THE Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has submitted an appeal letter to the Selangor Forestry Department to maintain the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve, following a proposed degazettement of the forest.
FRIM said the forest needed to be protected as it had found through its preliminary inventory studies that there were many species of flora and fauna categorised as endangered.
“Based on the data collected of the flora and fauna, there are at least three endangered species which were found here, including trees such as mersawa paya (Anisoptera marginata), meranti bunga (Shorea teysmanniana) and meranti bakau (Shorea uliginosa).
“There is also the Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel and three freshwater species of fish that are endemic and endangered, ” it said on its Facebook page.
FRIM director-general Datuk Dr Abd Latif Mohmod presented the letter to Selangor Forestry Department director Mohd Ridzuwan Endot.
Also present was Forestry Peninsular Malaysia director-general Datuk Mohd Ridza Awang.
FRIM added that there were an estimated 100 species or more of birds recorded in the area around the forest, with 30% of them water birds.
The forestry institute hoped that the state government would take its important biodiversity into consideration and continue to conserve and protect the forest.
It was earlier reported that the state government was planning to degazette 97% of the forest to allow for mixed development.
On Feb 5, a notice was placed in a major daily by the state Forestry Department, inviting stakeholders in the Kuala Langat district to give their feedback on the proposed degazettement within 30 days.
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari had said the state government would replace the 931ha that will be degazetted from the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve.
He said the state had a list of suitable areas in Kuala Selangor, Sabak Bernam and Hulu Selangor to choose from.
Amirudin said some 40% of the area proposed for degazettement were damaged by fire and was no longer considered virgin forest.