Conservation and Ecotourism in Penang National Park



Conservation and Ecotourism in Penang National Park

Sunset at Pantai Kerachut, Penang National Park. Photo by Forest Ang (2006)

A Final Thesis Presented to The Academic Department Of the School of Social and Human Studies In the Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master in Conservation and Natural Resources Copyrighted material use for reference without any restriction. Contact Author at:



Page Acknowledgements Abstract Chapter 1: General Introduction Chapter 2: Definition of the Issue Chapter 3: Dynamics of the Anticipated Solution Chapter 4: Overall Outcomes Chapter 5: Analysis Chapter 6: Conclusions References Appendix I National Park Enactment Appendix II Newspaper Cuttings Appendix III Wildlife Department Organization Chart Appendix IV Rules and Regulations In The Penang National Park Appendix V Department of Wildlife and National Parks Penang Appendix VI Local Parks and Wildlife Reserves in Peril 4 5 7 12 16 19 60 67 72 74 76 83 84 85 86

Appendix VII Email to the MNS group on Penang National Park Draft Plan. 90 Appendix VIII Comments sent to Wildlife Department Appendix IX Map of Penang National Park 92 95

Acknowledgements My grateful thanks to my family for being the main inspiration for my project. I would also like to record my thanks to Dr Chan Lai Kheng, Jungle Leong, Joy Lee and the committee of the scientific expedition of Pantai Acheh project, for providing me with help and information on the park. I am also indebted to Dr. Gopalla, Ms Wong and Ms Ang for their assistance in writing this dissertation.

Abstract Penang National Park was declared on 4th April, 2003 and gazetted under the National Parks Act on April 10, 2003. It is a timely step towards the protection of Penang‟s conservation and natural resources. The increasing population density and the advancement in modern infrastructures will continue to contribute to the increase of stress to nature resources. The creations of National Parks are related to the philosophy of conservation and natural resources. It has been accepted that the original thought of National Parks was as recreational forests. Today, they are much more than that. They are concerned with the protection of our natural resources including water catchments areas, forestry, natural heritage, and management of wildlife, educational and scientific research interest and tourism. They are essential for a quality life of Malaysians. In Malaysia, the National Parks Act 1980, National Parks (Amendment) Act 1983 (NPA) developed to protect and assure the natural heritages are well defined for the well being of Malaysia. As human population and food resources become increasingly sacred and more critical, the future of our national parks to protect the natural habitat of the flora and fauna are being challenged. Although it is unrealistic to assume that these places will provide sufficient refuge, it warrants the intervention of proper management system on policing and enforcement of the National Parks‟ acts. I wish to demonstrate how proper management is crucial and necessary in a protected National Park for the conservation and protection of its natural resources.

(Word count for the dissertation: 22,863 words approximately)

Fig 1: Rocky coast of Penang National Park

Figure 2: Satellite Photo of Penang National Park. It is the smallest National Park in the World. Note the perimeter of 1.5 km of sea incorporated into the National Park. Photo extracted from Draft Plan of Penang National Park.
Muka Head Lighthouse

Teluk Bahang Dam

Chapter 1: General Introduction 1.1 Contextual Data In the article, Local Parks and Wildlife Reserves in Peril (Appendix VI), Hilary Chiew, an environment columnist of the STAR (7th June, 2005) wrote, “Malaysia is not short of parks and wildwife reserves but are these sites being managed for conservation or have they merely been turned into new destinations for mass tourism?” He cited an example of the management of the Endau-Rompin National Park in Johore on the setting up of a petting zoo as an added attraction for visitors. The plan is puzzling. Is the park short on nature appreciation programmes or is it just keen to provide a crowd-pleasing activity in the hope of increasing visitor numbers? (Hilary, 2005) Ecotourism and conservation are synonym to the survival of the wilderness. One can no longer assume that the natural areas that we take for granted in the past, such as good beaches, waterfalls and forest trails would still be there for our enjoyment (Chia, 2003) Chia in fact attributes that they will remain only if they are legally protected. How right he is! It is with this dissertation, that I wish to research on and to show that being legally protected does not conform well if proper management and conservation are not represented with care. Penang National Park was declared by Datuk Abdullah Badawi, the Acting Prime Minister on 4th April, 2003. It was subsequently gazetted on the 10th of April 2003 (P.P. No: 80, Pelan Warta 736). It is no doubt Penang National Park will now be protected. These have undoubtedly hastened the development fund from the Federal Government as from then, Penang National Park will be under the funding of the Federal Authority. The fast paced development projects undertaken will increasingly be an issue that might affect the balance of conservation of nature and the ecotourism. The reason I choose conservation and the ecotourism aspect of Penang National Park was the so called state of development on the fragile environment. Already some of the unrealistic approaches by the authority merely on the interest of a few have taxpayers‟ money being spent unnecessarily and wastefully. Concrete bridges were being rebuilt with wooden structures. Cemented signboards were replaced with timber. The useable chalets at Sg Tukun were taken over by the Wildlife Department but were left rot until now. They were ransacked and left to rot merely because the authority concerned has no proper plan for the facilities. It was on this basis that I believe that the conservation and ecotourism aspect of Penang National Park would make an excellent case study to examine some of the issues come to be represented within this park:  how development of the park could be detrimental to the of conservation of the natural environment of the protected area

how exposure of the park has provide heavy usage of the trails and causing unnecessary erosion, trash and stress to the fauna and flora.

