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Location Malaysia, Kelantan,Pahang,Terengganu
Central coordinates 102o 30.00' East  4o 33.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 431,453 ha
Altitude 120 - 2,187m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Malaysian Nature Society

Summary This vast area is stretched between 4 districts located in three different states in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is the single largest protected area in the central of the peninsular.

Site description (I) Physical CharacteristicsTaman Negara National Park is Peninsular Malaysia's single largest protected area located in the central regions of the peninsula. It is also the only inter-State protected area involving the Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan State. About 57% of Taman Negara lies in Pahang, 24% in Kelantan and 19% in Terengganu. The national park is located in the headwaters of the Tembeling, Relai-Aring-Lebir and Trenggan river system. Most of the area within the national park lies below 305 m asl (57.6%). Several mountains are located within the national park namely Gunung Tahan (2,187 m asl), peninsula's highest, Gunung Perlis (1,284 m asl), Gunung Gagau (1,377 m asl), Gunung Rabong (1,538 m asl) and Gunung Mandi Angin (1,460 m asl). Most of Taman Negara lies on sedimentary rocks, predominantly sandstones and shale. Limestone outcrops occur at scattered locations, and Gua Peningat (723 m asl) is the highest and one of the largest in the country. However, it lacks high altitude granite (Anon., 1952; Anon., 1971a; Anon., 1971b). The national park has one of the oldest and pristine vegetation in Malaysia and is reputed to be the oldest rainforests in the world. It is also one of the ten most endangered places in Malaysia (MNS, 1974; Kiew et al., 1985; Latiff, 1996; Medway, 1971; MOCAT, 1997; Kawanishi et al., 1999).(II) Climatic ConditionsThe national park experiences both the north-east and south-west monsoon. The highest rainfall occurs in October-November (312 mm) and lowest in March (50 mm). Heavy rainfall dominate the period between December-February, resulting in flooding large tracts of the rainforest. Temperature ranges between 25-37oC and humidity high (>80%). However, on the mountain peaks and ranges, conditions are cool and sunny and cold on peaks at night (Bowden, 2001; DWNP, 1987).

Key Biodiversity Taman Negara is well known for its avifaunal diversity. Over 254 bird species has been recorded. Of these, 24% occur in montane forest or strictly confined to hills in lowland forest whilst the rest are in the lowland forests. Taman Negara, inarguably, is the best IBA site for the Biome-restricted Assemblages species (1 Endangered, 7 Vulnerable, 61 Near Threatened) and is crucial for the remaining population of the globally threatened Storm's Stork, endemic Mountain Peacock-pheasant and Malaysian Peacock-pheasant (Davison, 1982; Wells, 1971, 1990d). Other Near Threatened species that occurs in the national park include the Lesser Fish-Eagle Ichthyophaga hunilis, Grey-headed Fish-Eagle I. ichthyaetus, Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis and Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher Tersiphone atrocaudata.

