Thursday, October 19, 2006
This paper was published recently by PERHILITAN and should be cited as: K. Mat-Salleh, A.H. Mohd-Ros & J. Donna (2006). The Role of Protected Areas in the Conservation of Rafflesia in Malaysia in: Sahir Othman, Siti Hawa Yatim, Sivananthan Ellagupillay, Shukor Md. Nor, Norhayati Ahmad, Shahrul Anuar Mohd. Sah (eds.) Management and Status of resources in protected areas of Peninsular Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Department of Wildlife and National Parks, pp 141-154
Reprinted here for your reading, the formating was off, so the italised species name are printed here unconvensional non-ital.:
THE ROLE OF PROTECTED AREAS IN THE CONSERVATION OF RAFFLESIA IN MALAYSIA
School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences,
Faculty of Science and Technology,
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor
Cursed with a smell reminiscent of rotting carcass and labelled the 'stinking corpse lily', Rafflesia, the world's largest flower is being threatened in Malaysia. Notwithstanding, Rafflesia is rapidly becoming a prominent symbol for conservation efforts. Since the first introduction of Rafflesia arnoldii by Robert Brown in 1821, more than 28 species of Rafflesia have been described by various botanists. However, only 20 species are currently recognised. With the latest description of Rafflesia azlanii, the total number of species of rafflesias in Malaysia has been increased to 8, all of them except R. hasselttii are endemics. Although Rafflesia is rare and vulnerable, all 8 species of Malaysian Rafflesia occur in protected areas. Sabah and Sarawak species are probably the least worrying taxa since they are all protected in large tract of national park networks. This is an opposite in Peninsular Malaysia. Most of the species are in the brink of destruction and extinction because they are not, in reality, effectively legally protected. Although known populations of Rafflesia cantleyi and R. azlanii are found in Taman Negara and R. kerrii are found in yet to be gazzeted Gunung Stong State Park in Kelantan, buds of all species are being stripped freely out of these sites. Blooms around the Royal Belum are being destroyed not only by orang asli but also trampled in poorly planned ecotourism schemes. More surveys are being carried out in Taman Negara to map all populations of Rafflesia in this area and Parks authorities should be made aware or their existence. The Rafflesia in Taman Negara should be protected at all cost.
Rafflesia is rapidly becoming a prominent symbol for conservation efforts. Unlike many well known animals adopted by conservation societies, plants were not be considered awe-inspiring. This has changed in the late 1980?s when impressive Rafflesia species with their gigantic flowers and unique biological features generates substantial interests in south east Asia. Wide publicity on new species emerging from extensive search of new taxa, add pressure to already established ecotourism income throughout its range in Southeast Asia. This has resulted in active conservation efforts in Asia.
Since the first introduction of Rafflesia arnoldii by Robert Brown in 1821, more than 28 species of Rafflesia have been described by various botanists (Table 1). The first major revision was published by Meijer (1984) with a preliminary key to 12 species of Rafflesia, with four species were new to science then. Meijer (1997) later published a detail account of his revision in the Flora Malesiana in which he recognised 13 species, including the new Rafflesia tengku-adlinii which was published a few years earlier by Mat-Salleh & Latiff (1989). Meijer (1997) recognises Rafflesia patma - R. zollingeriana and R. tuan-mudae - R. arnoldii as conspecifics, unpopular disposition that was not regarded as a good decision by later taxonomists (i.e. Zuhud et al. 1998, Nais 2001). Nais (2001) in the latest revision presented in his excellent "Rafflesia of the World" recognised 18 spesies and one variety, inclusive of 3 imperfectly known Bornean species (R. borneensis, R. ciliata and R. witkampi) due to the lack of well-preserved herbarium materials. Very recently, Wong and Gan (2002) reported a new species of Rafflesia from Peninsular Malaysia which was dubbed as Rafflesia ?No. 19?. However, the real 19th species of Rafflesia was published by Barcelona et Fernando (2002) from endemic populations in the Antique region in the Philippines?s Panay Island. Rafflesia no. 19, was later published as Rafflesia azlanii by Latiff & Wong (2004).