1.2 Background Information This chapter will look into the beginning of the initiative to lobby for the park. The later part of the chapter will provide details of the committees and the course taken until the successful declaration of Penang National Park. Geographically, Penang National Park is situated on the northwest corner of Penang Island. The park is considered to be the smallest national park in the world. It covers an area of 1462 ha of which 1181 ha on land and 1381 ha in the marine zone. It was the first national park to be gazetted under the National Parks Act of 1980 (Refer Appendix I). Part of the park had been logged between the late 1910s and the late 1930s. The area has seen been silviculturally treated (Ong and Dhanarajan, 1976). Despite being logged previously, however, there are currently about 72 ha of virgin jungle reserve left in the park and these areas are floristically rich (Leong, Undated). Despite its small size, Penang National Park processes some unique characteristics. Among them, its diversity of ecological habitats, the rich fauna and the number of unique flora found. The Penang National Park is one of the few remaining areas on Penang Island which still comprises natural rainforest and small mammals. It offers a wide variety of ecosystem from mangrove to sandy beach, rocky coastal lowland and dipterocarp hill forest. In 1959, the then Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve was first proposed to be gazetted as a national park or state park initiated by a group known as Committee for the Preservation of Areas of Natural Beauty, Pulau Pinang (Quek, 1998). In an official memorandum in 1976, the MNS, Penang Branch requested the state government of Penang to elevate Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve to that of a national park. Between October to November 1978, the MNS, Penang Branch with the collaboration with School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia(USM) conducted a natural resources survey on the park. In that brief survey; 25 species of mammals, 53 species of butterflies, 46 species of birds and considerable variety of marine life (such as sea anemones, corals, mollusks, crustaceans, echinoderms and sea turtles) were recorded. This list is, however, far from being comprehensive (Quek, 1998). Again in November 1985, the – MNS, Penang Branch in a memorandum to the Structure Plan Unit advocated that Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve be designated as a national park in the Penang Island Structure Plan (Quek, 1998). Although the state government did nothing about the memorandum, it did recognize the importance of the conservation of PAFR by commissioning two comprehensive studies on “The Penang Environmental Conservation Strategy” and “The Balik Pulau Drainage Study”. In 1999, the MNS Penang Branch‟s executive committee in the monthly meeting proposed to follow up with the Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve proposal of 1985. A

fundraising campaign was organized. Programs were organized to collect fund. Finally, in 2000, a scientific expedition was organized at the park. Below was the list of the steering committee for the project.

Fig 1.1: Steering committee for the Scientific Expedition

Fig 1.2: Group Photograph of Volunteers for the Expedition

There were numerous trekking trails, some were very remote and found along the ridges. Only several trails were well used and marked by the former Forestry Department and presently under the jurisdiction of the Wildlife Department. The Wildlife Department, being supported by the federal funding had embarked on many constructions.

Fig 1.3 : A remote trail in the Penang National Park

The Seminar – The Case for a State Park The seminar entitled “Conservation of Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve: The Case for A State Park” had provided a case for the State Government to declared PAFR as a National Park. The expedition and research for the seminar had been an important instrument in reporting and documenting the findings for future reference. The seminar was jointly organized by Malaysian Nature Society, Penang Branch and Universiti Sains Malaysia with cooperation of State Forest Department, State Wildlife Department and Penang Fisheries Research Institute. The objectives of the proceedings are (Chan LK, 2003):· present the scientific findings regarding the ecosystem well being and unique biodiversity of PAFR · create public awareness and obtain their views on the need to protect and conserve PAFR The seminar papers presented were:a) Towards a System of Conservation Areas in Penang By YB Chia Kwang Chye, Parlimentary Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Communications and Multimedia, Malaysia b) The Conservation of Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve: The Universiti Sains Malaysia‟s Involvement By Mashhor Mansor, Head of Environmental Research Sector USM c) Creation of Protected Areas in Penang By Misliah Mohamad Basir and Sivananthan Elagupillay d) Should Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve be a State Park or a State National Park for Penang? By Lee Shok Mee and Leong Yueh Kwong e) Potential of Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve of Penang (PAFR) By James Leong, Ang Sek Chuan and Sam Teng Wah f) The Geography, Climate and hydrology of Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By Chan Ngai Weng, Wan Ruslan Ismail and Abdul Latif Ibrahim g) Formation of the meromictic lake at Pantai Kerachut and preliminary readings on water temperature and salinity

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By Ibrahim Jaafar and Adrian J. Chang Notes on the macrofungi of Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By Darah I., Siti Nurdijati B. and Baharudin Sulaiman Notes on Termite Spesies Diversity in Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve, Penang Island, Malaysia By Chow-Yang Lee, Peng-Soon Ngee, Leng-Choy Lee and Julie Na Prelimary Study on the Distributions of aquatic insects in Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve, Penang Island, Malaysia By Che Salmah, M.R., Jongkar G. and Abu Hassan, A. Fern distribution in Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By Chan Lai Keng, Choy Li Lee, Ang Boon Haw, K.S.Han, Koh Wan Yee, J. Runting, Boey Huey Fern, Goi Wai Fun, P.L.Boey, and Looi Kok Soon Notes on the distribution of riparian plants at Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve, Penang By Norhidayat K., M. Asyraf and Mashhor Mansor The dicotyledoneae (Angiosprem) from the Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By Shaida Fariza Sulaiman and Siti Nurdijati B. The diversity and species composition of forest vegetation in Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By M. Asyraf and Ahmad Sofiman Othman Mangrove in Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By Foong Swee Yeok, Kumaradevan S. and Lock C.H. A survey of medicinal plants in Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By Chan Lai Keng, Choy Li Lee, Ang Boon Haw, K.S.Han, Koh Wan Yee, N.Singaram, Punitha, Boey Huey Fern, Moktar bin Shomdar The herpetofauna of Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By Ibrahim Jaafar, Shahrul Anuar Md. Sah and Roswadi Che Yusoff Avifauna survey of Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By Kanda Kumar Mammalian diversity at Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve By Ibrahim Jaafar, Shahrul Anuar Mohd. Sah and Rosnida Roskan Vertebrates collected and recorded during the MNS-USM Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve expedition By Shahrul Anuar M.Sah and Ibrahim Jaafar Growth and development of young captive Rattus surifer from Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve expedition By Adrian J. Chang and Ibrahim Jaafar The fish, prawn, crab and gastropods assemblages of Kerachut meromictic lake, Penang By Ahmad Husin Alias, Md. Akhir Arshad, Abdul Haris Hilmi and Abdul Razak Latun Fish Diversity of Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve, Penang, Malaysia By Amirrudin A., Yusri Y., Siti Azizah M.N. and A.B.Ali

Chapter 2: Definition of the Issue 2.1 Statement of the Issue I was interested in doing a project on the Penang National Park as I had many years of experiences of walking the trails. The passion for walking the trails has eventually helped me to write a trail book “Selected Nature Trails of Penang Island” and was published by Malayan Nature Society in 1999. My initial plan on my dissertation was to write about the ecotourism and the natural features of the Penang National Park. However, I was alarmed by the extensive infrastructure development after the Wildlife Department took over the park from the Forestry Department. Many unnecessary developments were seen. The park was in a “dilemma”. I “regretted” being an accomplice to turn the Forest Reserve into a National Park. Should the park be as what it was as a Forest Reserve then these unnecessary developments might not have taken place. But then again, Forest Reserve can be exploited into tourism area. To document every aspect of the park, I have to cover the whole area in the park and would involve extensive criss-crossing of the trails. I have to monitor the on going development of unnecessary infrastructures. The walks were carried out in the course of several years since 2000 from the start of the scientific expedition. The reservation that while I have walked through many of the trails, I felt that I need to revisit them to update the many sections that may have changes over time. I felt it would be interesting to capture the people‟s feelings about the park, that this in itself would be an interesting subject which could not be included in this dissertation.

