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Legal classification    Location & access    Infrastructure    History & management    Settlements & adjacent land-uses    Physical environment    Vegetation    Fauna    Research    Threats & constraints    Special attributes

Last updated: 26 Apr 2005

Survey not carried out yet.

Legal classification

Class I Protection Forest Reserve (FR)

AreaApprox. 51,118 ha.


Location & access

The FR is a very large reserve located in the Tawau Peninsula.




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History & management

CreationThe FR was previously part of Ulu Kalumpang FR which was first gazetted in 1956 as a block of land about 86,250 ha in size. The FR was partially dereserved 5 times (1959, 1960, 1963, 1977 and 1979) with the total of 33,575 ha of land. In 1977, the partial dereservation of the FR included areas from Madai-Baturong FR (about 1,631 ha), Madai-Baturong FR Extension I (668 ha) and Binuang-Tingkayu FR (2,489 ha).


In 14/3/1984, parts of the remaining area was reclassified and gazetted as Class II FR (51,118 ha). In addition, 3 blocks of land was reclassified and regazetted as Kalumpang VJR. In 1992, Ulu Kalumpang FR was reclassified into Class I FR.


Management responsibility—Mukim xxxx, Tawau District Forestry Office.


Boundary matters—The boundary was demarcated in 2002.


Management plan—None.


Current use—None.


Settlements & adjacent land-use

The FR shares its western and southern borders with Sabah Softwoods Sdn. Bhd. and Tawau HIlls Park (managed by Sabah Parks) respectively. The southeast portion of the FR is linked to Mount Wullersdorf FR (Class 1). The north and east are mainly private orchards.

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Physical environment

Topography—The FR is in an area called the Tawau Highlands, which also includes Tawau Hills Park. The FR is very mountainous, especially towards the south. Just south of the southern border are the peaks of Mt. Magdalene (1,311 m asl), Mt. Lucia (222 m asl) and Maria Peak (1,082 m).


The northern parts of the FR is mainly sandstone/mudstone hills and mountains. They are separated from the south by Sg. Kalumpang. This area has very steep slopes--generally greater than 25°--and narrow ridges.


The southeast mountains are separated from the foothills of Mt. Magdalene by the river valleys of Sg. Mantri and Sg. Balung. The highest peak here is Bukit Mantri (610 m asl).


Hydrology—The FR and Tawau Hills Park are the main water catchment areas for the Tawau Peninsula. The main river in the FR is Sg. Kalumpang which flows eastwards in the northern half of the FR. Sg. Binuang flows northwards from the northwestern tip, crosses the Baturong limestone massif and into  Sg. Tingkayu. Sg. Merutai Kanan flows southwards from the southwest of the FR. Sg. Mantri and Sg. Malati from the southeast flows northwards into Sg. Kalumpang.


Soils—Mainly Wullersdorf, Bang, Gumpal and Tinagat Associations, with Brantian (along Sg. Kalumpang) and Apas.

For soil map, click here.

Meteorological data—See Madai-Lormalong, Kalumpang-Kunak Cocoa Project Tiger Estate, Tawau Airport, Berumas, Sg. Wakuba and Kalabakan data.

Map of met. stations    Rainfall map


See current vegetation map here

See natural vegetation map here

See satellite image here

Vegetation surveys have not been carried out in the FR. The information below was interpreted from maps, satellite images and historical plot data.

The natural vegetation of the FR can be divided into 4 main forest types: Lowland Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Upland MDF, Lowland Mixed Dipterocarp & Kerangas Forest, and Montane Forest.


The Lowland MDF of the FR was classified as Type D Rubroshorea/ Dipterocarpus forest. This type was characterised by the presence of a number of Dipterocarpus species: D. applanatus, D. acutangulus, D. pachyphyllus, D. verrucosus, D. humeratus, D. grandiflorus, D. confertus, D. palembanicus, D. kerri all being known from the Apas-Balung region. Rubroshorea species present included S. parvifolia, S. pauciflora, S. leprosula, S. johorensis and S. ovalis.


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Aerial and ground surveys were conducted in the FR in July 2002. This was part of a statewide orang-utan census carried out by HUTAN (an NGO based in Sukau, Kinabatangan) and the Sabah Wildlife Department. Orang-utan population density was 0.42 individual/km². Overall orang-utan population size is estimated to 183 individuals.


The orang-utan population is totally isolated and its long-term survival is insecure. A forest corridor linking Ulu Kalumpang FR to the eastern forests of Sabah Foundation concession areas would greatly enhance the chances of long-term survival of this small population.





Threats & constraints

Encroachment—The river valley of Sg. Mantri and the foothills of Bukit Mantri in the south-east were heavily encroached by farmers, most probably to plant oil palm in the rich volcanic soils.




Soil erosion—This is quite serious in the river valley of Sg. Mantri. As with Tawau Hills, this area with Tinagat Soil Association is on highly erodable dacite and andesite rocks.


Special attributes

Tawau Highlands (mainly Ulu Kalumpang FR and Tawau Hills Park) make the single largest water catchment in the Tawau Peninsula. All major rivers in the peninsula originate from the highlands. It is vital that these two conservation areas be fully protected against illegal felling and logging. Of great importance also is the the dacite and andesite rocks that underlie a large area of the two conservation areas.

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