Rafflesia species are patchily distributed from the Kra Isthmus in Thailand and south and westwards in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Java and the Philippine Islands (Mat-Salleh 1991, Nais 2001). Beside biological hiccups for Rafflesia has been known to have high mortality rate, bud-collection for traditional medicines has been of a great problem for some populations of Rafflesia (Ismail et al. 1988, Nais 2001). Thus, Rafflesia is exceedingly rare, and some species may be at the brink of extinction. Conservation of the Rafflesias has been given a high priority. In Indonesia, Rafflesia is protected by law and designated the National Rare Flower. In Malaysia, extensive efforts have been put into monitoring and protecting areas inhabiting Rafflesia species (Ismail et al. 1988, Nais & Wilcock 1998).
Rafflesia has been noted to feature an exceptional diversity in size, floral colour, pattern and distribution. The diameter of the flowers ranges from minute 15 cm (R. manillana, R. rochussenii) to giganteous one meter across. Some species are monotonous in colour and pattern of blotches and yet others with striking white blotches against the red background on the perigone lobes and diaphragm, either raised globbose individual spots or shapeless joined continuum, as shown in diagrams and photographs in Meijer (1997) and Nais (2001).
For taxonomic purpose, the circumscription of Rafflesia species is based on floral morphology such as size of the flower, size and spot pattern of the diaphragm, the size of aperture opening, number of processes, pattern of inside ?windows?, number of anthers, number of annuli, and structure, length and positioning of ramenta (Meijer 1997, Nais 2001).
Table 1. Published species of Rafflesia compiled from Index Kewensis, with recognised species given in bold.
1. Rafflesia arnoldi R. Br. in Trans. Linn. Soc. 13 (1821) 201
2. Rafflesia arnoldii var. atjehensis (Koord.) W. Meijer in Fl. Males., Ser. 1, 13 (1997) 23
3. Rafflesia cumingii R. Br. in Trans. Linn. Soc. 19 (1844) 243 (= R. manillana)
4. Rafflesia hasseltii Suring. Acta Soc. Reg. Sc. Neerl. (1879) 4-5
5. Rafflesia horsfieldii R. Br. in Trans. Linn. Soc. 19 (1844) 242 (=?)
6. Rafflesia lagascae Blanco, Fl. Filip. ed. 2. (1837) 595 (= R. manillana)
7. Rafflesia manillana Teschem. in Boston Journ. Nat. Hist. 4 (1844) 63-65, t. 6
8. Rafflesia patma Blume, Flora 8 (1825), 609
9. Rafflesia philippensis Blanco, Fl. Filip. ed. II. (1837) 565 (= R. manillana)
10. Rafflesia rochussenii Teysm. & Binn. in Nat. Tijdschr. Nederl. Ind. 1 (1850) 425
11. Rafflesia schadenbergiana Goepp. ex Hieron. in Gartenfl. 34 (1885) 3; t. 1177
12. Rafflesia titan Jack, Desc. Malay. Plants, 3 (1820) 1 (= R. arnoldi)
13. Rafflesia tuan-mudae Becc. in Atti Soc. Ital. Sc. Nat. 11 (1868) 197
14. Rafflesia atjehensis Koord. in Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenz. 3 Ser. 1 (1918) 177 (= Rafflesia arnoldii var. atjehensis)
15. Rafflesia borneensis Koorders, Bot. Overz. Rafflesiac. Ned.-Ind. (1918) 47
16. Rafflesia cantleyi Solms-Laubach in Ann. Jard. Buitenz. 20, Suppl. 3 (1910) 2
17. Rafflesia ciliata Koorders, Bot. Overz. Rafflesiac. Ned.-Ind. (1918) 64
18. Rafflesia gadutensis W. Meijer in Blumea 30(1): 211 (1984)
19. Rafflesia keithii W. Meijer in Blumea 30(1): 211 (1984)
20. Rafflesia kerrii W. Meijer in Blumea 30(1): 212 (1984)
21. Rafflesia micropylora W. Meijer in Blumea 30(1): 213 (1984)
22. Rafflesia patma Blume in Flora 8 (1825) 609
23. Rafflesia pricei W. Meijer in Blumea 30(1): 214 (1984)
24. Rafflesia tengku-adlinii K. Mat-Salleh & A. Latiff in Blumea 34(1): 112 (1989)
25. Rafflesia witkampi Koorders, Bot. Overz. Rafflesiac. Ned. Ind. (1918) 61
26. Rafflesia zollingeriana Koorders, Bot. Overz. Rafflesiac. Ned. Ind. (1918) 67
27. Rafflesia speciosa Barcelona et Fernando, Kew Bull 57 (2002) 648
28. Rafflesia azlanii Latiff et M. Wong, Folia Malaysiana 4: 135-146
2. Rafflesias of Malaysia
With the latest description of Rafflesia azlanii, the total number of species of rafflesias in Malaysia has been increased to 8. However it has no effect on the number of species in Peninsular Malaysia, which remains with 3 species: Rafflesia cantleyi, Rafflesia kerrii, and Rafflesia azlanii. However all of Peninsular Malaysian species are now endemics, since widely distributed Rafflesia hasseltii is no longer occuring in Peninsular Malaysia, and all populations attributed to this species have been transferred to R. azlanii. Likewise, Sabah is also with three endemic species; R. pricei, R. keithii and R. tengku-adlinii. Unlike Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, the number of species in Sarawak is less certain but suffice to note that current count based on photographs indicate that only three species are confirmed: R. tuan-mudae and R. hasseltii in the south and R. pricei in the north. Previous report of R. keithii in Lanjak-Entimau turns out to be R. tuan-mudae.