2.1 Description of the Issue The bulk of literatures written on the biodiversity of the national park were done by students and researchers from the Universities. I could not find any writing on the conservation and ecotourism aspect of the park. Resources for writing this thesis were limited and hence most of the contents were done by walking the trails over a period of years beginning from 1985 as a casual hiker to author for trail book to trail manager and lately as an undergraduate for this thesis. In terms of fauna, the park is reasonably rich in small mammals, birds and insects. Besides the common wild boar and mouse deer, one would occasionally find tree shrew, slow loris, flying lemur, sea otters, pangolin and civet cat. “There is even reported sighting of the clouded leopard.” (Quek, 1998). A strayed leopard cat was found some 20km away from the park in May 2004, which confirmed that leopard cat are indeed common in Penang and the park in particular. Other updated details of the flora and fauna found in the park can be found in the compilation of the seminar papers in the book, Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve, The Case For A State Park, 2003, edited by Chan Lai Kheng.

Pantai Kerachut, one of the popular beaches in the park holds a seasonal lake that is visible only between the months of March to August. It formed under very special condition when the sea water meets with fresh water from nearby streams. The westerly monsoon built up the sand embankment and thus dammed up the enclosure to form a seasonal lake. What is intriguing about the lake is that both layers somehow remain unmixed! This renders the lake one of its special features. Scientifically known as “meromictic lake”, it has two distinctively different temperature with warm salt water lying underneath the cool fresh water. This lake is unique as it is the only known meromictic lake in the country. The seasonal lake was most of the time silted with mud. At the river mouth, the waves bring in sand and the estuary has sandy bottom. The tsunami of 26 Dec, 2004 had brought in an embankment of sand into the fronting of the lake, has in a way affected the diversity of the mud creatures that thrive on the mud, they include musllous, and gastropods. During weekdays and in the late evenings or early morning when human present are not felt, one may sometimes catch sight of sea otters bathing in the lake. The surrounding gelam trees (Eugenia spp) when flowers, attract various species of insects and birds. A study by Ahmad et. al.,(2000) found at least 13 fish species, 3 crab species, 4 species of shrimps and 2 common gastropods at the meromictic lake. Other added attraction of Pantai Kerachut is the nestling sites for two of the seven species of world seaturtles. The Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) arrive between the months of April to August and are subsequently followed by the Olive-Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) from September to February. Infact, Penang and Trengganu are the only know breeding sites for the Olive-Ridleys in Malaysia (Quek, 1998). Three turtles were reported by Ibrahim (2000), namely Green turtle, Hawksbill turtle and Olive-Ridleys turtle. The name “Green Turtle” is actually derived from the colour of its fat content. A mature turtle would grow to about 1 m and weight almost 150kg. The fact that green turtles are herbivorous feeding on seagrass and sea algae are a testimonial that the sea off Penang National Park is rich in biodiversity of sea grasses and sea algae. Occasionally, the waves brought to the shore sea weeds and sea fans. A turtle hatchery was established at the southern end of Pantai Keracut by the Fishery Department in 1995. The researches on this former forest reserves did revealed substantial amount of flora and fauna unique to this part of Penang. The papers from the proceeding of the PAFR scientific expedition reveal the rich biodiversity. There were about 53 species of macrofungi (mushrooms and toadstools) were encountered from the study areas from undisturbed areas especially at Pantai Kerachut, Pantai Mas and Teluk Kampi (Darah et. al., 2000) A total of 24 species of termites from 5 subfamilies and 14 genera accounted about 15% of the total species of termites in Peninsular Malaysia. The diversity is considered high for a relatively small areas (Chow et. al., 2000). Forty-four taxa representing 28 families and nine orders of aquatic insects were collected from the five streams. The relatively high scores of aquatic insects indicated all streams were in good condition (Che Salmah et. al., 2000) The 55 fern species recorded in the park made up about 11% of the 500 species of ferns recorded in Peninsular Malaysia. Among the recorded ferns, several uncommon

and rarely seen ferns were found in the park (Chan LK et. al., 2000) Different type of riparian plants composition lead to the rich diversity of the stream ecosystem. A total of 28 families, 46 genera and 51 species of riparian plant have been recorded at the 12 sampling stations (Norhidayat et. al., 2000) Shaida et. al. (2000) had identified 327 species of tree (from the class Dicotyledoneae) from the listed 342 species by Raich and Turner (1989). Turner (1990) classified this area as a coastal-hill forest dominated by the Shorea-Eugeisonna complex and he has recorded 350 species of trees in the park. Many of the tree species found were rare and indigenous to the park (Shaida et. al, 2000) In the paper, Foong SY et. al. (2000) wrote; “The reclaiming rate of mangrove for alternative use increases as the demands for coastal lands grow. At the same time, more studies have revealed the usefulness of mangroves in maintaining channel depth (Wolanski et al., 1992), provide coastal protection during exceptional storm events, as rich fishing and nursery grounds for various aquatic species (Chong 1996) as well as sanctuary and migratory stops for birds (Chan et al., 1993); Sasekumar, 1996). To top it all mangrove also performs as a living laboratory for school children to study the unique adaptation features of flora and fauna in this harsh yet fascinating ecosystem”. Natural disaster like the tsunami of 26 Dec., 2004 had created a sudden important for the mangroves in the survival of the coastal inhabitants. Politicians began to realize that mangroves formed a very important part in the ecosystem such as a buffer for human civilization. The present of only a hectare of mangrove (Foong SY et. al., 2000) in the park will from now be appreciated. Already, the mangrove population at the remotest beach of Pantai Mas has rejuvenated. The size of 2 football field of mudflat is now growing with young mangrove trees. Truly, nature has taken its course. The park also has rich diversity of known medicinal plants. A total of 77 plant species in the park could be considered as medicinal plants (Chan LK et. al., 2000). Among the commonest was Eurycoma longifolia or locally known as Tongkat Ali. The study of herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) done by Ibrahim et. al. (2000) collected 44 species of reptiles from 13 families. There were 14 lizards, 6 species of tortoises and turtles, and 24 snakes. Nineteen species of amphibians were present including one caecilian, 8 species of toads, 9 species of frogs and one treefrog. The Simpson Diversity Index for the herptiles is quite high with a value of 0.96 (Ibrahim et. al., 2000) As for the avifauna (study of birds), a reasonably healthy diversity of bird species of 151 species form 38 families were present (Kanda, 2000). The park also harbors 31 species of mammals from 14 families in 9 orders. From the 31 species of mammals, six species are listed as totally protected mammal, nine species are listed as other protected mammal while 16 species are not protected under Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 (Ibrahim et. al., 2000) As for the bats population, 4 species from the family of Pteropodidae were recorded (Shahrul & Ibrahim, 2000) The Pteropodids defecates seeds in flight and while roosting (Phue & Corlett, 1989; Tan et al., 1999) making them an important seed dispersal agent in the forest.

Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) is the government agency responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972. There are two categories for animal protection in the act. Schedule I is for the totally protected wild animals consisting of 55 species of mammals and five species of reptiles. They are gazetted from being hunted, killed, kept, sold or exported. Schedule II is for protected wild animals which consist of 17 species of mammals and two species of reptiles. They are similarly protected by law but may be hunted, killed, kept, sold or exported subject to conditions and permits. The extensive documentations and researches on the park eventually helped turned the Forest Reserve into a National Park. Within a short span from April 2003, the park was flowing with development activities – from building of unnecessary pavements, to building of bridges, to rebuilding, to repainting and wastages. These so called developments on fragile environment had caused much stress to the flora and fauna of the park. And it is with this reason; a thorough study to investigate the issue was needed.

Chapter 3: Dynamics of the Anticipated Solution A comprehensive trail map and description is set out in Chapter 4. The detailed description of the trails will provide the basis for undertaking my research questions. 3.1 Goals and Objectives of the Issue My research questions as mentioned in Chapter One were:   how development of the park could be detrimental to the of conservation of the natural environment of the protected area how exposure of the park has provide heavy usage of the trails and thus causing unnecessary erosion, trash and stress to the fauna and flora.

The uniqueness of the park partly lies in its isolation and partly in the variety of its steep terrain. In order to uncover these themes an extensive trail exploration were undertaken. The trail explorations were done on all the network of trails, both common and popular as well as those remote and rarely used. These fieldworks were taken over a period of a several years. Most of my earlier notes were done subconsciously unaware of this dissertation. Repeated trail trekking to the more popular trails were done to get up-to-date information on the extensive development of the park. The fieldworks were an important part of this research, since I was researching the development of the park and trying to uncover how the development have caused stress to the natural resources of the park. The Penang National Park draft plan listed six environmental risks from the effect of tourism. They are: i) Ecosystems – the risks are: a) construction of accommodation, visitors centers, infrastructure, and other services has a direct impact on the environment from vegetataion removal, animal disturbance, elimination of habitats, impacts on drainage etc b) Wildlife habitat may be significantly changed by all kinds of tourist development and use. ii) Soils – the risks are: a) Soil compaction can occur in well used areas. b) Soil removal and erosion also occurs and may continue after disturbance is gone. iii) Vegetation – the risks are: a) Concentrated use of facilities has a negative effect on vegetation b) Transportation may have direct negative impacts on the environment – vegetation removal, weed transmission, animal disturbance. c) Fire frequency may change due to tourists and park tourism management.

iv) Water – the risks are: a) Increased demands on fresh water b) Disposal of sewage or litter into streams, lake and the sea. c) Release of oil and fuel from boats d) Propeller – driven watercraft may effect certain aquatic plants and species v) Air – the risks are: a) Motorised transportation may cause pollution from emissions both terrestrial and marine. vi) Wildlife – the risks are: a) Hunting and fishing may change population dynamics b) Introduction of exotic species. c) Impacts occur on insects and small invertebrates from effects of transportation abs introduced species. d) Disturbance by visitors can occur for all species including that are not attracting visitors. e) Impact of disturbances beyond the breeding, eating and movement of fauna. f) Marine fauna may be hurt or killed by boat impacts or propeller. g) Habituation to humans can cause changed wildlife behavior. With the six environmental risks mentioned, it becomes apparent that any extensive development will surely affect a combination of the elements. Therefore, it is necessary to uncover all possible areas in my research. Based on the risks from the Draft Plan, the objectives to investigate the following issues were anticipated:1. To investigate the unnecessary development that has affected the ecosystem. 2. To investigate soil erosion that has caused by heavy usage. 3. To investigate degrading or destruction of vegetation 4. To investigate water usage and pollution. 5. To investigate air pollution. 6. To investigate wildlife stress, disturbances and lost.

3.2 Methodology Walking the Trails The bulk of research would not be complete without actually having walked all the trails in the park and recording the findings. This is aimed at getting the actual data and supportive findings that may not be available if only limited trails were walked. With reference to the trail map, the trails were marked according to the marked numbers used in the Pantai Acheh Scientific Expedition; drawn and marked by myself in the year 2000. There are typically 15 main trails crisscrossing the park. Some trails

were practically very remote and not frequented by hikers. Several popular trails were walked several times. Development at these popular trails were extensive and changes can be seen in a week or two. Photographic pictures were documented as evident for my research. The photographic evident were displayed in my website ( for the public awareness. To begin, a trail map and the description are set below. This provides the backdrop for undertaking of my research questions Fig 3.1: Trail Map of Penang National Park

Chapter 4 : Overall Outcomes This chapter will look into the following areas:4.1 Trails Route 4.2 Interviews 4.3 Potential of Penang National Park 4.4 Pictorial account of the Park 4.5 Current Management of the park