Non-bird biodiversity: Plants exhibit tremendous diversity as in Taman Negara (Clarke, 2002; Latiff, 1996; Ng, 1978, 1989; Soepadmo, 1971). It may house more than 30% of 8000 species of flowering plants known in the peninsula. Families such as Dipterocarpaceae, Moraceae, Orchidaceae, Fabaceae, Rubiaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Annonaceae are well represented in the national park. Plant endemism is also high. Some 14 endemic tree species has been documented in the park such as Diospyros adenophora (Ebenaceae), Elaeocarpus floribundus (Elaeocarpaceae), Ficus oreophila (Moraceae), Horsfieldia tomentosa (Myristiceae), Podocarpus montana (Podocarpaceae) and Grewia laurifolia (Tiliaceae) (Ng, 1990). Other non-tree endemics include Sarcochilus minutiflorus (Orhidaceae), Didymocarpus flavobrunnea, D. pyrolifolia (Gesneriaceae) and Begonia herveyana var. robusta. Among the rare plants that can be found include Brugmansia lowii (Rafflesiaceae), Sarcochilus biserratus, S. tjiladapensis and Trichopus malayanus (Dioscoreaceae) (Kiew and Chin, 1982). The national park is an important gene pool of major cultivated plants (Ho, 1971).The national park has more than 120 species of mammals, 67 snakes, 55 frogs and 109 freshwater fishes (Jasmi bin Abdul, 1996; Mohd. Zakaria-Ismail, 1984; Sabrina M. Shariff, 1984; Kawanishi et al., 1999; Stòwe et al., 1998). It offers one of the best protection for large mammals in the peninsula due to the presence of various saltlicks in the area (Mohd. Khan bin Momin Khan, 1971; WWF, 2002a, 2002b). Cave systems within Taman Negara such as Gua Daun Menari and Gua Telinga are known to house large populations of bats (Davison, 1995; Yeap, 2000).(I) Globally threatened mammals (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis; ENDANGERED: South-east Asian White-toothed Shrew Crocidura fuliginosa, Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Tiger Panthera tigris, Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus; VULNERABLE: Common Porcupine Hystrix brachyura, Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Gaur Bos gaurus, Dhole Cuon alpinus, Serow Capricornis sumatraensis; NEAR THREATENED: Smoky Flying Squirrel Pteromyscus pulverulentus, Oriental Small-clawed Otter Amblonyx cinereus, Long-tailed Macaque M. fascicularis, Banded Leaf-Monkey Presbytis melalophos, White-handed Gibbon Hylobates lar; DATA DEFICIENT: Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus(II) Globally threatened reptiles (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Striped Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle Chitra chitra; ENDANGERED: Spiny Turtle Heosemys spinosa, Asian Brown Tortoise Manouria emys; VULNERABLE: Asiatic Softshell Turtle Amyda cartilaginea, Malayan Flat-shelled Turtle Notochelys platynota; NEAR THREATENED: Asian Leaf Turtle Cyclemys dentata(III) Globally threatened plants (IUCN, 2002): CRITICAL: Dipterocarpus grandiflorus, D. baudii; ENDANGERED: Dacrydium comosum, Nepenthes gracillima, Mangifera superba, Anisoptera laevis, Shorea leprosula, S. ovata; VULNERABLE: Adinandra corneriana, Beilschmiedia membranacea, Brassaiopsis minor, Bridelia whitmorei, Eugenia cyrtophylloides, Garcinia clusiaefolia, Kokoona sessilis, Lithocarpus curtisii, Agathis flavescens, A. dammara, Lithocarpus erythrocarpus, L. kunstleri, Mangifera macrocarpa, M. pentandra, Nepenthes macfarlanei; LOWER RISK/conservation dependent: Acronychia porteri, Adinandra angulata, Cyathocalyx scortechinii, Dacryodes kingii, Elaeocarpus cruciatus, Elaeocarpus pseudopaniculatus, E. reticosus, E. symingtonii, Eugenia pahangensis, Eugenia pseudoclaviflora, E. tahanensis, E. tekuensis, Glycosmic decipiens, Heliciopsis whitmorei, Koompassi excelsa, Macaranga quadricornis, Symplocos pyriflora, Tabernaemontana polyneura, Terminthodia viridiflora, Tetractomia majus, Pentace excelsa, P. grandiflora, Pyrenaria pahangensis, Ryparosa scortechinii, Palaquium regina-montium, Lithocarpus kingianus, L. kunstleri, Livistona tahanensis, Hydnocarpus cucurbitina, Ilex illustris, I. patens, I. tahanensis, Knema oblongifolia, Nepenthes sanguinea; NEAR THREATENED: Carallia euryoides, Castanopsis curtisii, Saurauia rubens, Rapanea perakensis, Madhuca tomentosa, Hydnocarpus nana, Dialum cochinchinense; DATA DEFICIENT: Aquilaria rostrata, Podocarpus deflexus, Oshanostachys amentacea

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 
Mountain Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron inopinatum resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Malay Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron malacense resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Black Partridge Melanoperdix niger resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Storm's Stork Ciconia stormi resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Wallace's Hawk-eagle Nisaetus nanus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Masked Finfoot Heliopais personatus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
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 
Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Taman Negara National Park 452,454 protected area contains site 431,453  
Taman Negara National Park ASEAN Heritage 434,300 protected area contains site 431,453  


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

Protection status Historically, parts of the area were designated as 'The Gunung Tahan Game Reserve' in 1925 by the Pahang State. Cooperation with neighbouring States of Terengganu and Kelantan in 1939 resulted in an interstate park called the King George V National Park then which was later became Taman Negara after Malaysia's Independence (Burkill, 1971). The purpose of the park remains to utilize the land within the park 'in perpetuity, for the propagation, protection, and preservation of the indiginous flora and fauna......'.Taman Negara is gazetted as a national park under the National Parks Act 1980. However, each of the three States have its own legislation in the gazettement as well such as the Enactment of Taman Negara Terengganu No. 6 (1938) and Taman Negara Kelantan State Enactment No.14 (1938). The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), Peninsular Malaysia administers Taman Negara National Park in accordance to the Taman Negara Master Plan 1987 (Ahmad Samsuddin Haji Shaari, 2000). The national park is fully protected and no commercial exploitation is permitted. However, exceptions are given to the local aborigines to hunt and gather for personal usage. A Board of Trustees is made up of the Federal King and three State rulers. Taman Negara Council is made up of representatives from the Forestry Department (Peninsular Malaysia), WWFM, MNS and the local universities, which takes responsibility in advising the DWNP in the management of the park (Anon., 1996).Despite its importance nationally, Taman Negara National Park does not have a buffer zone. An attempt to lobby the establishment of a buffer zone in 1990 was unsuccessful due to the lack of support from stakeholder states (Ahmad Samsuddin Haji Shaari, 2000). Internationally, Taman Negara National Park is recognised as an IUCN Category II protected area.

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