Flora and fauna treasures under threat


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 19 Oct 2016

PETALING JAYA: Many throng Batu Caves for its religious sites and tourist appeal, but many do not know about the area’s scientific and eco-tourism values.

In the late 1970s, the Malaysian Nature Society found at least 28 species of moss, 38 species of ferns, 125 species of dicotyledons and 52 species of monocotyledons at Batu Caves. As for fauna, at least five species each of bats, frogs, lizards and snakes make the limestone hills their home.

However, it is hard to determine to what extent these creatures still survive there, but the flora and fauna of the hills have long suffered from climate change and isolation.

Botanist Dr Ruth Kiew has drawn up a list of vascular plants from Batu Caves, which include four species native to the caves.

Her list also reveals that there are three more local plant species that are only known to be in three places – Batu Caves, and the nearby Bukit Takun and Bukit Anak Takun.

“There are also very rare plant species found on one or two other limestone hills, such as impatiens ridleyi which is known to only exist in Batu Caves and Gunung Senyum in Pahang,” she said in her list.

Dr Kiew’s list also states other rare species of conservation importance that are known to originate from Batu Caves.

In spite of all these natural values, the Batu Caves and its biodiversity has come under attack since more than a hundred years ago, with the first threats from quarrying activities in 1896.

Acts of vandalism and theft of cave artifacts forced a temporary closure of the Dark Cave, which was later reopened with restricted access to preserve its ecology.

However, for as long as haphazard development is allowed to go on, Batu Caves will be facing a constant threat to its biodiversity and environment.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Environment , Batu Caves , development

   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Nation

Covid-19: Melaka Hospital still operational even with 32 staff testing positive
Negri health authorities deny claims that dead Covid-19 patient's jewellery was stolen by hospital staff
Tommy Thomas: Dr M wanted me to resign a day after I was appointed
Covid-19: Public, private hospitals to operate in a hybrid manner, says Health DG
MAH Penang: Wait for official announcement on closure of 5-star hotel
Dr M: Education, good values key to shaping future leaders, good governance
Domestic Trade Ministry: 99.7% of 51,102 business premises checked follows MCO SOPs
No entry poetry: A creative way to turn visitors away with Spring Festival couplets
Man arrested for firearms possession in Johor
Transport Ministry will look into grouses of taxi drivers, says Dr Wee

Stories You'll Enjoy


-->