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Other National Parks
Bako National Park
Established in 1957, is the oldest national park in Sarawak, eastern Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. It covers an area of 27.27 square kilometres at the tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula at the mouth of the Bako and Kuching Rivers. It is some 37 kilometers by road from Kuching. Millions of years of erosion of the sandstone have created a coastline of steep cliffs, rocky headlands and stretches of white, sandy bays. Wave erosion at the base of the cliffs has carved many of the rocky headlands into fantastically shaped sea arches and seastacks with colored patterns formed by iron deposition. The park can only be reached by a 20-minute boat ride from Kampung Bako and is often visited as a day-trip from Kuching.
Bako is one of the smallest national parks in Sarawak, yet one of the most interesting, with its rainforest, abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails. A well maintained network of 16 colour-coded walking trails, from easy forest strolls to full day jungle treks, allows visitors to get the most out of this unique environment. There can be very few places in the world with so much natural beauty in such a limited area, and its range of attractions and activities have made Bako one of the most popular parks in Sarawak.
Bako contains almost every type of plant life found in Borneo, with over 25 distinct types of vegetation from seven complete ecosystems: beach vegetation, cliff vegetation, kerangas or heath forest, mangrove forest, mixed dipterocarp forest, padang or grasslands vegetation and peat swamp forest. The unusual plant life includes a variety of carnivorous plants (pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts) as well as a huge variety of tree and other plant species.
Crocker Range National Park
Crocker Range Park was established in 1984, although the area had previously been under protection as a forest reserve. It covers the north-south Crocker Range, of 1200-1800 meter mountains in Sabah, east Malaysia on the island of Borneo, which separate the western coastal plain with the rest of the state. The boundaries of the park have been surveyed, but no facilities exist at present for visitors.
The park covers 1399 square kilometers, making it the largest park in Sabah. The park consists of both hill and montane forest, with many species of flora and fauna endemic to Borneo. Maintenance of this forest cover is essential to ensuring a pure water supply for many of the towns and communities in Sabah.
The park contains at least five species of primates, such as the orang-utan, gibbons and the furry tarsier with its enormous round eyes, and extremely sociable long-tailed macaques. The Padas River bisects the range between Beaufort and Tenom.
Tawau Hills National Park
Tawau Hills National Park was established in 1979, primarily as a protection for the water catchment area of Tawau town, in Sabah, east Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It is located 24 kilometers from Tawau, and comprises 279.72 km˛ of lowland dipterocarp rainforest, surrounded by oil palm and cacao plantations. The park offers picnic areas, camping sites, and chalets. The Park contains rugged volcanic landscapes including a hot spring and spectacular waterfalls. The highest point in the park is Gunung Magdalena (1310 meters).
Batang Ai National Park
Batang Ai National Park is located in the Sri Aman Division of Sarawak, in eastern Malaysia on the island of Borneo some 250 kilometers east of Kuching. The park covers an area of 240 square kilometers of extensive tropical rainforest with a number or rare and protected animals surrounding the 24 square kilometer artificial lake created by the Batang Ai hydroelectric reservoir. The park was proclaimed in 1991, and has become increasingly popular with locals and tourists despite the lack of facilities.
Access is possible by chartering a boat, as water is the main method of transportation in the area. The lush dipterocarp forests are home to the Orang-Utan, gibbons, and hornbills. The lake creates a beautiful environment and gives a sense of peace and tranquility. The local inhabitants are mostly Iban, and tours to nearby Iban longhouses are also a tourist diversion. This national park takes strong steps in having the local communities involved in its management. The communities have formed a cooperative called 'Kooperasi Serbaguna Ulu Batang Ai' and are helping to conserve the park.
Maludam National Park
Maludam National Park is located in the Sri Aman Division of Sarawak, in eastern Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It consists entirely of low-lying, flat peat swamp forest. Such forests cover about 10% of the total land area of Sarawak, but have mostly been exploited for timber and plantation agriculture. The Maludam National Park encompasses the largest single patch of peat swamp forest remaining in Sarawak and Brunei.