2.1. The Distribution and Conservation of Rafflesia in Malaysia
2.1.1. Rafflesia cantleyi Solms-Laub.
Described by H. Graft zu Solms-Laubach in 1910 in honor of Nathaniel Cantley, the former Curator of Singapore Botanic Gardens (1880-1886) this species is classified as a medium size (30 ? 55 cm in diameter). Cantley collected the unnumbered type specimen in 1881 and given to Solms. Meijer (1984) and Wong, & Latiff (1994) have erronously published early report attributed this species as R. hasseltii based on earlier identification by Ridley (1910). This medium size species is an endemic to Peninsular Malaysia and found in the primary and secondary lowland dipterocarp forests (450 - 650 m asl) in Perak, Terengganu, Kelantan, Pahang and Tioman Island. The species was listed as vulnerable, threatened with over-collection of buds for their purported medicinal properties.
Rafflesia cantleyi has not been previously officially reported inside the Taman Negara. However several flowers were photographed in the southern border near Gunung Mandi Angin by En. Samsul Kamis of UPM in Aug 2000. The mature buds of these species are also found in the forests near Kg. Pasir Raja in Terengganu in the northern part of Taman Negara near Kuala Koh, Kelantan. Easily accessable populations of this species are available in Hutan Simpan Bukit Tacing, Benta, Pahang and Hulu Geroh, near Gopeng, Perak.
2.1.2. Rafflesia kerrii Meijer
Known locally as Bunga Pakma or Bua Phut, this species was published by Willem Meijer in 1984 based on type specimen collected by A.F.G. Kerr from Kho Pawta Luang Keo, Ranong on 3 Feb. 1929. This species was named after him, an Irish physician, who became Siam's first Government botanist. Kerr made extensive collections of Rafflesia in Thailand and his specimens were deposited in several herbaria, mainly in Bangkok (BK) and London (K and BM). For decades Kerr?s specimens remained ignored and undescribed until it was discovered by Meijer in 1981 (Wong 1992, Wong & Gan 2003, Meijer & Elliotts 1990).
This rare species is the largest in the Malay Peninsula with open flower 50-70 cm in diameter and large orifice (12-20) cm across and short processes (ca 3 cm long). The host of this species is somewhat special because it was found in Tetrastigma tuberculaturn (Blume) reported by Latiff (2001) in Peninsular Malaysia and T. quadrangulum by Gagnep & Craib in Thailand (Wong and Gan 2003). Found at 500-1000 m asl in primary or logged over lowland and hill dipterocarp forest in southern Thailand (Ranong and Surat Thani) and Peninsular Malaysia (near Kelantan-Perak-Pahang borders), this species was earlier thought to be endemic to Thailand. However, it was collected in 1935 at Tepuh Hill on the Kelantan-Thailand border and in 1992 in G. Chamah (Kelantan-Perak border) and Pengkalan Hulu in Keroh, Perak.
According to Wong & Gan (2003), R. kerrii has been recorded in less than 10 localities in Thailand, from Prachnab Khirkhan southwards to Ranong to Khao Sok to the Yala-Betong Halabala Forest Reserve. Within Peninsular Malaysia, the distribution of R. kerrii appears to be confined to the Main Range in Kelantan State with the exception of those found near Pengkalan Hulu. Perak on the Bintang Range. It was first recorded in Kelantan from Bukit Tepuh near Jeli at the border of Kelantan with Thailand, where a bud was collected in 1935 by H. Witkarnp. It was also found in Gunung Chamah (Gan 1993), and along Sg. Semuliang in Gunung Stong. The southern most populations are found in Lojing Highlands and Hutan Simpanan Kekal Sg. Bells. Outside Kelantan the only verified report is from Pengkalan Hulu, Perak (Wong & Latiff 1994).