Fig 4.1: Trail Routes of PNP The trail routes covered were as follows: Trail Description of the Route Reference 1 Trail 1 runs along the coast from Teluk Bahang until Teluk Duyung passing through Pasir Pandak, Sungai Tukun, Tanjung Pandang, Teluk Aling, Tanjung Duyong, Teluk Duyong and ending at Muka Head. It was subdivided into 5 sectors, namely Trails 1A till 1E 2 Trail 2 is the trail starting from Teluk Duyong cutting across the valley to Teluk Ketapang. Trail 3 is the ridge trail and the longest trail in the park that transverses from the north to the south ending at Kampung Pantai Acheh. It was subdivided into Trails 3A till 3I. Trail 4 is the trail that branch out from between 3A and 3B. It passes to the highest peak in the north at Bukit Telaga Batu and slope down to the coast in the west. Trail 5 is a short trail branching from trails 1B and 1C to join trail 6A. Trail 6 leads from Teluk Bahang to Pantai Kerachut cutting Trail 3B and 3C at the highest point of the route. Trail 7 starts from the back of the flats at Teluk Bahang to join the ridge trail at 3C and 3D. Trail 8 centres around Tanjung Kerachut. It joins trail 6 at Pantai Kerachut and trail 9 that joins to trail 10 and ending at the ridge trail. Trail 9 starts from trail 6D and 6E at Pantai Kerachut and going south ward on another ridge that late curves south west to Tanjung Kalok between Teluk Kampi and Pantai Mas.



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Trail 10 is the shortest trail in the park that join the two ridge trails of 9 and 3. Trail 11 is from the United Hokkein Cemetery going uphill and cutting trail 3 and descend to Pantai Mas. Trail 12 branches off from trail 3G and 3I and runs north east to United Hokkien Cemetery. Trail 13 branches off between trail 3F and 3G and runs down to Pantai Mas and Tanjung Gemeroh. Trail 14 branches off between trail 3H and 3I and runs down to join trail 15B and 15A. Trail 15 is the coastal trail from Pantai Acheh to Pantai Mas.






There are many trekking trails; some are very remote found along the ridges. They are not well used and they were previously marked by the former Forestry Department. New markings have been put up by the present authority, namely the Wildlife Department. Since the transfer of authority to the Wildlife Department, many new changes were being developed from the federal funding.

TRAIL 1: TELUK BAHANG TO MUKA HEAD Length: 2.5 km 1½ hours Recreational grading : 2.5 Condition: well used (Teluk Bahang to Teluk Aling) natural (Teluk Aling to Teluk Duyung) Use: crowded on weekends, some visitors during weekdays.

Fig 4.2 : Muka Head‟s lighthouse.

The most popular trail in the Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve is from Teluk Bahang to Teluk Duyong and on to Muka Head lighthouse. This is one and a half hour walk starting from a well trodden path from the office of Wildlife Department, Telok

Bahang. Follow this track along the coast. It leads past Pasir Pandak, a sandy beach and arrives at a small stream with a rest hut and a bridge. After crossing the bridge you will see a signboard indicating several different destinations. Take the right-hand track which leads to the coast. Then follow the coastal track. After 7-10 minutes you will reach a river called Sungai Tukun. There are several A-shaped huts by this river. Walk across a suspension bridge and follow the coastal path further. The track climbs gently in an undulating manner always along the coast and then descends slowly to Teluk Aling. There is a short stretch of sandy beach at Teluk Aling. On the left is the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) biological field station. There is a jetty which serves as a landing place for boats ferrying students and workers from Teluk Bahang jetty to the field station. It will take you 10-15 minutes to reach this jetty from Sungai Tukun. At the end of the short Teluk Aling beach, the track to Teluk Duyong continues. The direction is straight ahead, following the coast until one reaches the next beach. Before bridges and wooden walkways were built by the Wildlife Department, tracking on this part of the trail was described, “The first 15 minutes of the track can be rather intimidating for nervous hikers. The gang planks spanning rocks and boulders are improvised from fallen telephone poles or wooden beams. Many of them are so rotten that crossing them involves some peril. You will come across at least three of these crossings. Some hikers refer to this part of the trek as an „adventure trail.‟ Due to the difficult progress and depending on the number of hikers in your group, the journey could take longer then expected.” (Ang, 1999) It normally takes 30-40 minutes to reach Teluk Duyong from Teluk Aling. At the end of the trek there are many big boulders between you and the beach. This was also being remedied by building silted bridge on the boulders. The lighthouse is visible from this end of the beach. To reach it, walk the full length of the beach to the other end. Then climb the long flights of steep steps to reach the top. It will take you about 30 minutes to reach the top, where you will be rewarded by a panoramic view of the sea as well as Pulau Songsong and Gunung Jerai (Kedah Peak). The lighthouse was built in 1883. Its revolving light flashes every 20 seconds. There is a useable well in the compound of the lighthouse. Ask the guard politely and he will be pleased to show you around. A night hike from Teluk Duyung to Muka Head‟s Lighthouse was taken on 24 Dec 2004 between 8.30 -1030pm. It was a quite night with the full moon coming 2 days later. There were no breeze and no nocturnal animal seen. I was expecting to see toad and frog but was only greeted by the glittering green eyes of the spiders. Teluk Duyung is also called monkey beach and it lies on the north of Penang Island. It is the northern most coast in Penang. It is a private land covering the surrounding low land. The beach is about 1 km long and 200 meters wide. It stretches right to the foot hill. On the slope of the foothill, there is a durian orchard and rubber trees. The rubber trees were abandoned but traces of recent trapping were seen as the price of rubber has increased. As for the lowland, coconut palms were planted indiscriminately. Teluk means bay and duyung means mermaid. Literally, the beach means Bay of Mermaid.