The park covers an area of 431.47 square kilometres and was founded in 2000. It is the second largest park in Sarawak, and there are proposals to extend its area yet further.
Maludam National Park also has the only viable population of the red-banded langur (Presbytis melalophos cruciger) remaining in the world today. This species is one of the world's most beautiful monkeys, and is endemic only to Borneo. Its current range is restricted entirely to the peat swamp forests of the Sri Aman Division and Sarikei Division of Sarawak.
It also has one of only about five viable populations of proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus), in Sarawak. There is also a significant population of silvered langurs (Presbytis cristata). Diversity of other mammals is low, but there are numerous birds in the Park, including black, pied and rhinoceros hornbills, blue-eared and stork-billed kingfishers, green imperial pigeons, slender-billed crows, greater racket-tailed drongos and, occasionally, the rare Storm's storks.
The Park currently has no facilities and is not open to visitors, but undoubtedly this will change sometime in the near future with the growing popularity of ecotourism in Sarawak.
Pulau Tiga National Park
Pulau Tiga National Park was established in 1978, although the area has been under protection as a forest reserve since 1933. It is located north of Kuala Penyu, opposite the swampy Klias Peninsula, in Sabah, east Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The park covers 158 square kilometers of mostly ocean, containing the 3 islands of Pulau Tiga, Pulau Kalampunian Besar and Pulau Kalampunian Damit. The islands were formed in 1897 by the eruption of mud volcanos.
It is now covered in dense vegetation; however volcanic activity continues in the form of bubbling mud and methane gas venting, although the last major outpouring of mud was in the early 1960s.
- Pulau Kalampunian Besar is now little more than a sandbar, eroded away by wave action. Known for its sugar-white sands and clear waters, it is popular for scuba diving and snorkeling. It was also the location of the US reality TV show Survivor.
- Pulau Kalampunian Damit, little more than a large rock, is also called Pulau Ular (Snake Island). It is famous as a mating location for highly poisonous sea snakes.
Turtle Islands National Park
Turtle Islands National Park (Pulau Penya National Park) is located some 40 kilometers north of Sandakan in Sabah, east Malaysia. The Park covers an area of 17.4 sq. km and it consists of 3 islands - Selingaan, Bakkungaan Kecil and Gulisaan, including the surrounding coral reefs and ocean. It is famous for its green turtles and hawksbill turtles which lay their eggs on the beaches of the islands.
Only on Selingaan there are chalets for overnight visitors, and those who wish to see the turtles laying eggs must stay overnight. A curious fact of the three islands is that turtles come ashore nightly, not only during certain seasons and thus one is virtually guaranteed to see those ancient mariners. During the peak season (October) up to 50 turtles come ashore to lay eggs.
However, park rules and regulations are strictly enforced and visitors are not allowed on the beach from sunset to sunrise as not to disturb the turtles. A ranger will call all visitors to observe only one turtle laying eggs per night. The eggs are collected and the visitors liberate the beach immediately as not to shy away other turtles which are very susceptible to movement on the beach. After the laying and collection of eggs, and eventual tagging of the turtle if it is a ‘first time visitor’ tourists are allowed into the hatchery to observe the further work of the rangers: the transplantation of the freshly laid eggs into a man-made incubation chamber.
After the transplantation of the eggs visitors will get turtle hatchlings – baby turtles – to release into the sea, which is also done by night to further increase their chances of survival.
Krau Wildlife Reserve
Krau Wildlife Reserve is the largest wildlife reserve covering 60,349 ha located in the central state of Pahang, Malaysia that was established during the British Colonial Administration.
The lowland dipterocarp forest area contains very high diversity of birds and mammals especially primates and bats. At Kuala Gandah, is the Elephant Centre for the management of displaced animals. At Jenderak is the breeding centre for seladang (Bos gaurus).