2.1.3. Rafflesia azlanii Meijer
The existence of the species that is seems to represent R. hasseltii in Peninsular Malaysia was discovered during the Malaysian Nature Society Heritage and Scientific Expedition to Sungai Halong, Temenggor, Perak in September 1993 by John Dawn, Marcus Erie and Kok Swee Ngor. The species was observed and photographed, seemed to differ from R. cantleyi. It was then thought to possibly be the missing R. hasseltii, and was recorded as such (Latiff et al. 1995).
In 1994, another observation of the species was made by Matthew Wong on the slopes of Gunung Ulu Sepat, Perak at c. 2000 m asl. Yet another and perhaps more significant population was discovered on 20th June 1997 (Latiff & Mat-Salleh 2001), still then believed to be R. hasseltii. It was also realised that Mr. Forest Gan had observed and recorded it earlier on Mt. Chamah in January 1993 (vide Wong & Gan 2002). No good specimens for study had been available until 2002, when Wong collected the type (Wong 5) in early May that year from the Kelantan-Perak border. The specimen displayed characters that differ from R. cantleyi and R. hasseltii - and also with the other species described so far (Meijer 1997, Nais 2001). These observations had prompted Wong and Gan (2002) to announce the discovery of the new species as `Rafflesia sp. 19'. After further months of careful observations, the new taxon has been distinguished taxonomically from R. cantleui and R. hasseltii and published as R. azlanii, named in honour of HRH Paduka Seri Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, the Patron of the Malaysian Nature Society Heritage and Scientific Expedition to Belum (Latiff & Wong 2004)
2.1.4. Rafflesia pricei Meijer
The rare Rafflesia pricei is probably one of the most revered amongst other protected species of Rafflesia. Its submontane habitats are relatively safe in well covered Sabah's network of protected areas. According to Nais (2001) two sanctuaries have been created to protect this species; the Rafflesia Forest Reserve in Tambunan District and the Poring-Mamut Rafflesia Sanctuary within the Mamut Copper Mine lease in Ranau District.
Rafflesia pricei, as wells as R. keithii and R. tengku-adlinii, are endemics of Borneo. It is currently known from eastern slopes of Crocker Range and in western and southern areas of Mt Kinabalu. Many populations were reported in Tambunan Rafflesia Conservation and Information Centre, The Poring-Mamut Rafflesia Sanctuary Within the Mamut Copper Mine area in Ranau, Langanan Waterfall in Poring Hot Springs, and Bukit Lugas and Bukit Tunturugung near Bundu Tuhan, Ranau, Sabah. It was also reported from Sarawak (Kelabit Highlands near Gunung Murud in Bario) and in Brunei (Bukit Retak). According to Nais (2001) it is also probably in Upper Kayan, near Long Ampin, East Kalimantan.
Rafflesia pricei was named in honor of William Robert Price, a honourary plant collector - volunteer from Kew Herbarium, England. Price made a collection along the trail to Mamut Copper Mine at 1300 asl in 1967 that was later designated as a type specimen by Meijer (1984). He was reportedly at an advanced age of 82 when he came to Sabah and had to be carried to the site of the type locality. However he was not the first to collect because Rev. Joseph and Mary Strong Clemens, the famous Kinabalu plant collectors has gathered a specimen on 17 March 1932 from the South-western part of Kinabalu and in 1966 Bruce Weber (U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer) and George Carson (Conservator of Forests) discovered a population with 125 buds on the south western slope of Mount Kinabalu, near Mamut and Poring.
This small - flowered Rafflesia (25 to 30 cm in diameter) grows in higher altitudes (around 1000 1400 m asl) takes 6-9 months to mature. Weber (1967) was the first to write about this Rafflesia, after a discovery of "a population of some 40 buds in area of about half an acre in Pinousok Plateau" in the eastern side of Kinabalu. This well-known species was featured several times on the front page of magazines, journals and books. Photographs were also widely distributed. Unfortunately, this original site was destroyed when the area was degazetted and excluded from Kinabalu Park. It was later developed into golf course and copper mine. Nevertheless, new sites have been discovered in Bukit Lugas, near Bundu Tuhan (Masni 1984) and recently at the Tenompok Pass, around statelands near Kg. Kiau on the foot of Kinabalu. There were numerous populations discovered along eastern slopes of Crocker Range in several areas between km 6164 Kota Kinabalu Tambunan Road, which is now part of the Rafflesia Sanctuary Forest Reserve, fully equipped with Rafflesia Information Center to serve visiting tourists.