It is a shallow bay where larger boats cannot land on the beach during low tide. It is a suitable place for swimmers as the shallow bay provide good place for people to swim and picnic. The beach at Teluk Duyung was noticeably dirtier during the period I was there from the 24th till 26th December, 2004 with much rubbish washed ashore. There were two sweepers who came early in the morning during low tide to sweep the beach. I interviewed the sweeper and he explained that the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP) or Penang Town Council employed him to do the cleaning of the beach. He had the contract from the council and he brought his son to help along. The contract covered 3 beaches, namely Teluk Aling (USM), Teluk Duyung dan Pantai Kerachut. He will sweep the beach twice a week. For Teluk Duyung, he has his chores on Wednesday and Sunday. He was paid RM100 per day with boat and engine supplied by the council. The fuel will be bond by him. The council gives strict rules that no rubbish should be burnt. The rubbish collected should be carried by boat and deposed in the town‟s waste dump. He was seen throwing some bigger items into the rubbish dump infront of the bungalow. When asked, the sweeper said the area was not covered by the contract and that the area is a private land. According to the sweeper, there was more rubbish during the month of November to March when the northerly wind is blowing. Less rubbish will be seen when the wind blow from the west. A survey was done after the sweeper left and found that the sweeping was only concentrated on the tourists‟ area rather than the area in front of the Boon Siew‟s bungalow. The animals found at Teluk Duyung include long tailed macaques, mouse deer, wild dogs, squirrels, sea otters and wild boars. There were two groups of long tailed macaques. One group which stayed at the eastern end of the coast, around the tourist areas was more aggressive as compared to the group at the western end. The caretaker for the lighthouse had claimed that he had poisoned several wild dogs after they killed his domesticated goats. Each morning, there were many white bellied sea eagles making calls on the hills surrounding Teluk Duyung bay. Creatures found along beach were mussels (siput), sponges, barnacles, starfishs, sea urchins, crabs, ghost crab, clam and jelly fish. The fact that starfishs, sponges and sea urchins that can be found at Teluk Duyung indicated that the water around the area is not polluted. There were plantation trees like durian, coconut palm and rubber trees. Some common flora observed were kamunting, cashew nut, screw pines, sea almond, kapur tree, hibiscus, lalang and aroid. There were two noticeable streams at Teluk Duyung. Other smaller streams are seasonal and depend on the monsoon. A water pipe was laid from one of the stream to supply the needed fresh water for the abandoned bungalows. The tourists used the stream to wash. The tourist resorts along the coast of Batu Feringghi and Teluk Bahang organizes packages to Teluk Duyung. The package includes boat rides and a barbeque lunch. The hotel employees had hard time chasing the long tailed macaques which raided the barbeque pits to steal food. Although the monkeys were there to the delight of the tourists, they will be a nuisance and annoying by the raiding monkeys. They have the habit of taking people‟s belongings so keep your rucksack close to you. The tourists

started to arrive as early as 9.30am and depart back to their hotels between 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm. TRAIL 2: FROM TELUK DUYUNG TO TELUK KETAPANG Length: 1.2 km 30 minutes Recreational grading : 2-3 Condition: disturbed but some natural character remaining Use: light Status: orchard and overgrowth forest

Teluk Ketapang is originally known as „Monkey Beach‟ as it is frequented by longtailed macaque monkeys before it was abandoned in favoured of Teluk Duyung. Fig 4.3 : Teluk Ketapang. The beach was named after the Sea Almond trees found there. Teluk Ketapang derived its name from the huge sea almond trees growing there. One of the huge trees has since collapsed during to erosion of the beach. It is a small sandy cove to the south of Muka Head lighthouse. It is accessible from Teluk Duyung via the valley transecting south-west between the hills of Muka Head and Bkt Telaga Batu. You can reach Teluk Ketapang from Teluk Duyung in 15 minutes if you know the trail. For those who are unfamiliar with the trail, it will take about 30 minutes. Although the trail is short, many hikers have lost their way. Several years ago, a Japanese tourist was lost in the forest for several hours. The trail starts from the first big casuarina tree near the abandoned Boon Siew Bungalow. Find the trail that leads away from the beach towards the forested valley. You have to walk through thick overgrown lalang. There is a small canal with a makeshift bridge over it. Cross the canal. The trail tends to be overgrown with lalang except during the fruit season. If you persevere you will eventually reach a shed. If the bushes have been cleared you should be able to see a hill slope with durian trees and also the forest edge beyond it. Walk along the flattened shoulder of the hill towards the ascending hill slope. There may be several seasonal trails. Follow the one that heads towards the corner where there are many large, overgrown wild ginger plants skirting the edge of the forest. Enter the forest edge to the right of the overgrown wild ginger plants.

From here the forest trail begins. A word of warning - you can easily get lost on this forest trail. Keep walking parallel with the valley on your right and zigzag at some parts of the trail. Look for signs and markers made by hikers over the years. Backtrack if you are not sure of the trail. There is a part where you need to make an abrupt 90 degrees ascent to the left near a giant tree. The trail will level off when you come to the ridge between the two hills. Then continue walking towards the other side of the hill where it descends to the beach. The valley is now on your left. As you approach the beach, you should hear the sound of the waves and, perhaps, fishing boats. Some years ago, there was a flowing stream which is safe to drink direct from it. Now, the stream has mysteriously disappeared and replaced with a small tickle not enough for a camping group. Look out for pokok ketapang also known as the sea almond tree.

TRAIL 3: THE RIDGE TRAIL (USING 1A-1B-1C-3A-3B-3C-3D-3E-3F-3G-3H-3I) Length: 8 km 6 hours Recreational grading : 3-4 Condition: remote & overgrown Ridge trail with numerous timber trees Use: rarely use Our trail starts from the new admintration office of the wildlife department at Teluk Bahang. Walk along the new path to the end of the path. There is a gazebo and a bridge. On crossing the bridge, the right trail along the coast will take you to Sg. Tukun and Teluk Duyung. The left will take you to Pantai Kerachut. The first part of the trail is literally on cemented steps. These steps were built by the Forestry Department several years ago. Some of the cemented steps have broken down due to erosion. The wildlife department had developed the path with wooden structures. You will pass through secondary forest to Sg Tukun and Teluk Aling before coming to Tanjung Duyung. This is the shoulder of Bkt Telaga Batu(1100 feet), the highest northerly point in Penang National Park. You will find a junction going up the slope. Trail 3A is relatively sloping upwards all the way on a southerly direction. You will pass through “bertam” forest and some big trees. There is a animal wallow on the trail. The area was probably flooded with mud during the rainy season. Wild boars‟ footprints were seen around the vicinity. The trail proceeded until to a plateau where trail 3A joined 3B. Trail 4 will leads to Bukit Telaga Batu. Trail 3B is a down hill trail where you will descend down to the cross trail joining 6A and 6B with the ridge trail 3C going uphill. For the first 10 minutes, trail 3C is very steep. Eventually, you will come to the hill lock and a little downhill before making steep ascend to the junction 3D and 7. Trail 3D is relatively easy as you trek south-westerly into the centre of the national park before coming to junction 3E & 10. Trail 3E curved south-east which is very steep joining trail 11A, 11B and 3F. Trail 3F continues on the ridge trail uphill on another steep slope. It branches south to 13A and continues to 3G on a westerly

