Jahai Tribe of Belum Valley, Malaysia


The Jahai are one of the nineteen Orang Asli people groups living in Peninsular Malaysia. They are classified under the Negrito (or Semang) subgroup. They refer to themselves as Jah Jehai or Orang Semang.

The Jahai, like all other ethnic groups of the Negrito, are generally of short stature with darker skin and have more curly hair. Jahai settlements are by the rivers and lakes located in the Jeli district of Kelantan and the Hulu Perak district of Perak.

One such settlement is at the edge of the Temengor Lake located in the State of Perak.

Good Morning Royal Belum State Park, Malaysia


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Belum Valley Fact Sheet


bv1Located north of Perak state, Malaysia, Belum Valley covers 300,000 hectares of pristine rainforest known as Belum Temenggor Forest Complex (BTFC) and consist of several forest reserves area. The main area are the Royal Belum (north), Temenggor Forest Reserve (south), Gerik Forest Reserve and Bersia Forest Reserve.

The contiguous Belum and Temenggor forest reserves form the second largest remaining block of virgin forest in Peninsular Malaysia and the largest example of the northern monsoonal Burmese-Thai forest vegetation zone (Bamboo-Schima) in Malaysia. These forests are approximately 130 million years old, older than the Amazon and the Congo, and subsequently much more complex in their biodiversity. They support populations of large mammals and extensive stands of mixed dipterocarp forests over about 300,000 hectares, almost four times the size of Singapore, in one of the least accessible or developed areas of the Peninsula.

The Belum-Temengor Forest Complex forms the last remaining contiguous tract of forest in Peninsular Malaysia that is: i) currently outside
the National protected area system and ii) that is sufficiently large to support the huge diverse range of flora and fauna for which Malaysia is recognised as one of only twelve mega-biodiversity countries in the world.  The outstanding value of the BT Complex is a large landscape ecosystem, supporting large mammal populations such as Asian Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan Tiger, Malayan Gaur (Seladang), Leopard and Tapir. These populations desperately need large forest areas to survive, and the BT Forest Complex is the last such refuge left in Malaysia. It is also recognized internationally as an Important Bird Area (IBA).bv5

With Taman Negara representing the biodiversity of central Peninsular Malaysia, Endau-Rompin with its West Borneo influence representing the southern end, the BT Forest Complex is the last major tract for the northern flora and fauna. Its protection will mark the fulfilment of our national obligation to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and presents an excellent chance to establish a transboundary Protected Area (PA) together with the Hala-Bala wildlife Sanctuary and the Bang Lang National Park in Thailand.

BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY OF THE BT COMPLEX

bv3Supports important keystone flora and fauna species: Over 3,000 species of flowering plants, many endemic to just the northern Peninsula, including 46 species of palms (15 endemic) and over 30 species of gingers (20% of the total number of Peninsula species), and a variety of rare orchids.

At least 274 species of birds and it must be noted that the entire BT Complex area has all 10 hornbills of Malaysia, with perhaps the largest remaining populations of breeding hornbills. It was recorded that at least 2, 000 Plain-pouched Hornbills were seen flying in just one evening.

 

 

  • 168 species of butterflies, including the rare Herona sumatrana and Tanaecia clathrata and 252 smaller moths
  • 95 identified species of leaf-beetles, with the highest likelihood that there are many more
  • 64 species of ferns and fern allies
  • 62 species of mosses
  • 51 species landsnails (one sixth of all known Peninsular Malaysian snail species)
  • 49 species of terrestrial and seven freshwater molluscs
  • 36 species of aquatic and semi-aquatic bugs, and a new aquatic fly
  • 25 species of cicadas
  • 24 species of amphibians
  • 21 species of lizards
  • 23 species of snakes
  • 23 species of freshwater fishes
  • 19 species of odonatas
  • 7 species of freshwater and land turtles. At least five and one globally threatened and near-threatened turtles and tortoises.
  • 3 species of freshwater decapod crustaceans

bv2BT Forest Complex contains a range of forest types characteristic of the northern monsoonal Burmese-Thai forest vegetation zone: Hill Dipterocarp Forest, Ridge Forest, and Edaphic and Montane Forest. The forests contain over 3,000 species of flowering plants, many endemic to just the northern part of the Malay Peninsula, including the 3 species of Rafflesia, 46 species of palms (15 endemic), over 30 species of gingers, rare limestone flora and many others.bv6

