SABAH FORESTRY DEPARTMENT

HCV 1 (SPECIES DIVERSITY)

The HCV definitions under the HCVRN (2013): Concentrations of biological diversity including endemic species, and rare, threatened or endangered (RTE) species that is significant at global, regional or national levels.

A. CONCENTRATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

(I) FLORA

Findings on HCV species

Of the 1,621 species of plants thus far have been recorded in USM, a considerable numbers are categorized either singly or multiple status as endemic to Sabah or Borneo, threatened species under IUCN categories or protected species under state law (Sabah Forest Enactment 1968 and Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997) and international law (CITES of which Sabah-Malaysia is a signatory). The following are summaries of the HCV species evaluation in relation to their conservation status:

Threatened species - Based on the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria that were designed for global taxon assessments, 23 plant species that listed as Vulnerable (VU), 5 Endangered (EN) and 12 Critically Endangered (CR) are recorded from the reserve. Of these threatened numbers, 48 species derived from Dipterocarpaceae tree family. In terms of legal protection, only three threatened species, namely Aquilaria beccariana, Eusideroxylon zwageri and Durio acutifolius are protected under state law (Sabah Forest Enactment 1968 and Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997) and international law (CITES of which Sabah-Malaysia is a signatory).

Protected species - Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 (SWD, 1997), under part VI (Protection of Plants) listed plants that may not be harvested without a license. There were five taxa, namely Tetrastigma dichotomum, T. diepenhorstii, T. megacarpum, T. papillosum and T. pedunculare that fall under Schedule 1, part II, Totally Protected Plant Species. There were 65 plant taxa, comprised of 15 species of gingers, 1 Rhododendron, 5 Nepenthes, 3 podocarp, 1 ramin, 1 Gaharu and 39 orchids that fall under Schedule 2, part II, Protected Plant Species. There are 46 species were listed under CITES, 1 from Gaharu, 1 ramin, 39 orchids and 5 from the pitcher plant family. There are 73 plant species that are prohibited under Sabah Forest Enactment 1997, mostly of fruits trees and threatened tree species.  

Endemic species - Of the 1,621 taxa that been recorded, 415 taxa were endemic to Borneo, including 77 taxa endemic to Sabah. These Sabah and Borneo endemic are distributed all over USM, found in all past and recent survey areas/plots. In terms of legal protection, 14 endemic plants are protected by the Sabah Forest Enactment 1968, 19 by Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 and 11 by the CITES. Two species, Begonia ruthiae and Syzygium silamense are considered narrow endemic as these two species are so far known from Danum area and Gunung Silam respectively.  Geologically, ultramafic soil is an island in a sea of other soil types. However, botanically, it harbours plant of significant conservation status. Ultramafic soil is very infertile due to its chemical contents (high magnesium, nickel, and chromium levels, low levels of soluble calcium and nitrogen) and physical properties (low water retention capacity). Plants that can colonize and survive on ultramafic soils, have evolved on a separate trajectory from their non-ultramafic relatives (Nilus et al., 2009). In many cases, new species evolve and are able to survive on a patch of ultramafic substrate because they are poor competitors on other substrates. As a result of this island effect, ultramafic substrates house a large number of species that are endemic or found only on ultramafic habitats and they have highly restricted ranges (Kruckeberg, 1984). Endemic plants can easily become endangered because of their restricted habitat and disturbance by human activities (Primack, 2000).

Justification of HCV Area

USM area possesses diverse ecosystems ranging from lowland to lower montane zonation of tropical rainforest of Borneo. These ecosystems are rich with plant species and many are endemic but also threatened. Series of field survey and excursion to the natural forest of USM in the last decade have given the team the opportunity to observe the population of several HCV species. As anticipated, their abundance and distribution are restricted to the quality of habitat. As mentioned earlier, the dipterocarp forests in the USM area have been disturbed by series of timber extraction, forest fire and encroachment in the past, resulting forest with various regenerative status. It is highly possible that only the old-growth and advance-growth forests can exhibits ecological integrity where species assemblage and functional are considerably maintain or ability to recover even though they have been structurally altered by anthropogenic stress, and these areas are categorized as HCV 1 (Figure 1)

In the flora conservation assessment, the threatened species are mostly trees, and for these species population to be viable, presence of climax vegetation categorized as old-growth and advance growth forest is essential. Similarly, protected species of the state that were recorded in USM are mostly herbaceous shrubs or epiphytes that may prefer distinct niche quality that highly influenced by forest structure and micro-habitat conditions. Likewise, old-growth and advance growth forest are prerequisite habitats for the survival of various group of endemic plants.