direction to a junction at trail 12 and 3H. Trail 3H continues on the ridge trail southward as it climbs up to the highest peak in Penang National Park. Bukit Batu Hitam was marked as 464 m and is the only maintained rain gauge in the park. It is the boundary for the water catchment for the Teluk Bahang Dam. From the hill road from Balik Pulau, you will be able to see a massive exposed black rock on the slope of the hill. This is where the name for Bukit Batu Hitam (Black Rock Hill) derived. Trail 3H continues passing by trail 14 and joins to trail 3I. Trail 3I leads downhill crossing the boundary of the park before hitting a T-junction. The right motorcycle path will take you to Kampung Pantai Acheh. Comment on ridge trail :- no development from the previous Forestry Department and the present Wildlife Department has not embark on any upgrading of this trail. Little frogs were seen in abundant during December on the slope of Trail 3C.

TRAIL 4: BUKIT TELAGA BATU Length: 1 km 1½ hours Recreational grading : 4-5 Condition: thickly overgrown Use: remote and very rarely used Fig 4.4 : Trail to Bukit Telaga Batu passed through wild boar wallow.

Fig 4.5 : Bukit Telaga Batu has a six inch well home to Spiny turtles.

Bukit Telaga Batu (1100 feet) gets its name from the present of a little well on top a big boulder. It is the highest point in the north and the second peak after Muka Head. The well is only about 6 inches in depth. However, it has served the fauna around the peak of this hill. On a trip to the peak, I observed three Spiny Turtles (Heosemys spinosa) in the well. They were fully immersed in the cool blackish water on a noon day dry weather. Also found in the well were some black tadpoles which could be frogs or toads.

Trail 4 branches out to the west from the junction of 3A and 3B. The terrain at junction is relatively flat. The first few minutes of the track slope downward and eventually it sloped up to reach the peak. To get to the well, you need to continue down for a further 10 meters where you will see another big boulder. On top of the boulder is the well. The trail continues down passing through overgrown palm trees. The trail has since disappeared as not many people use them over the year. The trail ends at the coast greeted by big boulders. There are not trail along the coast and it is suggested that one have to use a boat to get back to civilization or go on bouldering to get to Teluk Ketapang or Pantai Kerachut in order to get back.

TRAIL 5: RUNNING PARALLEL TO SUNGAI TUKUN Length: 1 km ½ hours Recreational grading : 2.5 Condition: disturbed Use: used by those taking a long route to Pantai Kerachut from Sungai Tukun Trail 5 is relatively a short trail. It starts from the estuary of Sungai Tukun. The Wildlife Department is planning to build the park headquarter at the vicinity. There were many exotic flora not native to the park had been planted to beautify the place. On crossing the concrete bridge, you will have to turn left toward the upper stream of Sungai Tukun. The right turn is the continuation of trail 1C that leads to Teluk Duyung. From the junction, you will slowly ascend along trail 5 which is parallel with the stream. The stream will be on the left and you will find camping sites along the way. It will pass through steep trail with boulders. As you reach higher, you will find a mini dam where the campers get their water supply. Here, there are quite a number of timber trees. The stream then disappears underground and reappears again. The trail will cross the stream. The trail then ascends higher until it joins trail 6A.

TRAIL 6: FROM TELUK BAHANG TO PANTAI KERACUT Length: 3 km 1½ hours Recreational grading: 2-3 Condition: disturbed Use: moderate to regular on weekends.

Fig 4.6: Gazebo overlooking the meromictic lake at Pantai Kerachut.

Fig 4.7: Ranger station at Pantai Kerachut

There is more than one way to reach Pantai Keracut. This trail is the shortest route. The entry point is near the fishing jetty at Teluk Bahang. Follow the track along the coast until you cross a gazebo and a concrete bridge. There is a signboard showing the trails to the different beaches. Take the path on the left which leads away from the coast. About 20 metres away from the signboard there is a steep flight of steps going uphill. Climb the steps. After about 20 minutes you will reach a junction. Continue straight ahead. You will cross a stream. The water from the stream is drinkable. It flows down to Sungai Tukun. Then you will pass a track which leads down to Sungai Tukun. A minute or so later you will be standing at the highest point on this trail. Look out for the rengas tree. The rengas tree is a timber tree. Although its wood is hardy, the logging of the tree has to be done with care as the poisonous black sap might inflict great injury. The black poisonous sap when inflicted on the skin, it will rot your skin and no amount of soap, kerosene or solvent can wash it off. If it is raining, do not stand under it. The branches of the tree might break and the poisonous sap might drop down. There are many paths leading away from this junction. Take the one that goes directly downhill. If you are observant, you will notice many trees with name tags along the way. You could find the famous eurycoma longifolia. This tree is locally known as tongkat Ali, and is reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities. The last part of the trail makes a steep descent into the Pantai Keracut valley. Pantai Keracut is just ahead. You have to wade across a stream to reach the beach (Ang 1999). In 2002, the forestry department built a hanging bridge over this stream. One of the special attractions of Pantai Keracut is the meromictic lake, visible for only six months of the year usually from April to September. The lake has two layers of water of different temperatures. The bottom layer of sea water is normally warmer than the surface fresh water. The beach is a popular campsite. There is a turtle hatchery at the far end of the beach. Take care not to disturb the turtle nesting grounds. If you must camp, do not light a fire. Pitch your tent away from the beach. Let's save the turtles.