It has an extraordinary megafauna: 100 mammal species occur, among them almost all the large species of the Malay Peninsula: Malayan Tiger, Malayan Tapir, Asian Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Gaur, Malayan Sun Bear and Wild Dog. Two are critically endangered: Sumatran Rhinoceros and Malayan Water Shrew. Important salt licks – damp mineral soil areas —attract dense populations of big mammals. It is also an exceptional site for birds; in all, 316 bird species are known so far, in particular all 10 of Malaysia’s magnificent hornbill species, for which it is
probably the world’s richest site. The reptile, amphibian and freshwater fish fauna are equally impressive

INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY

bv4The forests are home to many groups of indigenous people, the Orang Asli especially those from the Jahai and Temiar group. In the Temengor and Belum are, there are nine main Orang Asli village, with about 260 households. The biggest settlement is at Kampung Samlor and Sungai Tekam, two villages that are hardly separable, that contain one fifth of all the households. They settled near the edges of the forest around Temengor Lake, where they have been shifted because of impoundment for the hydro-electric dam in the late 1970s. These forest communities are an integral part of the wilderness, and also form part of the area’s key values.

Royal Belum by Houseboat


Rafflesia Flower Facts


Rafflesia

Rafflesia is the world’s largest, the heaviest, the rarest and the one of the most stinkiest flowers in the world. It grows to 1 metre wide and weighs about 10 kgs.

Rafflesia, a native of rainforests of Thailand, Malaysia and in the Indonesian Archipelago, is the largest flower in the world. Interestingly, Rafflesia is a parasitic plant without any leaves, stems and roots (It has only nutrient-absorbing threads to absorb nutrients from the host on which it lives) but for the largest flower.

Rafflesia flower has a small lifecycle of 5-7 days. Rafflesias have their stamens and pistils fused together in a central column, producing a corona, or crown, in the shape of a ring. The reddish brown colors of the petals, are sprinkled with white freckles. The smell attracts the carrion flies and then pollination occurs. After 9 months of maturation, Rafflesia plant opens into a cabbage-sized bud. The sexual organs are located beneath the rim of the disk.

Facts About Rafflesia Flower

– Rafflesia is the largest individual flower. Titan arum bears the largest inflorescence.
– Rafflesia is a parasite which attaches itself to a host plant, Tetrastigma vine, which grows only in undisturbed rainforests, to obtain water and nutrients.
– The genus Rafflesia is named after adventurer and founder of the British colony of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles.
– Rafflesia is the official state flower of Sabah in Malaysia, as well as for the Surat Thani Province, Thailand.
– Rafflesia manillana, the smallest species in the genus Rafflesia is also has 20 cm diameter flowers.
– Rafflesia flowers are unisexual.
– Forest mammals and tree shrews feed on Rafflesia fruit which is 15cm in diameter, filled with smooth flesh and thousands of tiny hard coated seeds.
– It is believed that rafflesia is related to poinsettias, violets, passionflowers, and other members of the order Malpighiales.
– The rotten smell of the flower is due to the reddish tentacle-like, branched ramentae, inside the corolla of petals.
– Rafflesia is an endangered or threatened genus.
– Rafflesia arnoldii does not have chlorophyll, as all the green plants have and so it cannot undergo
photosynthesis.

Species found in Royal Belum State Park, Malaysia

Rafflesia Azlanii

Rafflesia Kerii

Rafflesia Cantleyii

Other Species around the region.

Rafflesia Arnoldii

Rafflesia Balatei

Rafflesia Banahawensis

Rafflesia Bengkuluensis

Rafflesia Gadutensis

Rafflesia Hasselti

Rafflesia Keithii

Rafflesia Leonardi

Rafflesia Lobata

Rafflesia Manillana

Rafflesia Microployra

Rafflesia Mira

Rafflesia Panchoana

Rafflesia Patma

Rafflesia Pricei

Rafflesia Rochusseni

Rafflesia Schadenbergiana

Rafflesia Speciosa

Rafflesia Tengku Adlinii

Rafflesia Tuan Mudae

No Photos and Unverified Species

Rafflesia Borneensis

Rafflesia Ciliata

Rafflesia Titan

Rafflesia Witkampii

Extensive research has been don eon Rafflesia flowers, either by locals of international bodies. Some of them are:

1. http://pkukmweb.ukm.my/pakdin/Rafflesia/conservation.html

2. http://www.dawama.com/Rafflesia-Bunga-Terbesar-di-Dunia/q?pid=1858&doit=order

3. http://rafflesia-flowers.blogspot.com/2008/03/prof-dr-kamarudin-mat-salleh.html

4. http://www.ukm.my/news/index.php/ms/berita-penyelidikan/311-the-dangers-of-using-rafflesia.html

Many more can be found on the internet or research facilities.

Green Man @ Royal Belum State Park