Potential Threats

Forest Fire - As described earlier, about 47,200 ha of northern part of USM were affected by forest fire. Even after few decades, some large areas are still devoid from high structured forest and dominated by secondary species of low statured vegetation, such as scrub, sedges, gingers and herbaceous climbers, except area that had been silvicultural treated and planted with forest trees.

Forest simplification - About 5 % of the total reserve area is secondary vegetation with various degrees of degradation. These areas are very much degraded with low diversity and productivity and so the threat of forest simplification may be inevitable. The simplification of the forest after severe disturbance could have a direct impact to the physical and terrestrial (biological) ecosystem throughout the forest landscape.

Encroachment - Illegally harvesting of timber and clearing of vegetation for agricultural development are threats to the ecological well-being of the identified HCV areas.

Management Implications

For the protection from forest fire, schedule surveillance programme including aerial, ground and river are implemented. All surveillance records should be placed in the main base office.

Rehabilitation activities are required in areas that are critically needed for habitat restoration to avoid forest simplification and improve ecosystem structure and community assemblages, similar to pristine conditions.

Establishment of long-term ecological research plots or permanent sample plots (PSPs) is a scientific approach for documenting detailed changes in forest structure and composition. The long-term monitoring activities, such as assessment of the standing trees on their diversity and richness, growth, mortality, regeneration and dynamics of the sampled forest, would provide measurable surrogates for the habitat where most of the HCV species could be found. This information on forest changes is an indicator of ecosystem integrity and functionality. Ideally, sufficient number of PSPs should be placed in various vegetation qualities for monitoring purposes.

Actions

  • Forest restoration at degraded area
  • Perimeter boundary patrol by ground and aerial surveillance executed by monthly basis
  • Establishment and monitoring PSP plots

Figure 1: Only area indicated as old growth and advanced growth forests should be designated as HCV 1 biodiversity significance due to the presence of threatened and endemic flora in USM

Measurable Effectiveness Indicators

The USM SFM project area possesses diverse ecosystems ranging from lowland to lower montane zonation of tropical rainforest of Borneo and rich with plant species and many are endemic but also threatened. The project area were managed and carried out obligatory actions to enforce the Forest Enactment 1968 and Forest Rule 1969 to ensure the security and protection of the reserve as describe in Forest Fire Monitoring. Rehabilitation activities were also carried out at the critical area i.e. Ulu Segama Forest Reserve and VJR Sepagaya as describe in Rehabilitation and Silviculture

(II)FAUNA

Mammals

Threatened species - Since 2009 to 2015, a total of 58 species of terrestrial mammals from 24 families have been recorded and identified from the USM SFM Project area. Out of 58 species, 1 species, namely the Sunda Pangolin, is critically endangered while 9 species are endangered under the IUCN Red List, namely the Orangutan, Tembadau, Bay Cat, Bornean Gibbon, Bornean Pygmy Elephant, Flat Headed Cat, Otter Civet, Proboscis Monkey and Sumatran Rhinoceros (Table 1).  

Endemic species - A total of 11 Bornean endemic terrestrial mammal species were recorded in USM-SFM area (Table 2).

Table 1: List of terrestrial mammals (IUCN: Critically Endangered & Endangered) recorded since 2009 to 2015 within USM-SFM project area.

