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Location Malaysia, Sarawak
Central coordinates 114o 56.00' East  4o 7.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 84,121 ha
Altitude 28 - 2,376m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Malaysian Nature Society



Summary Located in two divisions in the state of Sarawak, this protected area consists of two national parks. Both Mulu and Buda mountain are gazetted as national parks.

Site description (I) Physical CharacteristicsGunung Mulu is the largest national park in Sarawak (Jermy, 1982; SFD, 1982). The area comprises of gentle river valleys and floodplains in the northwest, rising to a line of steep, rugged limestone mountains and deep gorges running through the heart of the national park, incorporating peaks of Gunung Mulu (2,376 m asl), Gunung Benerat (1,600 m asl) and Gunung Api (1,692 m asl) and Gunung Buda (963 m asl) (SFD, 1982; Hazebroek and Abang Kashim bin Abang Morshidi, 2000). The national park also has one of the finest caves in the world (Smart, 1985; Brook et al., 1982). The entire south-eastern half of the national park is occupied by the Gunung Mulu massif, which is made up of shales and interbedded sandstones. Together with sedimentary rocks, they make up the Mulu Formation, estimated about 4,000-5,000 m thick and 40-90 million years old (Late Cretaceous to Late Eocene). Sandy soils have developed on the Mulu Formation rocks. The flanks of the mountain are dissected with steep valleys. The southern limestone hills are made up of the Melinau Limestone. The limestone landscapes are very rugged and are some of the world's best limestone weathering. In the north-western part of the area, overlying the Melinau Limestone, dark grey or blackish shales with minor sandstones form the Setap Shale Formation (Liechti et al., 1960). (II) Climatic ConditionsTemperature decreases with increasing altitude, from an average of 25oc around park hq (30 m asl) to an average of 16.3oC at 1,750 m asl. Annual rainfall is high with at least 5,000 mm throughout the park except at the summit of Gunung Mulu. Rain peaks in April-May and October-November, and the lowest in August-September. Rainfall increases then sharply decreases with altitude, rising from 5,078 mm at 65 m asl, to 6,802 mm at 1,700 m asl, then dropping sharply to 4,882 mm at the summit of Gunung Mulu (SFD, 1982).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lophura erythrophthalma resident  2004  present  A1  Not Recognised 
Bulwer's Pheasant Lophura bulweri resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Black Partridge Melanoperdix niger resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Storm's Stork Ciconia stormi resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Kinabalu Serpent-eagle Spilornis kinabaluensis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Wallace's Hawk-eagle Nisaetus nanus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Large Green-pigeon Treron capellei resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Short-toed Coucal Centropus rectunguis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Alcedo euryzona resident  2004  present  A1  Not Recognised 
Blue-headed Pitta Pitta baudii resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Hook-billed Bulbul Setornis criniger resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Bornean Wren-babbler Ptilocichla leucogrammica resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Large-billed Blue-flycatcher Cyornis caerulatus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Gunong Buda National Park 6,621 protected area contained by site 6,621  
Gunung Mulu National Park World Heritage Site 52,864 protected area contained by site 52,864  
Mulu National Park 55,382 protected area contained by site 55,382  
Mulu National Park ASEAN Heritage 55,000 protected area contained by site 55,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Wetlands (inland)   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