2.1.5. Rafflesia keithii Meijer
Endemic to Sabah, this R. arnoldii equivalent was described by Dr. Willem Meijer in 1984 based on specimen collected by Leopold Madani, Sandakan Herbarium?s senior collector from Sungai Melaut, Sabah. The flower can reach 100 cm across with dense large white warts and small warts interspersed with the larger ones. Its Diaphragm with 5 concentric rings of white warts about 40 in radial rows, each surrounded by dark red brown margin. The ornamental pattern in the perigone lobes was cited by Meijer (1984) to be used to differentiate betweeen the species and R. arnoldii.
Rafflesia keithii has an ecological range up to 400 asl, and is reported in Lohan Valley and Poring Hot-Springs in Ranau. It is also found in the eastern slope of Crocker Range from Tambunan to Tenom, but never found in the western slope. It was also found in the western slope of Trus Madi Range near Tambunan.
It was named in honour of Mr. Harry G. Keith, the former Forest Conservator of Sabah and the husband of Agnes Keith, celebrated author who has written many books while they were in Sandakan.
2.1.6. Rafflesia tengku-adlinii Mat-Salleh & Latiff
Rafflesia tengku-adlinii is a hyper-endemic species to interior Sabah, found in only two localities in the eastern slopes of Mount Trus Madi and at Gunung Lotung, within the Sabah Foundation's Maliau Basin Conservation Area. Occurs in hill dipterocarp forests up to 800 m asl. First discovered by the author in December 1987 around Kampung Tempulun, near Kampung Kaingaran, Tambunan on the western slope of Mount Trus Madi. The existence of this species was probably first suspected by the discovery of buds around Telupid in Sabah in 1981 (Meijer 1997) but he initially thought he had rediscovered R. borneensis . The species was later discovered on Mount Lotung, within the Maliau Basin Conservation area in 1988 and at Kampung Sinoa on the southeastern slope of Mount Trus Madi (Nais 1997). The species has been designated by IUCN as an endangered species.
2.1.7. Rafflesia tuan-mudae Becc.
This species was first described by explorer-taxonomist Eduardo Beccari in 1868 and as far known as endemic to Southwestern Borneo. Medium size flower of 40-60 cm across, Beccari himself were not confident to the species, and has himself reduced it as conspecific with R. arnoldii. Later on, it was revived by Solms-Loubach in 1891, and was also recognised by Koorders (1918), because of its smalller size flower with fewer warts on perigone lobes. Coomans de Ruiters later collected a specimen in SW Kalimantan, which was identified as R. tuan-mudae but Meijer (1984) after studying Ruiter?s illustration concluded that it was similar to R. arnoldii.
It has been reported only in the area of Gunung Gading, Lundu and Pedawan, Serian. Photographs from Lanjak-Entimau indicated that it was also available there. The species is now quite well known to the public as articles on and photographs of it have been published in newspapers, magazines and popular journals from time to time.
2.1.8. Rafflesia hasseltii Suringar
Rafflesia hasseltii was described by Willem Frederik Reinier Suringar (1832 ? 1898), in 1879 (Suringar 1880) based on the collection of Van Hasselt, Veth and Snelleman on 29 Dec 1877 from Liki and Lompatan Andjing in Sumatra and was said to be known as ?Tjendawan Matahari?. More importantly, the species was said to resemble R. arnoldii R. Br. and R. patma Blume but with smaller flower than the two. The species was illustrated in detail showing the pattern of spots on the perigone lobes and diaphragm as well as lateral sections of the flower. Early European botanists in Malaya including Meijer (1983) had indentified Malayan species currently known as Rafflesia cantleyi Solms-Laubach as R. hasseltii due to the similarity of the spots in Suringar?s illustration to this species. Meijer (1984, 1997) however changed his mind and treated that common central Malaysian species as Rafflesia cantleyi and adopted another species from Sumatra as R. hasseltii, which was later adopted by Ervizal Zuhud et al (1998) in their Rafflesia of Indonesia account. It was then become a norm to identify the one in Sumatra as R. hasseltii.