No. Common Name Family Scientific Name WCE IUCN Red List
1 Sunda Pangolin Manidae Manis javanica II Critically
Endangered
2 Banteng Bovidae Bos javanicus I Endangered
3 Baycat Felidae Pardofelis badia II Endangered
4 Bornean Gibbon Hylobatidae Hylobates muelleri II Endangered
5 Bornean Pygmy Elephant Elephantidae Elephas maximus II Endangered
6 Flat Headed Cat Felidae Felis planiceps II Endangered
7 Orangutan Pongidae Pongo pygmaeus I Endangered
8 Otter Civet Viverridae Cynogale bennettii II Endangered
9 Proboscis Monkey Cercopithecidae Nasalis larvatus I Endangered
10 Sumatran Rhinoceros Rhinocerotidae Dicerorhinus sumatrensis I Endangered
11 Banded Palm Civet Viverridae Hemigalus derbyanus II Vulnerable
12 Bearded Pig Suidae Sus barbatus III Vulnerable
13 Binturong Viverridae Arctictis binturong II Vulnerable
14 Bornean Slow Loris Lorisidae Nycticebus borneanus II Vulnerable
15 Clouded Leopard Felidae Neofelis diardi bornensis I Vulnerable
16 Grey Leaf Monkey Cercopithecidae Presbytis hosei II Vulnerable
17 Horsfield's Tarsier Tarsiidae Tarsius bancanus II Vulnerable
18 Marbled Cat Felidae Pardofelis marmorata II Vulnerable
19 Oriental Small Clawed Otter Mustelidae Anoyx cinerea II Vulnerable
20 Pig Tailed Macaque Cercopithecidae Macaca nemestrina II Vulnerable
21 Sambar Deer Cervidae Cervus unicolor III Vulnerable
22 Sun Bear Canidae Helarctos malayanus I Vulnerable
23 Tufted Ground Squirrel Sciuridae Rheithrosciurus macrotis II Vulnerable

Table 2: List of Bornean endemic terrestrial mammals recorded since 2009 to 2015 within USM-SFM project area.

No. Common Name Family Scientific Name WCE
1 Baycat Felidae Pardofelis badia II
2 Bornean Gibbon Hylobatidae Hylobates muelleri II
3 Bornean Slow Loris Lorisidae Nycticebus borneanus II
4 Bornean Yellow Muntjac Cervidae Muntiacus atherodes III
5 Grey Leaf Monkey Cercopithecidae Presbytis hosei II
6 Orangutan Pongidae Pongo pygmaeus I
7 Plain Pygmy Squirrel Sciuridae Exilisciurus exilis II
8 Proboscis Monkey Cercopithecidae Nasalis larvatus I
9 Red Leaf Monkey Cercopithecidae Presbytis rubicunda II
10 Thick Spined Porcupine Hystricidae Hystrix crassispinis II
11 Tufted Ground Squirrel Sciuridae Rheithrosciurus macrotis II

Birds

Threatened species - For birds, a total of 197 species were recorded within the USM-SFM Project area. Under the IUCN Red List, the Helmeted Hornbill is critically endangered, Storm’s Stork is endangered while 11 species are in the vulnerable status, namely Great Slaty Woodpecker, Blue Headed Pitta, Bornean Wren Babbler, Chinese Egret, Wallace Hawk Eagle, Black & Crimson Pitta, Blue Banded Kingfisher, Grey Imperial Pigeon, Large Green Pigeon, Lesser Adjutant and Short-toed Coucal (Table 3).

Endemic species - while 16 Bornean endemic bird species were documented (Table 4).

Table 3: List of birds (IUCN: Critically Endangered, Endangered & Vulnerable) recorded since 2009 to 2015 within USM-SFM project area.

