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Location Malaysia, Sabah
Central coordinates 118o 45.00' East  5o 10.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 120,521 ha
Altitude 100 - 571m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Malaysian Nature Society



Site description (I) Physical CharacteristicsTabin Wildlife Reserve is situated in the eastern part of Sabah, in the middle of the Dent Peninsula. The Core Area of the wildlife reserve consists primarily of virgin lowland dipterocarp forest (8,616 ha) surrounded by an outer zone of secondary forest, which has been selectively logged in the past. There are three Virgin Forest Reserves (VJRs) within the reserve. About 1,000 ha of freshwater swamp forest and 200 ha of mangroves can be found in the northeast part of the wildlife reserve. The area is surrounded by cocoa and oil palm plantation (Maryati Mohamed et al., 1999).The area is characterized by moderate to steep slopes, ranging from 100-300 m asl with Bukit Hatton as the highest point (571 m asl) and flat lowlands in the north-east. The geological formations of Tabin are young sedimentary formations, with at least seven natural mineral sources including three mud volcanoes, which provide salt licks for the large mammals (Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Rosli Ahmad, 1999). Mud volcanoes are also a rare geological feature in parts of eastern Sabah. Main rivers draining this reserve are Sungai Tabin, Sungai Tagas-tagas, Sungai Lipad, Sungai Rimmer and Sungai Lumpongon (Maryati Mohamed et al., 1999).(II) Climatic ConditionsAnnual rainfall is between 2,000-3,000 mm. Heavy rains between October-February coinciding with the north-east monsoon, with shorter wet season between May-July. Dry periods occur between July-September coinciding with the south-west monsoon. Max and min daily temperature is 32oC and 22oC respectively (Rajanathan, 2000).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Storm's Stork Ciconia stormi resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
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 
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)  
Dagat Virgin Jungle Reserve 164 protected area contained by site 164  
Mount Hatton Protection Forest Reserve 8,680 protected area contained by site 8,680  
Silabukan Protection Forest Reserve 11,440 protected area contained by site 11,440  
Sungai Kapur Virgin Jungle Reserve 758 protected area contained by site 758  
Tabin Virgin Jungle Reserve 408 protected area contained by site 408  
Tabin Wildlife Reserve 110,566 protected area contained by site 111,971  

Habitats

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

Other biodiversity Scientific surveys have shown that Tabin harbour a rich diversity of flora and fauna due to the nature of its habitat (Maryati Mohamed et al., 1999).25 species of freshwater algae in Tabin's water bodies (Sato et al., 1999).65 species of ferns from 19 families were recorded, dominated by the Polypodiaceae family (Suzuki and Magintan, 1999).130 species of ground herbs were collected including 87 species of Angiospermae belonging to 20 families and inclusive of 43 species of pteridophytes (Magintan et al., 1999).95 species of seed plants (Fujii et al., 1999).122 species of ants representing 8 subfamilies and 46 genera (Hashimoto et al., 1999).25 species of dragonflies (Kitagawa et al., 1999).242 species of butterflies from 8 families and 125 genera, which 216 were new for Tabin (Mohd. Fairus Jalil et al., 1999).24 species and morphospecies of termites (Isoptera) (Homathevi and Bignell, 1999).A diversity of leaf-rolling and coprophagous beetles (Sawada and Maryati Mohamed, 1999).24 species of freshwater fishes, dominated by Cyprinidae (Mohd Nadzri Ishak et al., 1999).22 species of amphibians (Jomitin et al., 1999).Three species of chelonians (Shinokawa et al., 2002).15 species of non-volant small mammals including the Tufted Ground Squirrel Rheithrosciurus macrotis, a rare Bornean endemic for Tabin (Jumrafiah Abdul Sukor and Mohd. Suffian Abu Bakar, 1999; Bernard et al., 1999)Presence of large mammals (Jomitin, 1999; Payne, 1986). It is estimated that 7-12 rhinoceroses are found in the reserve. Two elephant herds, ranging from 100-200 individuals, are believed to roam within the same area. The Tembadau exists in fair numbers. The Asian Elephant population in Tabin has extended its range into Sebuku-Sembakung in East Kalimantan (Stuebing, pers. comm.).(I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis; ENDANGERED: Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Tembadau Bos javanicus, Orang-Utan Pongo pygmaeus, Bornean Treeshrew Tupaia longipes; VULNERABLE: Bare-backed Rousette Rousettus spinalatus, Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Ranee Mouse Haeromys margarettae, Common Porcupine Hystrix brachyura, Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata, Ridley's Roundleaf Bat Hipposideros ridleyi; NEAR THREATENED: Long-tailed Macaque M. fascicularis, Bornean Gibbon Hylobates muelleri, Pangolin Manis javanica, Thick-spined Porcupine Hystrix crassispinis, Oriental Small-clawed Otter Amblonyx cinereus, Small Woolly Bat Kerivoula intermedia, Least Woolly Bat K. minuta, Naked Bat Cheiromeles torquatus; DATA DEFICIENT: Hose's Langur Presbytis hosei, Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus, Hairy-nosed Otter Lutra sumatrana(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): ENDANGERED: Asian Brown Tortoise Manouria emys; VULNERABLE: Malayan Flat-shelled Turtle Notochelys platynota(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Dipterocarpus kunstleri, Hopea beccariana, H. ferruginea, H. nervosa, H. sangal, Parashorea malaanonan, Shorea acuminatissima, S. guiso, S. hopeifolia, S. smithiana, S. superba, S. symingtonii; ENDANGERED: Dryobalanops beccarii, D. lanceolata, Hopea pierrei, Shorea agami, S. bracteolata, S. faguetiana, S. leprosula, S. pauciflora; VULNERABLE: Eusideroxylon zwageri, Cynometra inaequifolia, Knema kostermansiana; NEAR THREATENED: Horsfieldia crassifolia; LOWER RISK/conservation dependent: Koompassia excelsa

