang Tangga and Wang Mu lies on the dark-grey limestone of the Setul Formation (Sharma, 1992; Basir Jasin and Zaiton Harun, 2002), which is the oldest limestone in the peninsula. The Setul Formation is dated as Ordovician to Lower Devonian in geological times. This continuous formation with extensive cliff faces, interspersed with forest-covered valleys differs from the typical tower karst found in the peninsula (Kiew, 1993). The rock sequence is overlain by a sequence of clastic sedimentary rock that comprises shale, siltstone and sandstone and is known as the Kubang Pasu Formation. The age of the formation ranges from Carboniferous to Permian and the rock is conformably overlain by a Permo-Triassic limestone sequence, which is known as the Chuping Formation (Kamal Roslan Mohamed and Che Aziz Ali, 2001). Caves, cave formations and permanent underground streams are unique features to this range (Hymeir, 1998; Jones, 1965; Sharma, 1992; Hymeir et al, 1998).(II) Climatic ConditionsThe state park experiences warm and dry season from January to April, with temperature varying from 21-32oC, and wet season in between September to December. The average annual rainfall is between 2,000-2,500 mm (Rahimatsah Amat and Kasim Osman, 2002).

Key biodiversity
Over 130 species of birds have been recorded recently through several surveys (DWNP, 1993; Gregory-Smith, 1995; Sharma, 1992; Noramly and Kanda Kumar, 2002; Shahrul Anuar Mohd. Sah et al., 2001, 2002; Sharma et al., 1996). The avifauna of the area has Malaysian-Thai affinities and suincluding some that are threatened, therefore qualifying for the Globally Threatened Species and Biome-Restricted Assemblages categories. The nominated site was also discovered to be another important area for migratory waterfowl and raptors especially for the northern region (Lim and Lim 2001). However, further surveys and observations are needed for confirmation. Great Hornbill, (Noramly, SE), - PSP76 Biome 14 (30NT), 2 VU, 1 dry zone

Non-bird biodiversity: A high level of floral species in Perlis State are restricted to limestone. The limestone forests found in the park are significant due to the occurence of some species with Indo-Chinese and Indo-Malayan floral element (Kiew, 1993). At least 215 species in 65 families, 22% being endemic to Malaysia and eight species to Perlis, are confined to such habitat. Some of the limestone endemics found in PSP are; Buxus holttumiana, Canarium perlisanum, Dischidia tomentella, Paraboea aff. lax, Epithema sp., Impatiens sp., Justicia rupestris and Tectaria manilensis var. chupingensis (Kiew, 1993). Sixteen and 56 species of freshwater aquatic plants and algae respectively (Ahmad Ismail et al., 2001).Seventy-one species and one variety of mosses in 36 genera and 19 families at Wang Kelian (Ahmad Damanhuri and Haja Maideen, 2001). Additional surveys at Wang Mu and surrounding areas recorded 56 species and two varieties in 28 genera and 13 families (Yong et al, 2002).Thirteen fungi species in nine genera (Muskhazli Mustafa and Faridah-Hanum, 2002).At least 66 taxa of pteridophytes, 57 species of ferns and nine species of fern-allies (Jaman et al., 2001; Maideen et al., 2002).Twenty aroid species with at least four considered rare; Arisaema roxburghii, A. wrayi, Rhaphidophora beccarii, Typhonium filiforme and T. flagelliforme (Baharuddin Sulaiman and Mashhor Mansor, 2002).One hundred and twenty-nine species of flowering plants from 164 genera and 76 families including a new record for Malaysia, Tetrasigma obtectum (Vitaceae) (Faridah-Hanum et al., 2001; Latiff et al., 2002).One hundred and thirty-one species of trees from 82 genera and 37 families were recorded in 1999 (Latiff et al., 2001) and another additional 35 species from 26 genera and 9 families were recorded in 2000 (Latiff et al., 2002).Fifty-four species of herbaceous plants from 27 families were encountered, several new to PSP and Perlis including the populations of Tectaria shahidaniana (F: Dryopteridaceae) (Rusea et al, 2001; 2002).Discovery of a local endemic medicinal plant, Goniothalamus umbrosus (Mat-Salleh and Lim 2001).Two freshwater crabs, Somanniathelphusa sexpunctata and Siamthelphusa improvisa, and two prawns, Macrobrachium tropii and M. pilimanus, respectively in Sungai Pelarit (Norhidayat Kamaruzzaman et al., 2002).Twenty-one species of gastropods including 6 new records (Jambari Hj. Ali and Azmi Yaakob, 2001).Twenty-two species of cicadas in 12 genera [(F: Cicadidae (14 species in 9 genera), Tibicinidae (8 species in 3 genera)] (Zaidi et al, 2002; 2001a).Twenty-five butterfly species in 20 genera representing 13 subfamilies in 4 families (Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae and Hesperidae were recorded for Wang Kelian (Zaidi et al., 2001b).Thirteen species (4 families) and 46 species of amphibians and reptiles respectively (DWNP, 1993; Ibrahim Jaafar et al, 2001; Sharma et al, 2001).17 species from 8 families of freshwater fishes at Tasik Meranti and its tributaries, dominated by Systomus binotatus and Rasbora cf. sumatrana (Amiruddin B. Ahmad et al, 2001). Another 24 species representing 11 families of fishes were recorded from the headwaters of Sungai Timah (Abdullah Samat et al, 2002). Cyprinids form the major component of the freshwater fish community in PSP.Large population of bats especially Hipposideros diadema and H. larvatus roosting in caves within the area (Zubaid Akbar et al, 1987).Fifty-nine species of mammals (DWNP, 1993; Hymeir, 2000a; Sharma, 1992, 1994; Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim and Maarof Hassan, 1994; Shukor et al, 2002, 2001). (I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: [Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis]*; ENDANGERED: South-east Asian White-toothed Shrew Crocidura fuliginosa; VULNERABLE: Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides, Common Porcupine Hystrix brachyura, Serow Capricornis smatraensis; NEAR THREATENED: Banded Leaf-Monkey Presbytis melalophos, Long-tailed Macaque M. fascicularis, White-handed Gibbon Hylobates lar, Pangolin Manis javanica; DATA DEFICIENT: Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Elongated Tortoise Indotestudo elongata, Spiny Turtle Heosemys spinosa; VULNERABLE: Malayan Flat-shelled Turtle Notochelys platynota, Giant Asian Pond Turtle Heosemys grandis; NEAR THREATENED: Asian Leaf Turtle Cyclemys dentata(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Dipterocarpus kerrii, D. baudii, Parashorea lucida, Shorea guiso, S. hypochra; ENDANGERED: Hopea ferrea; VULNERABLE: Hopea odorata[ ] - Not confirmed* Reported present at the Wang Kelian area in the past by the locals, but the remaining forested area may not support any viable population. Its survival in the area is remote.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nakawan Range. Downloaded from on 21/01/2021.