Category Archives: Biodiversity
In line with Reach policy of studying and documenting the wildlife of Cameron Highlands, Reach is planning a scientific expedition to Sungai Wi towards the middle of 2017. Sungai Wi Forest Reserve is on the north eastern area of Cameron Highlands bordering Kelantan and covers an acreage of 11,417 hectares. It was gazetted in 1997 and is the largest forest reserve in Cameron Highlands. With altitudes ranging from 500 metres above sea level to 1900 metres above sea level (near the peak of Gunung Swettenham at the Kelantan border), we expect to see a range of vegetation. This would include the Hill Dipterocarp Forest, Upper Dipterocarp Forest (750 m to 1200m), Lower Montane Forest or Oak Laurel Forest (1200-1500m) and Upper Montane Forest or Cloud Forest (>1500m). Besides Sg Wi, the other 2 rivers draining this area is Sg Rening and Sg Bertak.
Reach will be collaborating with JPSM (Forestry department of Peninsular Malaysia) and the Pahang Forestry Department. Reach is now in the midst of seeking funding for this expedition. Participants are by invitation only and would include experts from FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia), local universities such as UiTM, UKM, UPM. MNS( Malaysia Nature Society) Retired Scientists, JPSM , Perhilitan and State Forestry Department. We will provide the logistic support, food , accommodation at the base and field camps. We will also organise a seminar 6 months after the expedition. Participants are required to share their findings and Reach will collaborate with them in the publication of these findings.
Below are the pictures of the Mossy Forest and Biodiversity Activity on the 26th of September 2016 for Sekolah Kebangsaan Convent Tanah Rata. The programme was supervised by Miss Melody Woon , our regular volunteer. As evident by the pictures, the students and teachers had a good time and they learnt a lot about the mossy forest from our guide Mr Satya.
Filling up the questionaires
22nd September 2016 – Today was a day of fun, out in the sun for 15 students and teachers from Bertam Valley Chinese Primary School. This is the time of the year when our programmes for local school children take off. Examinations seem miles away and the mountains beckon. As always it was great to take these youngsters for a visit to our highlands and see through their eyes the beauty of our forests. Everything is interesting to them and their energy abounds. There are more groups to come and it is indeed a pleasure to impart to them the importance of forest conservation.
We are pleased to announce that with the completion of the Standard 6 UPSR exams , more schools are able to participate in our programmes. Our mossy forest visits and biodiversity centre programmes are sponsored by CIMB bank, while our Community Stream Investigation and English based Environmental programmes are sponsored by HRH Tunku Imran and Mr Paul Chuah.
1.9.16 Mossy forest tour and tree planting ;SK Ringlet & SK Brinchang ;No of pax 29;Completed
20.9.16 Mossy forest tour and tree planting ;SJKC Bertam Valley; No of Pax: 20 Completed
21.9.16 Community Stream Investigation; SJKC Kea farm ; No of Pax: Whole school; Completed
22.9.16 Mossy forest tour and Bio-D Activity; SJKC Bertam Valley; No of Pax : 20;Pick up Point: Completed
26.9.16 Mossy Forest Tour and Bio D activity; SK Convent; No of Pax: 32;Pick up Point : Tanah Rata Pasar Minggu site Completed
27.9.16 : Mossy Forest Tour and Bio D Activity; SJKT Tanah Rata ; No of Pax: 15 ; Pick up Point: Tanah Rata pasar minggu site Completed
27.9.16 English based Environmental Programme;SK KgRaja 10.30 to 12.30 pm ;Participants: Whole school Completed
4.10.16 Community Stream Investigation; SK Convent; No of pax: 32 Completed
5.10.16 English Based Environmental Programme;SJKC Tanah Rata; No of pax: 80 Completed
18.10.16 Community Stream Investigation ; SJKC Cameron : 30 pax
11.11.16 Mossy Forest Visit and Bio D Activity; SJKC Tanah Rata;To be confirmed
by Wilfred Calder-Potts
Though initial contact was slow, (both on my and REACH’s side), after a few weeks I managed to arrange a few weeks of volunteering through Aseema. After arriving at Cameron Highlands I met with Aseema and Dr Liau in a coffee shop. We talked about our ideas and decided that I would spend my time teaching at a local school and helping Dr Liau (Doc) with his reforestation project. The next day Aseema picked me up and we went to the school, where we met the headmistress. We decided that I could teach physics. For the next few days I went around the area with Doc, talking his dog for a walk, exploring the surroundings, and looking for the species of tree we wanted to plant in the reforestation area. On Monday I went back to the school to iron out the details of my teaching with the head science teacher. Doc and I also ended up giving an impromptu lesson to a group of 17-18 year olds, which went pretty well in the end considering we hadn’t done any preparation! The following day I taught a physics lesson to two separate classes of 17 year olds. The head science teacher asked me if I could teach the same two classes 4 days a week, and after checking with Doc I agreed.
by Wilfred Calder-Potts
The Malayan Mountain Ash (also known as Weinmannia Fraxinea, or Weinmannia Blumei), is a tree indigenous to the Cameron Highlands. It is often found on disturbed ground, especially on slopes. For this reason it was chosen as a tree suitable for planting in the REACH reforestation area next to the Biodiversity Centre. It was also chosen to increase the biodiversity of the reforestation area.
The tree has a few distinguishable features which are useful for identification. The easiest is the leaves (shown on Figure 1). These are small, oval shaped, and grow out symmetrically, 180 degrees from each other. The young leaves are red in colour. A particularly individual and noticeable feature is the ‘stipules’ at the base of the stem. These are a pair of semi-circular leaves as shown in Figure 1. The bark of the tree is grey to dark brown. The tree can grow up to 40 m tall. The trunk tends to be narrow (60-120cm) and straight. When in bloom, the inflorescences (flower systems) come in pairs of 1-3 long finger like extensions, with many small white petals.