Role of the Park
Role of the Park in Protecting Our Quality of Life
Selangor and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya depend on Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor for their most basic needs of clean air, water and maintenance of the local climatic stability. The Park thus helps to guarantee the quality of life enjoyed by so many Malaysians. The conservation of catchment areas in their natural forested state is essential towards the maintenance of climatic, hydrological and ecological balance in Selangor.
Protecting Water Resources
The forests of Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor are a catchment for water contributing to the upper reaches of the major rivers in Selangor. The Park area also feeds the five reservoirs that provide 9o% of the water supply to Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. These are the:
Sungai Selangor dam in the Sungai Selangor River Basin, Batu and Klang Gates dams in the Sungai Klang River Basin, Langat and Semenyih dams in the Sungai Langat River Basin.
From a conservation viewpoint, Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor helps to maintain the biodiversity in the river basins and preserve the water quality of rivers. The hydrological and ecological balance of this interconnected natural network of these major river systems, including their water catchment areas and basins, are crucial to the continued socio-economic development of Selangor.
Reducing Downstream Floods
The forest cover of Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor provides the important ecological function of natural flood mitigation for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. The forests absorb moisture through plant roots and sponge up large quantities of rainfall in their organically enriched soil system, helping to reduce the intensity of runoff and severe floods. Thus, the Park serves in water catchment and also as a natural buffer against flooding that is typically most felt in settlements and population centres farther downstream. The natural forest also helps reduce soil erosion and sedimentation of the reservoirs.
Protecting Steep Slopes
The majority of the State Park area is highland over 300 metres above sea level, with steep slopes greater than 25 degrees. The deeply weathered soil profile of the park, coupled with the steep slopes, make the areas particularly vulnerable to soil erosion and landslides, especially during periods of prolonged rainfall. Their potential erodibility on such gradients therefore makes the areas environmentally sensitive. The thick forest canopy and vegetation layer of the forest, together with the leaf litter and other organic debris over the ground, help reduce the direct impact of rain on the soil. The extensive root systems of natural vegetation hold the soil in place.
A Centre For Eco-Tourism, Research And Education
The Park area provides many recreational opportunities. As one of the most accessible forest areas in Malaysia, the Park provides an invaluable retreat from the pressures of modern urban lifestyles.
The Park attracts activities of two major international research centres existing within or near its area, the University of Malaya Field Studies Centre in Hulu Gombak with its incredible forested backdrop, and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) in Kepong.
The size of the Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor, with its contiguous tracts of natural forests, plays a critical role in biological and ecological conservation. These advantages include the ability to conserve:
- a high level of diversity of rare plants and animals that have scattered or localised distribution;
- a sufficiently large genetic range fundamental for viable conservation of many plant populations;
- mammal and bird species with wide-ranging behaviour and which require broad ranges; and
- many distinct, special features found in the overall landscape, including unique quartz ridges, montane sites and the southernmost foothills of the Main Range, with terrain dissected by streams and creeks that increase overall habitat diversity for plant and animal life.
There are many unique and wonderful aspects of natural history documented in the Park, ranging from arthropod species new to science found in bamboo internodes, to newly discovered tree species occurring only along a few forest streams.
The Park area, rich in fauna and flora, is significant in maintaining existing levels of biodiversity resources, in many cases directly contributing to preventing undue impoverishment, even further endangerment, of wild species populations. The wealth of the biodiversity of the Park also contributes to Malaysia’s classification as one of the mega-biodiversity countries in the world.
Within the Park:
- much of some 3140 vascular plant species recorded for Selangor are now conserved
- 114 mammal species have been documented
- 355 bird species can be found
- 104 freshwater fish species have been recorded
- 202 reptilian and amphibian species occur
- over 1,000 moth species make their home in the forests of the Hulu Gombak area alone.