The species was also thought to be available in Samunsam, Sarawak based on blurred picture taken by Cheksum Tawan from UNIMAS in 1999 (Nais 2001). This was later confirmed by Ong (2004). Rafflesia hasseltii in Tanjung Datu has 2 ? 3 rings of whitish pink warts surrounded with red circle. The upper zone of the flower tube near attachment of the diaphragm has two instead of four rings of toadstool-like compound ramenta, and 25 ? 28 anthers as compared to only 20 anthers in Sumatra.
CONSERVATION OF RAFFLESIA
It was recognised that Rafflesia has become so evolutionarily specialized that the entire plant is but a single flower devoid of leaf, stem or roots. The only vegetative parts are fine filaments that penetrate into the Tetrastigma host. The flowering phase begins modestly as a small blackish protuberance, breaking out of protective cupule, then growing slowly some 6-10 months to take a huge reddish-brown cabbage-like bud. When in bloom, the flower lavishly displays its five fleshy perigone lobes, often mistaken as ?petals?. Some large Rafflesias are said to emit a penetrating smell more repulsive than a buffalo carcass in an advanced stage of decomposition, while in smaller species, the odour is only faint or nonexistent. Some species were seen to emit fragrances in the first few hours of blooming. Unfortunately, in spite of its size, a Rafflesia blooms does not last long, enough for flies to pollinate if and when male and female flowers are syncronisely blooming. Parasitic mode of life, specialized biological requirement, a long generation time, high mortality, and initial rarity are all perfect ingredients for extinction. This biological peculiarity is one of the hiccups that make Rafflesia very vulnerable (Ismail et al. 1998, Mat-Salleh 1991). Unlike other plants and animals, ex-situ conservation of Rafflesia is almost impossible. Thus any additional pressure such as habitat loss due to forest clearance, illegal harvesting, sabotage or unitentional tramplings can easily push it over the brink.
In recent years the general public in Malaysia has been actively involved in conservation and environment issues. In early 1988, after enormous pressure from public due to the lost of type locality of newly found Rafflesia tengku-adlinii, a state-level committee was set up to look into the conservation of Rafflesia in Sabah. The committee's major responsibility is to draw up strategies for maintaining a proper balance between forest exploitation and the preservation of selected Rafflesia conservation areas. As a result, the conservation of Rafflesia in Sabah was assured with the gazzetment of Rafflesia Forest Reserve in Tambunan. Other states have followed Sabah in maintaining some reserves dedicated to the conservation of Rafflesia.
3. TAMAN NEGARA AS A SANCTUARY FOR RAFFLESIA IN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA
As Peninsular Malaysia's largest and arguably most spectacular flowers, R. kerrii, R. cantleyi and R. azlanii, together with R. pricei, R. keithii, R. tuan-mudae and R. tengku-adlinii from Sabah are truely national treasures and worthy of the most urgent conservation measures. If habitat destruction and over-collection of flowers are allowed to continue, Malaysia will lose an important component of its natural heritage. What will future generations think of us if we do not prevent their extinction ?
Several issues are needed to be addressed. The most important aspect is the enforcement of whatever legal means available. Our forestry department should act proactively and educational sessions with orang asli should be organized. There are lot needs to be done in Peninsular Malaysia including vigorous promotion on current sites as a tourist attraction at national, state and even district levels. The promotion of rafflesia as a tourist attraction would not only bring in funds for conservation works but might also persuade villagers that the flowers are more valuable left growing rather than cut for sale for a few sen worth. In the Sabah and Sarawak, and Sumatera, rafflesia is already a well known tourist attraction
It would of course be ideal if we could bring rafflesia from the wild and propagate them in botanical gardens or parks. Unfortunately, this is far from ideal. Rafflesia in Sabah is not very critical because R. pricei is protected in Tambunan Rafflesia Forest Reserve and R. tengku-adlinii in Meliau protection basin. Perhaps R. keithii is the only species not currently protected in forest reserves or park. In Sarawak healthy populations of R. tuan-mudae are protected within Gunung Gading and Lanjak Entimau National Parks. In Peninsular Malaysia, all the three species are available in our protected areas. We believe that R. cantleyi and R. azlanii are available in Taman Negara and R. kerrii can be protected if the Gunung Stong State Park is properly gazeted and managed.
The authors are most grateful to Dato? Hj. Saharudin Ismail (JPSM) for his permission and support, Tn. Hj. Sahir Othman (PERHILITAN) for permission to work in The National Parks and the organizers of the workshop for their invitation to the main author to present this paper. This study will be supported financially through IRPA grant 09-02-02-0035EA131 from MPKSN Malaysia.
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