No. Common Name Family Scientific name IUCN Red List
1 Helmeted Hornbill Bucerotidae Buceros vigil Critically Endangered
2 Storm's Stork Ciconiidae Ciconia stormi Endangered
3 Chinese Egret Ardeidae Egretta eulophotes Vulnerable
4 Great Slaty Woodpecker Picidae Mulleripicus pulverulentus Vulnerable
5 Bornean Wren babbler Timaliidae Ptilocichla leucogrammica Vulnerable
6 Wallace's Hawk Eagle Accipitridae Nisaetus nanus Vulnerable
7 Black and Crimson Pitta Pittidae Pitta venusta Vulnerable
8 Blue Banded Kingfisher Alcedinidae Alcedo euryzona Vulnerable
9 Blue Headed Pitta Pittidae Pitta baudii Vulnerable
10 Short Toed Coucal Cuculidae Centropus rectunguis Vulnerable
11 Grey Imperial Pigeon Columbidae Ducula pickeringii Vulnerable
12 Large Green Pigeon Columbidae Treron capellei Vulnerable
13 Lesser Adjutant Ciconiidae Leptopilus javanicus Vulnerable

Table 4: List of Bornean endemic bird species recorded in USM-SFM project area.

No. Common Name Family Scientific name
1 Bornean Brown Barbet Ramphastidae Calorhamphus fuliginosus
2 Dusky Munia Estrildidae Lonchura fuscans
3 Crested Fireback Phasianidae Lophura ignita
4 Black-throated Wren-babbler Pellorneidae Napothera atrigularis
5 Bornean Black Magpie Corvidae Platysmurus leucopterus
6 Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker Dicaeidae Prionochilus xanthopygius
7 Bornean Wren Babbler Timaliidae Ptilocichla leucogrammica
8 Crested Serpent Eagle Accipitridae Spilornis cheela
9 Banded Kingfisher Alcedinidae Lacedo pulchella
10 Black Headed Pitta Pittidae Pitta ussherri
11 Black Throated Wren Babbler Timaliidae Turdinus atrigularis
12 Blue Headed Pitta Pittidae Pitta baudii
13 Bristlehead Pityriaseidae Pityriasis gymnocephala
14 Bornean Ground Cuckoo Cuculidae Carpococcyx radiatus
15 White Crowned Shama Turdidae Copsychus stricklandii
16 White Fronted Falconet Falconidae Microhierax latifrons

Insects

Threatened species - There is no threatened species of insects in Sabah.

Endemic species - For Bornean endemic insects, 13 species were recorded (Table 5). USM SFM Project area is also teeming with insect life. Various insect species have been documented, including 13 species that are endemic to Borneo. Insect diversity survey was conducted in Malua Forest Reserve (2013), Kawag Forest (2012 & 2016), Bukit Piton Forest Reserve (2013), Mt Silam Forest (2010) and also Sg. Bole area (2017) within the USM SFM area.

Table 5: List of Bornean endemic insect species recorded from USM-SFM project area

No. Common Name Scientific Name Order Family
1 Tiger Beetle Calomera crespignyi Coleoptera Cicindelidae
2 Three-horned Beetle Chalcosoma moellenkampi Coleoptera Scarabaeidae
3 Lantern Bug Pyrops sultana Hemiptera Fulgoridae
4 Tiger Moth Adites sandakan Lepidoptera Erebidae
5 Wasp-like Moth Amata prepuncta Lepidoptera Erebidae
6 Tiger Moth Cyana maiae Lepidoptera Erebidae
7 Tiger Moth Cyana saulia Lepidoptera Erebidae
8 Wasp-like Moth Nishada syntomioides Lepidoptera Erebidae
9 Tiger Moth Spilosoma griseabrunnea Lepidoptera Erebidae
10 Tiger Moth Spilosoma hosei Lepidoptera Erebidae
11 Damselfly Heliocypha biseriata Odonata Chlorocyphidae
12 Damselfly Euphaea subnodali Odonata Euphaeidae
13 Damselfly Rhinagrion elopurae Odonata Megapodagrionidae

Justification of HCV Area

Both threatened and endemic fauna were observed to be presence in close canopy of climax and secondary forests (Figure 2). In relation to the diversity and a number of outstanding conservation values, the assessment indicates that the whole area classified as climax vegetation categorized as old-growth and advance growth forest, and late secondary forest are essential habitats for foraging and continuous survival of these fauna species, and these areas are categorized as HCV 1 (Figure 3)

Potential Threats

Forest simplification (low food source) - As described earlier, large forested areas in USM are in degraded condition and may pose threat of forest simplification. Forest in degraded condition may not be able to support sufficient food source for a wide range of wildlife due to lack of diversity and also density of plants. Therefore, degraded forest may contain low diversity of wildlife. Occasionally, a small number of species do maintain or even show a slight increase in population due to their wide range of diet or preference for plants usually found in disturbed habitat.

