Malaysia names mangrove Ramsar site

Malaysia names mangrove Ramsar site

4 December 2005
Malaysia

The Secretariat is delighted to announce that Malaysia has designated Sarawak's Kuching Wetlands National Park (6,610 hectares, 01°41'N 110°14'E) for the List of Wetlands of International Importance, effective 8 November 2005. The site is a saline mangrove system with flora comprising predominantly the genera Rhizophora, Avicennia and Sonneratia, and it harbours such noteworthy species as Estuarine Crocodile Crocodylus porosus, Proboscis Monkey Nasalis larvatus (endemic to Borneo and listed as 'Endangered', IUCN Red List), Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus ('Vulnerable'), and Griffith's Silver Leaf Monkey Trachypithecus villosus. The site has value as a breeding and nursery ground for fish and prawn species - 43 families of fishes and 11 species of prawns have been recorded, many of which are commercially important. Its proximity to the city of Kuching, the Damai resort complex, and two other national parks renders it of high potential value for tourism, education and recreation. The area is historically important: there was a Chinese settlement there probably as early as the 1st century AD, and early Malay, Hindu and Buddhist relics from the 9th century AD have been excavated at Santubong Village. The discovery of gold made the area an important trading and iron mining centre from the 7th to 13th centuries; some enigmatic rock carvings of human figures remain from this period. In the 15th century, Santubong was the site of the original Brunei Malay capital of Sarawak. [02/11/05]