Protection status Tabin is a Forest Reserve is gazetted under the Forests (Amendment) Enactment 1984 in March 1984 as a Wildlife Reserve. The fauna of Tabin is protected under the Fauna Conservation Ordinance 1963 and Amendments. The dual management of the area is under the jurisdiction of the Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD). The SWD is also responsible to ensure that conservation and in-situ management of wildlife there is sustainable. The reserve is listed under Category IV of the IUCN protected areas classification.

References Bernard, H., Kimsui, L., Jumrafiah Abd. Sukor and Mohd. Soffian Abu Bakar. 1999. A Check-list of the Non-volant Small Mammals in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 145-152. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Fujii, T., Takahashi, A., Ishida, H., Magintan, D. and Maryati Mohamed. 1999. Preliminary List of Seed Plants in Tabin Wildlife Reserve. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 49-60. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Goh, R., Majuakim, J., Loh, A., Jonis, G., Sharif, M.D. and Sinin, R. 1989. A bird survey of two sites in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah. Sabah Museum Monograph 3: 82-86.Hashimoto, Y., Maryati Mohamed and Sakata, H. 1999. The Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 69-74. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Homathevi, R. and Bignell, D.E. 1999. A Preliminary Survey of Termites (Insecta: Isoptera) in Primary Forest Stand in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Eastern Sabah. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 121-128. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.IUCN. 2002. 2002 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.redlist.org (23 June 2003).Jomitin, C. 1999. Notes on the Birds and Mammals of Tabin Wildlife Reserve. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 153-164. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Jomitin, C., Gumpil, J., James, C., Endi, J. and Simin, B. 1999. A Note on the Amphibian of Tabin Wildlife Reserve. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 139-144. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Jumrafiah Abd. Sukor and Mohd. Suffian Abu Bakar. 1999. A Small Mammal Collection at Core Area of Tabin Wildlife Reserve. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 165-168. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Kamarudin, M.S., Latiff, A., Sukup, A., Halijah, I, Jamili, N. and Zainuddin, I. 1989. On the plants collected in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu, Sabah. In Ghazally, I. (ed.). Tabin Wildlife Reserve, pp. 27-47. Sabah: Sabah Museum and State Archives Department.Kitagawa, K., Yagi, T., Nakanishi, A., Nordin Wahid and Maryati Mohamed. 1999. The Dragonflies (Odonata) of Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 79-86. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Magintan, D., Borchsenius, F., Poulsen, A.D. and Langi, P. 1999. Preliminary List of Ground Herbs Collected in Tabin Wildlife Reserve. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 43-48. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. 1999. Executive Summary. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 1-5. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Mitchell, A.H. 1994. Ecology of Hose's Langur, Presbytis hosei, in Mixed Logged and Unlogged Dipterocarp Forest of Northeast Borneo. PhD. Disertation. Yale University.Mohd. Fairus Jalil, Nakanishi, A., Maryati Mohamed, Titol Peter Malim, Yagi, T., Saigusa, T. and Nordin Wahid. 1999. The Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) of Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 87-98. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Mohd. Nadzri Ishak, Maryati Mohamed, Japony, M. and Arifin Ag. Ali. 1999. An Icthofauna Survey of Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu, Sabah. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 129-138. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Rosli Ahmad. 1999. Mud Volcano of Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu, Sabah. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 7-18. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Payne, J. 1986. Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah: A Peliminary Management Plan. Project MYS 61/83. Kuala Lumpur: WWF Malaysia. Rajanathan, R. (2000). Ecology of the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia. PhD Dissertation. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.Sato, H., Anton, A. and Kumano, S. 1999. Freshwater Algae of Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 19-32. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Sawada, Y. and Maryati Mohamed. 1999. Beetles of the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah, East Malaysia. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 111-120. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.Sheldon, F.H., Moyle, R.G. and Kennard, J. 2001. Ornithology of Sabah: History, Gazetteer, Annotated Checklist, and Bibliography. Ornithological Monographs 52: 1-285.Shinokawa, T., Herman Stawin and David Gakin. 2002. A checklist of reptiles in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Wildlife and National Parks 20: 121-122.Smythies, B.E. 1999. The Birds of Borneo (4th Edition). Revised by G.W.H. Davison. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications (Borneo) Sdn. Bhd.Suzuki, T. and Magintan, D. 1999. Notes of the Pteridophytes Collected in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu, Sabah. In Maryati Mohamed, Mahedi Andau, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Titol Peter Malim. (eds.). Tabin Scientific Expedition, pp. 33-42. Kota Kinabalu: Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

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