Forest Fire - Degraded forest is more susceptible to forest fire during drought. If forest fire occurs, displacement of many wildlife populations will occur in this forest.

Wildlife Poaching - Poaching of wildlife is one of the greatest threats to some critically endangered animals, such as the Sumatran Rhino and also other large mammals.

Management Implications

For the protection of wildlife and forest fire, schedule surveillance programme including aerial, ground and river are implemented. All surveillance records should be placed in the main base office.

Rehabilitation activities is required in areas that are critically needed for habitat restoration to avoid forest simplification and increase food source and roosting area for wildlife.

Continue long term conservation target species monitoring system focusing on orang utan and Bornean pygmy elephant. Other existing, wildlife monitoring programme, such as through camera trapping technique, transect survey and other opportunistic survey should be carried out periodically.

In addition, migratory pathway of key wildlife species, i.e. Bornean pygmy elephant, tembadau and other keystone species on accessible roads, along streams or wildlife trails in the project area should be marked on the map. In addition, clear signage should be installed on strategic location to inform road, trail and river users to ensure wildlife are able to use them for movement within and between forest reserves.

Actions

  • Perimeter boundary patrol by ground and aerial surveillance executed by monthly basis
  • Monitoring and control at 9 FCS executed at full time basis
  • Dismantling unnecessary road access (case-by-case)
  • Boundary clearance executed at problematic areas (case-by-case)
  • Forest restoration at degraded area
  • Regular wildlife survey at designated areas i.e. Malua and Bukit Piton FRs (night survey, morning survey, camera trapping, salt lick monitoring, birds observation and opportunistic sighting)
  • Aerial nest counting for orang-utan executed once in 5 years

Figure 2: Observed threatened and endemic fauna found in old growth and advanced growth forests and late secondary forest in Ulu Segama-Malua Sustainable Forest Management Project area, Sabah

Figure 3: Only area indicated as old growth and advanced growth forests and late secondary forest should be designated as HCV 1 due to the presence of threatened and endemic fauna diversity due to the presence of in Ulu Segama-Malua Sustainable Forest Management Project area, Sabah.

Measurable Effectiveness Indicators

The USM SFM project area which consist of both threatened and endemic fauna specifically presence in close canopy of climax and secondary forests were managed and carried out obligatory actions to enforce the Forest Enactment 1968 and Forest Rule 1969 to ensure the security and protection of the reserve as describe in Forest Protection and Forest Fire Monitoring.

Rehabilitation activities were also implemented in 2017 mainly in Bukit Piton Forest Reserve, Ulu Segama Forest Reserve and Virgin Jungle Reserve Sepagaya to avoid forest simplification and increase food source and roosting area for wildlife, as describe in Rehabilitationand Silviculture. 

Continuous long term wildlife monitoring were also carried out mainly at the Bukit Piton Forest Reserve, heavily disturbed forest; and Malua Forest Reserve, less disturbed forest as describe in Wildlife Management.

B. PROTECTED AREA

Findings on HCV Attribute
At present, the entire project area is comprising forest reserves that are categorized as Totally Protected Area (e.g. Class I and Class VI). Therefore, the management prescription and monitoring recommendation for PSSFM is mainly on conservation activities that emphasize the protection and preservation of ecosystem functions and prohibits all forms of destructive activities

Justification of HCV Area

Due to the totally protected area status, the management should consider that the entire USM to be categorised as HCV 1 (Figure 4).

Potential Threats

Forest Fire - Degraded forest is more susceptible to forest fire during drought. If forest fire occurs, simplification of the forest could have a direct impact to the physical and terrestrial (biological) ecosystem throughout the forest landscape.

Encroachment - Illegally harvesting of timber, clearing of vegetation for agricultural development and wildlife poaching are threats to the ecological well-being of the project area.

