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Location Malaysia, Sabah
Central coordinates 118o 40.00' East  5o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 20,682 ha
Altitude 0 - 70m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Malaysian Nature Society

Summary Located in the district of Kinabatangan, Sabah. The reserve is flat with several isolated and locally steep hills and mostly made up of swampy, acidic soils and peat in some parts.

Site description (I) Physical CharacteristicsKulamba Wildlife Reserve lies between Dewhurst Bay and the lower Sungai Segama, on the north coast of the Dent Peninsula in eastern Sabah. The reserve is flat with several isolated, locally steep hills rising to about 70 m asl in the south and middle region. Much of the reserve is swampy, with acidic soils, and peat in some parts.(II) Climatic ConditionsThe climate is hot and humid, with a mean daily maximum temperature of about 32oC. Average annual rainfall is about 3,050 mm. The December-January period has the highest rainfall, with a lesser peak in May-June (Payne, 1985).

Key Biodiversity A survey in April 1984 recorded 59 resident bird species (Payne, 1985). The reserve's mixture of wetland and dry lowland forest and its contiguity with the Kinabatangan floodplains provides an important habitat for several resident (and presumably migrants too) globally threatened waterbirds and lowland specialist such as the Wrinkled Hornbill Rhyticeros corrugatus. Other Near Threatened species recorded is the Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster.

Non-bird biodiversity: Eighteen species of mammals have been reported inhabiting the reserve (Payne, 1985). (I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Tembadau Bos javanicus, Proboscis Monkey Nasalis larvatus; VULNERABLE: [Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata]; NEAR THREATENED: Bornean Gibbon Hylobates muelleri, Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis; DATA DEFICIENT: Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): No information.(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Dipterocarpus validus; ENDANGERED: Shorea leprosula; VULNERABLE: Cynometra inaequifolia, Aquilaria malaccensisNote: [ ] = unconfirmed record.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Storm's Stork Ciconia stormi resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Short-toed Coucal Centropus rectunguis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kretam Virgin Jungle Reserve 421 protected area contained by site 421  
Kulamba Wildlife Reserve 20,383 is identical to site 20,682  


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

Protection status Kulamba was gazetted on March 1984 as a Wildlife Reserve under the Forests (Amendment) Enactment 1984. The reserve is in part contiguous with Terusan Kinabatangan Mangrove Forest Reserve (40,471 ha) to the west and Kuala Segama and Kuala Maruap Mangrove Forest Reserve (23,993 ha) to the east.The northern boundary of the reserve follows the coastline facing the Sulu Sea. The eastern boundary lies west of Sungai Manalunan and roughly follows the boundary between dryland and seasonally swampy forest with permanent coastal swamp forest. The southern boundary follows the upper reaches of Sungai Manalunan and a line bearing 227o 30', which leads to the most southerly point of the reserve. The southern half of the western boundary approximately follows the boundary between dryland and swampy forest. The northern half of the western boundary follows approximately follows the boundary between coastal swamp forest with dryland and seasonally swampy forest. The reserve is classified as an IUCN Category VI protected area.

References IUCN. 2002. 2002 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (23 June 2003).Payne, J. 1985. Kulamba Wildlife Reserve Survey Report and Management Recommendations. Report to the Wildlife Section, Sabah Forest Department. Project MYS 62/84. Kuala Lumpur: WWF Malaysia.Sheldon, F.H., Moyle, R.G. and Kennard, J. 2001. Ornithology of Sabah: History, Gazetteer, Annotated Checklist, and Bibliography. Ornithological Monographs 52: 1-285.Smythies, B.E. 1999. The Birds of Borneo (4th Edition). Revised by Davison, G.W.H.. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications (Borneo) Sdn. Bhd.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kulamba Wildlife Reserve. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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