Extinct tree species found in Pelagat forest reserve


Mohd Ridza (left) and Terengganu forestry department director Muhamad Abdullah with Damar Hitam Siput Daun Besar saplings. — Bernama

JERTEH: The Damar Hitam Siput Daun Besar tree species, known by it scientific name Shorea kuantanensis, that was reported to have become extinct in 2010, was discovered at Taman Eco-Rimba Lata Tembakah in Pelagat Forest Reserve, Hulu Besut.

Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department (JPSM) director-general Datuk Mohd Ridza Awang said three trees from the medium hardwood group were discovered in August 2014 by Mohd Nasir Mohd and Salleh Endut from the department.

“Originally the Shorea kuantanensis species was recorded only to be found in the Bukit Goh Forest Reserve, Kuantan, Pahang in 1936.

“However, the tree species was reported extinct by the ‘Malaysia Plant Red List of Peninsular Malaysia Dipterocarpaceae’ in 2010 due to the change in land use status of Bukit Goh Forest Reserve to oil palm plantations,” he said at a press conference on the discovery of the Damar Hitam Siput Daun Besar tree at Taman Eco-Rimba Lata, Pelagat Forest Reserve, here.

He said the three trees found were about 28 to 76 centimetres in circumference and between 28 and 76 years old.

He said following the discovery, JPSM in collaboration with the Terengganu Forestry Department had taken steps to preserve and conserve the tree species by establishing a High Conservation Value Forest in the area where it was found, namely in the Pelagat Forest Reserve.

Apart from that, he said the Terengganu Forestry Department was also working with the Pahang Forestry Department to distribute seedlings of the Damar Hitam Siput Daun Besar tree to be planted in suitable areas around Kuantan, Pahang. – Bernama

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