Ulu Muda

Country/territory: Malaysia

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

Area: 143,155 ha

Protection status:

Malaysian Nature Society

Site description
(I) Physical CharacteristicsThe Ulu Muda forests encompass two Forest Reserves; the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve (105,060 ha) and Pedu Forest Reserve (15,540 ha). Three dams, the Pedu, Muda and Beris Dam and are situated within the forest reserves, forming large freshwater lakes. The Muda Dam supplies water to the Muda Ricefields Irrigation Project, covering about 100,000 ha of fertile coastal plains within Kedah and Perlis State, more than 50 km downstream (MNS, 2002). The terrain around Tasik Muda is generally flat and hilly towards the north, south and east. Several rivers, Sungai Teliang, Sungai Muda, Sungai Lasor, Sungai Baho, Sungai Pior and Sungai Weng drain the area. Gunung Bayu (777 m asl), Bukit Batu (953 m asl) and Gunung Batu Putih (821 m asl) are some of the highest peaks in the forest reserves (Bourke, 2000; DWNP, 1991, 1993).(II) Climatic ConditionsThe area experiences two dry seasons from January to February and June to Julai annually (DWNP, 1993).

Key biodiversity
Due to its size, the area is important to biome species for Peninsula Malaysia and several globally threatened species especially the Straw-headed Bulbul, currently threatened by the cage bird trade. Surveys have documented 174 bird species in the forest reserve (Department of Wildlife and National Parks 1993; Noramly et al 2001). The area has the potential to be developed as a trans-boundary protected area with neighbouring Thailand. The protection of the area will ensure the survival a unique habitat and flora and fauna. The Ulu Muda forests is nominated under two categories; A1. Globally Threatened Species and A3. Biome-Restricted Assemblages.Good representation of lowland forest specialist, significant number of NT birds, high number of hornbills (7 out of ten) (Noramly and Lim, 2002)NT birds: Grey-headed Fish-eagle, Lesser Fish-eagle (Lim, 2003c), Oriental Darter (1 location in peninsula), Great Hornbill (Lim, 2003c)Only known breeding population of Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida muelleri) in the peninsula

Non-bird biodiversity: Surveys by the Bourke (2000), DWNP (1991, 1993), Juliana et al. (2002), Stevens (1968), Norhayati et al. (2002) and Norsham et al. (1999) showed that the area contains populations of large mammals due to the presence of saltlicks in the area.17 species of large mammals were recorded.12 species of small mammals recorded and another eleven species was detected from transects.13 species of amphibians and one reptile.20 species of freshwater fishes from nine families.The Ulu Muda forests may serve as an important link to the between Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand for the free movement of wildlife. (I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis; ENDANGERED: Tiger Panthera tigris, Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus; VULNERABLE: Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii, Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Gaur Bos gaurus, Serow Capricornis sumatraensis, Smooth Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, Common Porcupine Hystrix brachyura, Ridley's Leaf-nosed Bat Hipposideros ridleyi; NEAR THREATENED: Banded Leaf-Monkey Presbytis melalophos, Long-tailed Macaque M. fascicularis, White-handed Gibbon Hylobates lar, Agile Gibbon H. agilis, Pangolin Manis javanica, Oriental Small-clawed Otter Amblonyx cinereus, Least Forest Bat Kerivoula minuta, Schreibers' Bat Miniopterus schreibersii; DATA DEFICIENT: Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): No information.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ulu Muda. Downloaded from on 27/01/2021.