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FISH DIVERSITY OF ULU TUNGUD SABAH MALAYSIA BORNEO

FISH DIVERSITY OF ULU TUNGUD SABAH MALAYSIA BORNEO

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11/14/2012

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 Journal of Sustainability Science and Management 
2006
Volume
1(2):21-26
 KUSTEM, 2006 
PRELIMINARY STUDY ON FISH DIVERSITY OF ULU TUNGUD, MELIAU RANGE,SANDAKAN, SABAH
AMIRRUDIN AHMAD, SYED AHMAD RIZAL TN. NEK 
Unit Penyelidikan Ekosistem Air Tawar (UPEAT), Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Kolej Universiti Sains dan Teknologi Malaysia,21300, Terengganu D.I., Malaysia
MOHD. AZMI AMBAK 
 Institute of Tropical Aquaculture,Kolej Universiti Sains dan Teknologi Malaysia (KUSTEM), 21030 Kuala Terengganu,Terengganu
 
Abstract
An extension survey on ichthyofauna was carried out at the Ansuan River, Meliau River,Tungud River and several unnamed streams within the vicinity of Ulu Tungud Forest Reserve,Meliau from 14
th
December to 21
st
December 2004. Nineteen species belonging to five familieswere recorded. The fish fauna was dominated by Cyprinidae (47%) followed by Balitoridae (36%)and other families.
 Rasbora
cf.
 sumatrana
(Cyprinidae) and
 Nemacheilus olivaceus
(Balitoridae)when present are the most common species. Several specimens of the genus
Gastromyzon
and
Glaniopsis
are yet to identified to the species level The surveyed areas are relatively disturbed byhuman activities particularly logging and plantations but most of the streams and rivers visitedduring the survey are having relatively clear water and good visibility.KEYWORDS: Freshwater fish, abundance, Cyprinidae, Sabah
Introduction
The freshwater fishes of the state of Sabah was probably better known and well documented based on the works of Inger & Chin (1962) and a subsequent supplementary chapter by P. K.Chin (see Inger & Chin 1990). Despite the publication on their major works, no further comprehensive collections were made in the recent years to document the fish diversity of theState but only small collections at the localized areas (see Chin & Samat 1992, Chin & Samat1995) which revealed some significant finding. Long-term ecological study of fishes at theDanum Valley Field Center (DVFC) area has shown that rare species could opportunisticallycollected to give a better picture of the total species richness and diversity (Martin-Smith and Tan,1998). Their study have resulted a significant contribution to understanding ichthyofauna of theeastern Sabah, especially for the Danum Valley vicinity on the inter- and intra-catchmentvariability.Magurran (1988) stated that a short-term collection over a period of only a few days canmiss rare or seasonally abundant species. Constant collections over the same geographic areaover a long period of time are crucial to develop the species accumulation curve but, long-termstudies normally required large financial support, huge amount of money that most of the time,cannot be possible to obtain. Species accumulation curve seldom be reached over a short periodof time, more often show extremely long tail (Martin-Smith and Tan, 1998) with additionalspecies being recorded long after collection begins. Therefore, any opportunities to survey even alocalize area is greatly appreciated and sometimes are important to document any biologicaldiversity present at the time of collection.
Correspondence: Amirrudin Ahmad
 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, KolejUniversiti Sains dan Teknologi Malaysia ,21030 Kuala Terengganu, TerengganuD.I., Malaysia
 
