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Location Malaysia, Johor
Central coordinates 103o 10.00' East  1o 39.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 8,650 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Malaysian Nature Society

Summary Stretched between two districts in the state of Johor, this area mostly consist of mangroves and mudflats. Certain parts of this coastline had been declared as Ramsar sites.

Site description (I) Physical CharacteristicsPulau Kukup is located off the south-west tip of Johor State. The island is covered by mature mangrove forest, accreting towards the west and north-west, eroding in the south-east, and is a particularly good example of unexploited mangrove forest. Large mudflats are located to the north-west whereas severely degraded coastal mangroves (less than 500 m wide) are bunded on the landward side (DWNP, 1987; Junkov, 1999; Hawkins and Howes, 1986). (II) Climatic ConditionsPulau Kukup experiences a humid tropical climate with annual showers from both the NE and SW monsoons. The annual rainfall average ranges from 2,000 - 2,500 mm with an even distribution throughout the year (WIMP, 1999). Temperature ranges from 24.5oC to 26.5oC annually (IKAS, n.d.). The island experiences semi-diurnal tidal exposure of two high tides and low tides in a day (WIMP, 1999).

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, A4i  Vulnerable 
Milky Stork Mycteria cinerea resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus winter  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Benut Forest Reserve 0 unknown 0  
Pulau Kukup Forest Reserve 0 unknown 0  
Pulau Kukup Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 647 unknown 0  
Sungai Pulai Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 9,126 unknown 0  
Tanjung Piai Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 526 unknown 0  


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

Other biodiversity Unidentified dolphins have been seen using the channel between island and mainland. (I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): VULNERABLE: Smooth Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, NEAR THREATENED: Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): None.(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): None.

Protection status Pulau Kukup State Park has been nominated as a Ramsar Site together with Tanjung Piai State Park and Sungai Pulai Mangrove Forest Reserve (WIMP, 1999, 2001). The area has also been recognized as having ecotourism potential (MOCAT, 1997).

References DWNP. 1987. Malaysian Wetland Directory. Peninsular Malaysia: Department of Wildlife and National Parks.IUCN. 2002. 2002 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (23 June 2003).Junkov, M. (ed.). 1999. Biodiversity Audit and Conservation Plan for the Mangroves of Johor. Project Document No 6. Forestry Department, Peninsular Malaysia/Johor State/DANCED.Hawkins, A.F.A. and Howes, J.R. 1986. Preliminary Assessment of Coastal Wetlands and Shorebirds in South-West Peninsular Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: INTERWADER Publication No.13. Lamont, A. (ed.). 1997. Johor Bird Report 1998. (Unpublished).Lamont, A. (ed.). 1998. Johor Bird Report 1998. (Unpublished).Lamont, A. (ed.). 1999. Johor Bird Report 1998. (Unpublished).Lamont, A. (ed.). 1999. Johor Bird Report 1998. (Unpublished).Lamont, A. (ed.). 2000. The Johor Bird Report 1999. (Unpublished).Lim, K.C. 1998. Birding Johor - Kukup. Singapore Avifauna 11(4): 23-25.Lim, K.S. (compiler). 1992. Jan-Mar 1992 Bird Report. Singapore Avifauna 6(1): 1-23.Mah, T.O. 2000. An Update of Kukup's shorebirds. Suara Enggang,6: 10-11.MCRST 1992. The Coastal Resources Management Plan for South Johor, Malaysia. Malaysian Coastal Resources Study Team. Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. ASEAN/US Coastal Resources Management Project. Technical Publications Series 11. Manila: ICLARM.Noramly, G. 1998. Bird Survey of the Johor Mangroves, Technical Report for the Project Preparation of an Integrated Management Palm for Sustainable Use of the Johor Mangrove Forests. Johor State For.Dept/DARUDEC/DANCED.Noramly, G. 1999. Birding Around Kukup, Johor. Suara Enggang 1: 8-10.MOCAT. 1997. National Ecotourism Plan Malaysia. Prepared for the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Federal Government of Malaysia. IKAS. No date. Kajian Pelan Pengurusan Pelancongan dan Rekreasi Rezab Taman Negara Pulau Kukup, Pontian, Johor Darul Takzim. Prepared by Institut Kajian Alam Sekitar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia for Perbadanan Taman Negara (Johor).WIMP. 1999. Ecological Assessment of Pulau Kukup, Johor: To determine its status as a wetland of international importance. A report submitted to Perbadanan Taman Negara (Johor), Johor Darul Takzim. Petaling Jaya: Wetlands International-Malaysia Programme.WIMP. 2001. Ecological Assessment of Sungai Pulai Mangrove Forest Reserve and Proposed Tanjung Piai State Park: To determine their status as wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Sites). A report submitted to Perbadanan Taman Negara (Johor), Johor Darul Takzim. Petaling Jaya: Wetlands International-Malaysia Programme.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South-west Johor coast. Downloaded from on 17/09/2014

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