Management Implications

Forest protection is a crucial component of the management to enforce the Forest Enactment 1968 and Forest Rule 1969 to ensure the security and protection of the reserve. For the protection of this reserve, schedule surveillance programme including aerial, ground and river are implemented. All surveillance records should be placed in the main base office.

A forest fire programme that includes multi-faceted activities, such as fire prevention, detection, control and suppression activities, in order to provide effective protection against fire and maintenance of other forest values, such as water and watersheds, fishery, wildlife, recreation, aesthetic value, soil productivity and soil stability. The programme should encourage cooperation with public agencies with similar goals, and inform the general public of the current and potential forest fire danger in the effort to protect people, property, and natural resources from wildfire.

Actions

  • Perimeter boundary patrol by ground and aerial surveillance executed by monthly basis
  • Monitoring and control at 9 FCS executed at full time basis
  • Dismantling unnecessary road access (case-by-case)
  • Boundary clearance executed at problematic areas (case-by-case)

Figure 4: The whole Ulu Segama-Malua Sustainable Forest Management Project area should be designated as HCV 1 due to the totally protected area status of the reserves.

Measurable Effectiveness Indicators

The USM SFM project area were managed and carried out obligatory actions to enforce the Forest Enactment 1968 and Forest Rule 1969 to ensure the security and protection of the reserve as describe in Forest Protectionand Forest Fire Monitoring.

C. SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL CONCENTRATIONS OF SPECIES

Findings on HCV attribute
Within the project area natural salt lick sites were found each in Compartment 40 and 66 at Malua Forest Reserve, and periodic monitoring was conducted since detection. Eleven confirmed wildlife species were recorded visiting the salt licks in Compartment 40, and nine species in Compartment 66. Of these list species combined, seven species are RTE and three are endemics.

The limestone karst in Merisuli FR is an important nesting site for swiftlet, bats and other troglofauna though forest fire have severely disturbed the surrounding forest and reduce their population. Appropriate management is required to monitor this critical nesting site especially on illegal harvesting of birdnest during the management period of the project area.

Justification of HCV Area

Due to the presence of threatened and endemic wildlife species visiting the natural salt licks and also swiftlet bird roosting and some cave dwellers living within the limestone karst systems, the management should consider that the these sites are to be categorised as HCV 1.1 (Figure 5).

Potential Threats

Forest simplification (low food source) - As described earlier, large forested areas in USM are in degraded condition and may pose threat of forest simplification. Forest in degraded condition may not be able to support sufficient food source for a wide range of wildlife due to lack of diversity and also density of plants. Therefore, degraded forest may contain low diversity of wildlife.

Forest Fire - Degraded forest is more susceptible to forest fire during drought. If forest fire occurs, simplification of the forest could have a direct impact to the physical and terrestrial (biological) ecosystem throughout the forest landscape.

Wildlife Poaching - Recently, poaching of wildlife is one of the greatest threats to some wide-ranging critically endangered animals, such as Bornean Pygmy Elephant.

Management Implications

Similar as HCV 1 under the pretext of Protected Area, forest protection programme that address the threats of encroachment, poaching and forest fire should be implemented. All surveillance records should be placed in the main base office.

Actions

  • Perimeter boundary patrol by ground and aerial surveillance executed by monthly basis
  • Monitoring and control at 9 FCS executed at full time basis
  • Dismantling unnecessary road access (case-by-case)
  • Boundary clearance executed at problematic areas (case-by-case)

Figure 5: The natural salt lick and limestone karst system in Ulu Segama-Malua Sustainable Forest Management Project area should be designated as HCV
1.1.

Measurable Effectiveness Indicators

The protetion of threatened and endemic wildlife species visiting the natural salt licks in Malua Forest Reserve and also swiftlet bird roosting and some cave dwellers living within the limestone karst systems in VJR Merisuli, were managed and carried out obligatory actions to enforce the Forest Enactment 1968 and Forest Rule 1969 to ensure the security and protection of the reserve as describe in Forest Protection and Forest Fire Monitoring.