Other biodiversity The national park boasts an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Approximately 60 species of mammals (Hazebroek and Abang Kashim bin Abang Morshidi, 2000). 75 species of frogs and toads (Hazebroek and Abang Kashim bin Abang Morshidi, 2000).900 species of butterflies, 2,400 species of moths, 5,000 species of beetles and various others (Bright, 2000; Holloway, 1984a, 1984b).Incredible cave fauna including an enormous colony Wrinkle-lipped Bats (Tadarida plicata) estimated at between 600,000 to over 5 million. Their emergence from the structure at dusk is one of the most spectacular sights in the national park. Mossy-nest Swiftlets (Collocalia salagana) and Edible-nest Swiftlet (C. fuciphaga) roost and nest in the caves (Chapman, 1985).(I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Orang-Utan Pongo pygmaeus; VULNERABLE: Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Smooth-tailed Treeshrew Dendrogale melanura, Jentink's Squirrel Sundasciurus jentinki; NEAR THREATENED: Bornean Gibbon Hylobates muelleri, Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis, Grey Fruit Bat Aethalops alecto, Creagh's Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus creaghi, Philippine Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus philippinensis, Lesser Tailless Horseshoe Bat Coelops robinsoni; DATA DEFICIENT: Hose's Leaf-Monkey Presbytis hosei, Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): No information.(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Parashorea macrophylla, Shorea platycarpa, S. seminis, S. acuta, Hopea nutans, Dipterocarpus lowii; ENDANGERED: Dryobalanops beccari, Shorea albida, S. obscura, S. argentifolia, S. maxwelliana, S. ovata, Hopea vaccinifolia, Cotylelobium burkii; VULNERABLE: Santiria nigricans, Scaevola muluensis, Nepenthes lowii, N. muluensis, N. bicalcarata, Microtropis rigida, Combretocarpus rotundatus, Eusideroxylon zwageri, Callophyllum havilandii; NEAR THREATENED: Myristica lowiana; LOWER RISK/conservation dependent: Elaeocarpus cordifolius; DATA DEFICIENT: Pentaspadon motleyi

Protection status Gunung Mulu National Park was established in 1974 and protected under the National Parks and Nature Reserves (Amendment) Ordinance 1990. However, traditional rights of the local people are maintained where they are allowed to hunt pig, deer, fish and collect forest produce for food or handicraft in specified areas of the National Park. An extension of 35,000 ha (Limbang Division) has been proposed (SFD, 1982; Anderson et al., 1979). Gunung Mulu National Park is listed under Category II of the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories and more recently declared a UN World Heritage Site (Anon., 2002).