 Amirrudin Ahmad et al. Journal of Sustain. Sci & Mngt., 2006 Vol. 1(2):21-26 
22
 
Such studies were conducted in many different areas such as Tabin Wildlife Reserved (SungaiSegama), Crocker Range, Maliau Basin and Kinabalu Parks (Goose 1972, Samat 1990) has produced an interesting finding.Samat & Chin (1996) produced a checklist of balitorid fish of Sabah consist of 19 speciesand briefly discuss on its biogeography, with some taxonomic notes, species composition andecomorphology. Study on balitorid loach particularly on
Gastromyzon
is currently on-going(Kelvin K.P. Lim
 pers. comm
.). Studies conducted at Danum Valley (see Martin-Smith 1998,Martin-Smith & Tan 1998) yielded two new species of 
Gastromyzon
(see Tan & Martin-Smith1998). Subsequently, a new species of 
Clarias
and
 Hemibagrus
was described based on thespecimens collected from the upper reaches of Segama River, DVFC, Sabah (see Ng 1999, Ng etal. 2000).Streams and rivers within the Ulu Tungud Forest Reserve, Sabah was previouslysurveyed for its ichthyofauna by a group from the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (Azli A. Bakar 
 pers.comm
.). An additional ichthyofauna survey was carried out from 14
th
December to 21
st
 December 2004 at several rivers namely Ansuan River, Meliau River Tungud River and severalsmall unnamed streams within the vicinity of Ulu Tungud Forest Reserve, Meliau, Sabah. Theobjective was to assess the fish diversity of the area as a part of baseline study on fish biodiversityof Ulu Tungud Forest Reserve, Sabah. This study was regarded as secondary study to the previous survey conducted at almost the similar area but the small streams within oil palm or 
 Acacia
plantation within the reserve.
Material and Methods
Study sites
The description of the study sites visited during the present study was given in Table 1. Samplingsites were randomly selected and was limited to the equipment availability during the survey andmanpower (Figure 1). Sampling sites of the present survey were chosen not to overlap the previous study which was conducted to the similar area. Therefore, emphasis was given to thesmall headwater streams or rivers that were not previously surveyed. Several sites are small,unnamed streams within the
 Acacia
plantations and oil palm plantations were included in thesurvey to complement the database of fish fauna found in various areas of Ulu Tungud ForestReserve, Sabah.
Sampling methods
Fish were collected mainly using cast netting with stretched mesh of 1.5cm, 2m long. Scoop netand seine net were used where permitted to collect fish. All fish were identified to the lowesttaxonomic level where possible before being returned to the water, except for voucher specimenswhich were preserved in 10% formalin in the field but replaced by 75% ethanol after two weeksin the laboratory. Abundance of fish were recorded based of the specimens collected; + = rare,++ = common and +++ = ubiquitous when present. When identification in the field is not permitted, species confirmation was performed in the laboratory using standard taxonomicreferences of Roberts (1989), Kottelat et al. (1993) and Inger and Chin (1990). Familialarrangement follows Kottelat et al. (1993).Those species that were not possible to be placed in any taxa were designated as‘undetermined species’ until further progress in North Borneo freshwater fishes is resolved.Voucher specimens are currently deposited at the Ichthyological Collections at General BiologyLaboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, University College of Science and TechnologyMalaysia (KUSTEM) under the care of the first author.
 
PRELIMINARY STUDY ON FISH DIVERSITY 23
 Journal of Sustain. Sci & Mngt., 2006 Vol. 1(2): 21-26 
Results and Discussions
A total of 19 species of primary freshwater fish belong to five families were recorded fromdrainages within the Ulu Tungud Forest Reserve in the present survey (Table 2). The fish faunawas dominated by Cyprinidae (nine species = 47%) followed by Balitoridae (seven species =36% - including two morphospecies of 
Gastromyzon
and
Glaniopsis,
respectively). Fish speciesfrom the family Cyprinidae are rather common to North Borneo. Several species of the cyprinidswere restricted to Borneo namely
Garra borneensis
and
 Hampala sabanus.
The familyBalitoridae is also common in headwater stream species of Borneo. It can constitute up to 50% of the total species of ichthyofauna in that habitat (Tan and Martin-Smith 1998). Others wererepresented by a single species (Table 2).The occurrence of 
Gastromyzon
and
Glaniopsis
in the study areas are expected but therecent taxonomic keys are unable us to identify at least two morphospecies of 
Gastromyzon
and
Glaniopsis,
respectively
.
Until further taxonomic works to resolve the chaotic identity of thesespecies-complex, we are currently designated the specimens collected in the present study as‘undetermined species’.Ulu Tungud Forest Reserve headwater streams of by far contributing significantly lowfish species
.
Small, high gradient, swift flowing streams at the headwater are subjected to rapidmodification by natural processes such as heavy rain. Habitat modifications within the short period of time are unable to allow animal to flourish. The middle reaches with much slower current and large streams seem to be more abundant with ichthyofauna and most of the fishcollected in the recent study were from this area. Most of the cyprinids inhabit this habitat andsome are economically important such as
Tor douronensis
and
 Hampala sabana.
Others werespecies that having great potential as ornamental fishes such as
 Nemacheilus olivaceus
and
 Homaloptera stephensoni
.In general, fishes collected in the recent survey are common to headwater stream of Sabah except fish species from the genus
Gastromyzon
and
Glaniopsis
that could be anunreported species. Fish species recorded in the recent study are relatively low compared toDVFC (see Martin-Smith and Tan, 1998). In term of habitat partitioning, fish species collected inthe recent survey predominantly representing the riffle specialist followed by ubiquitous species(see Martin-Smith, 1998). Lack of pelagic fish species reported herein was probably contributed by different equipment used in the present surveys.The process of documenting the ichthyofauna diversity of this area is far from completedand many species were not recorded but definitely present in the area. Until further surveys wereconducted, the recent study managed to catalogue approximately 19 primary freshwater fishspecies of Ulu Tungud Forest Reserved, Sabah. The number of fish species known to the western part of Meliau Range is now 31 species, at least. Cyprinidea by far, the most ubiquitous family of freshwater fish in many part of Southeast Asia and the similar finding was observed from therecent survey of Ulu Tungud Forest Reserve, Sabah.
Acknowledgement
We wish to thank, Mr. Tay Soon Poh and Alladin bin Mujnabi of TSH Resources Berhad for  providing the facilities and accommodation during the field trip, the Sabah Forestry Departmentand their staffs especially Mr. Postar and Mr. Masuari for their field assistances and supportduring fish sampling. We thank the University College of Science and Technology Malaysia(KUSTEM) for supporting this study. This study was partly funded by Global EnvironmentalCenter and KUSTEM short term grant (Vot 54142) to the first author.

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