References Anderson, J.A.R. and Chai, P.P.K. 1982. Vegetation. In Jermy, A.C. and K.P., Kavanagh, (eds.). Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak: An Account of its Environment and Biota being the results of The Royal Geographical Society/Sarawak Government Expedition and Survey 1977-1978. Part I (Special Issue No.2). Sarawak Museum Journal 51: 195-206.Anderson, J.A.R., Jermy, A.C. and Cranbrook, Earl of. 1979. Gunung Mulu National Park: A Management and Development Plan. London: Royal Geographical Society. Anon. 2002. Sarawak to open 19 more national parks. The Star, 19 January.Bank, E. 1935. A collection of montane mammals and birds from Mulu in Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal 4: 327-341.Bright, D.E. 2000. Scolytidae (Coleoptera) of Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia, with ecological notes and descriptions of six new species. Serangga 5(1): 41-85.Brook, D.B., Eavis, A.J., Lyon, M.K. and Waltham, A.C. 1982. Caves of the limestone. In Jermy, A.C. and K.P., Kavanagh (eds.). Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak: An Account of its Environment and Biota being the results of The Royal Geographical Society/Sarawak Government Expedition and Survey 1977-1978. Part I (Special Issue No.2). Sarawak Museum Journal 51: 95-120.Chapman, P. 1985. Cave Biology. In Eavis, A.J. (compiler). Caves of Mulu '84: The Limestone Caves of the Gunong Mulu National Park, Sarawak, pp. 49-50. Bridgewater: British Cave Research Association.Davison, G.W.H. 1979. A Survey of Terrestrial Birds in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal 48: 283-293.Gregory-Smith, R. 1996. Bird Report-Sarawak 1995. Sarawak Museum Journal 71: 93-110.Hazebroek, H.P. and Abang Kashim bin Abang Morshidi. 2000. National Parks of Sarawak. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications (Borneo).Holloway, J.D. 1984. Notes on the butterflies of the Gunung Mulu National Park. In Jermy, A.C. and K.P., Kavanagh, K.P. (eds.). Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak: An Account of its Environment and Biota being the results of The Royal Geographical Society/Sarawak Government Expedition and Survey 1977-1978. Part II (Special Issue No.2). Sarawak Museum Journal 51: 89-132.Holloway, J.D. 1984. The larger moths of the Gunung Mulu National Park: a preliminary assessment of their distribution, ecology, and potential as environmental indicators. In Jermy, A.C. and K.P., Kavanagh (eds.). Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak: An Account of its Environment and Biota being the results of The Royal Geographical Society/Sarawak Government Expedition and Survey 1977-1978. Part II (Special Issue No.2). Sarawak Museum Journal 51: 149-190.IUCN. 2002. 2002 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.redlist.org (23 June 2003).Jermy, A.C. (1982). Gunung Mulu National Park: the 1977-78 survey. In Jermy, A.C. and K.P., Kavanagh (eds.). Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak: An Account of its Environment and Biota being the results of The Royal Geographical Society/Sarawak Government Expedition and Survey 1977-1978. Part I (Special Issue No.2). Sarawak Museum Journal 51: 1-16.Kemp, A.C. and Kemp, M.I. 1974. Report on a Study of Hornbills in Sarawak with Comments on their Conservation. Project MYS 2/74. Kuala Lumpur: WWFM.Kemp, A.C. and Kemp, M.I. 1976. Random notes on some Sarawak birds. Sarawak Museum Journal 24: 273-276.Leichti, P., Roe, F.W. and Haile, N.S. 1960. The Geology of Sarawak, Brunei and the Western Half of North Borneo. Kuching: Government Printing Office.MacKinnon, J. and Phillipps, K. 1993. A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Medway, Lord. 1980. Pp. 157-164 in Hanbury-Tenison, R. Mulu: The Rain Forest. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.McCormick, K.J. 1976. Sarawak Bird Notes - 1975. Sarawak Museum Journal 24: 269-271.Proctor, J., Anderson, J.M. and Vallack, H.W. 1982. Ecological studies in four forest types. In Jermy, A.C. and K.P., Kavanagh (eds.). Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak: An Account of its Environment and Biota being the results of The Royal Geographical Society/Sarawak Government Expedition and Survey 1977-1978. Part I (Special Issue No.2). Sarawak Museum Journal 51: 95-120.Proctor, J., Anderson, J.M., Chai, P. and Vallack, H.W. 1983. Ecological studies in four contrasting lowland rain forests in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak. Journal of Ecology 71: 237-260.SFD. 1982. Gunung Mulu National Park Management Plan 1993-1995. Sarawak: Sarawak Forest Department.Smythies, B.E. 1999. The Birds of Borneo (4th Edition). Revised by Davison, G.W.H. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications (Borneo) Sdn. Bhd.Sharpe, R.B. 1894. Bornean Notes, No. III. (xii) On a collection of Birds from Mount Mulu in Sarawak. Ibis 6(6): 542-544.Smart, P. 1985. Cave Geomorphology. In Eavis, A.J. (comp.). Caves of Mulu '84: The Limestone Caves of the Gunong Mulu National Park, Sarawak, pp. 46-48.. Bridgewater: British Cave Research Association.Smythies, B.E. 1957. A checklist of the birds of Borneo. Sarawak Museum Journal 7: xv + 296.Smythies, B.E. 1981. The birds of Borneo. Third edition. Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Society, and Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Nature Society. Smythies, B.E. 1999. The Birds of Borneo (4th Edition). Revised by Davison, G.W.H.. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications (Borneo) Sdn. Bhd.Stephen Then. 2001. Possible threat to Mulu Park. The Star, 18 December: 19.Wells, D.R. 1976. Some bird communities in western Sabah, with distributional records, March 1975. Sarawak Museum Journal 24: 277-286.Wells, D.R., Hails, C.J. and Hails, A.J. 1978. A study of the birds of the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, with special emphasis on those of lowland forests. Report to the Royal Geographical Society (Mulu Expedition).

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