TRAIL 7: BUKIT PASIR PANDAK Length: 1 km 1 hours Recreational grading: 3-4 Condition: overgrown

Use: remote and rarely use

Fig 4.8: Pantai Pandak

Trail 7 is a remote trail. As it has not been used often, it is suggested that you start from the junction of trail 3C and trail 3D. From the ridge, you will first make a descend to a valley and then ascend gradually until you reach Bukit Pasir Pandak. The secondary forest with occasional larger trees can be seen along this trail. From the peak here, you will descend on an easterly direction until you hit the flats at the village. TRAIL 8: TRAILS AROUND TANJUNG KERACHUT Length: 1 km 1 hour Recreational grading : 3-4 Condition: natural Use: light There are 6 sectors for trail 8. They are : - Trail 8A from southern end of Pantai Kerachut to the peak of Tanjung Kerachut. Trail 8B from the peak to the coast opposite the small island known as Tukun Tok Merinih. Trail 8C continues from 8C to Teluk Kampi. Trail 8D starts from Teluk Kampi going into the interior and turning north to join the Tanjung Kerachut. Trail 8E is from the peak using the eastern ridge of Tanjung Kerachut to join Trail 8F and Trail 9B. Trail 8F turn north down to join the Pantai Kerachut‟s trail. The most popular trail to Teluk Kampi is that of Trail 8A and Trail 8D. It takes about an hour to reach Teluk Kampi. At Pantai Keracut walks towards the southern end of the beach. You will pass a jetty and the turtle hatchery site. There is a small, tickling stream flowing beside a putat laut tree. The start of the trail is between this big tree and the sea. Look for an ascending path. The ascending path will lead you straight to the top of the hill. After 15-20 minutes you should reach big boulders where you can get a good view of the Pantai Keracut coastline. This is a good place to rest. The top of the hill is only 5-10 minutes away. At the top there is a junction. Take a right turn and make a steep descent towards the sea. Enjoy the sea view when you reach the coast after about 25 minutes. You now have rocky boulders between you and the beach. If you have not tried bouldering before, this is an opportunity to do so. Be warned that some boulders may be slippery. You may have to wade through the water if the tide is high. You are now at the Teluk Kampi beach.

The return trip you can use Trail 8D to get back to the peak. You will need some dedicated orienteering and trekking because the trail is seldom used. About 30 metres from the stream, look for a clearing. You should notice an overgrown path leading from the clearing. Take this path and walk straight ahead. Keep to the left-hand trail and you should reach a small stream about 5 minutes after leaving the beach. Jump across the stream and a few metres ahead take the left turn heading towards a bigger stream. You can refill your water bottle there. Once across this big stream, the path begins to ascend slowly. The trail may become more challenging, as you may suddenly find yourself suddenly "lost" with no trail ahead. Don't worry, the trail may normally be found again just beyond a fallen tree trunk or behind some big boulders. Backtrack if you overshoot. Remember that beneath forest trees, there is not much undergrowth, making it difficult to pick up the trail. Overgrown bushes usually occur in open ground making the path more obvious. After about 30 minutes, you should reach the top of the hill. If you are not careful you might make the same descent to the rocky beach again. From this junction you will be returning on the same trail as the one you came on, back to Pantai Keracut.

TRAIL 9: RIDGE TRAIL ENCIRCLING TELUK KAMPI Length: 3 km 4 hours Recreational grading : 4-5 Condition: remote & overgrown Use: rarely used Trail 9 starts near the meromictic lake between trail 6D and trail 6E. The trail is some 20 m before the gazebo. It was an old trail with deep eroded valley-like trail. I would advise you not to use the valley-like trail as there will be no escape in case of emergency. Take the trail above the eroded valley-like trail. You will ascend steeply. During the scientific expedition, a remote camera was placed along this trail but no animal was found after a week. This area does not have much fauna. Trail 9A will join 8E on the right and continue on the left with 9B. Trail 9B is a shoulder ridge that eventually meets 9C at the highest point of this trail. Trail 10 branches off from here to join the ridge trail 3. Trail 9C branches off south-westerly on a relatively flat shoulder. It will cross peak 906 before descending westward to end at Tg. Kalok.

TRAIL 10: BRIDGING TRAIL BETWEEN TWO RIDGE TRAILS Length: 0.5 km 15 min Recreational grading : 2-3 Condition: remote & clear Use: rarely used Trail 10 is a short trail connecting from the ridge of Tg Kalok to join the main ridge trail running from north to south. The trail is relatively easy with the last few minutes of ascent to join the junction at trail 3D and 3E at a small hillock. This part of the trail has huge timber trees and is part of the unlogged virgin jungle left in the park.

Trail 11: FROM TELUK BAHANG TO PANTAI MAS (11C-3F-11B to Pantai Mas) Length: 3 km 2½ hours Recreational grading : 4-5 Condition: remote & overgrown Use: rarely used

Fig 4.9: Pantai Mas

Trail 11A starts from the United Hokkien Cemetery‟s parlour house in Teluk Bahang. The first part of the journey is on kampong path, passing orchards of rambutans and durian. It is almost a straight path heading west ward. One will need to cross two streams. A hill shoulder will be on the right. From here, you need to hike up the slope to the top of the shoulder. On reaching the top, there will be a path going up the ridge. Follow the path heading up the hill slope on the ridge of the hill‟s shoulder. During the off fruit seasons, the trail is usually overgrown with bracken ferns. The view of the Telok Bahang village will be visible as we go higher on this steep trail. You will come to an abandoned cemented water tank on the left of the trail. A trail on the right branches down to the nutmeg orchard. Use the trail ahead. It inches up parallel with the ridge. Here, the bracken ferns proved too dense to pass through. You will see another cemented water tank on the ridge before you come to the border of the Penang National Park. A signboard greeted you here. The jungle begins here. There are many huge and tall trees. The trail branches to the left after the signboard. It leads up the hill on the ridge. A rare minute frog about the size of 1 cm was found here at 10.00am. No stream was found around the vicinity. Several gelam trees can be seen here. They have smooth peeling barks. As one goes higher, sun ferns were noticeably present as compared with the bracken ferns found on disturbed cum cultivated land. About 1.5 hours from the cemetery‟s parlour, you should reach the top of the ridge which is flat. The left trail leads to Pantai Acheh while the right leads down to a valley where trail 11A-11B joins 3E-3F. At this cross paths, the flat 11B trail is on the left. The first 30 meters are considered flat. Here, thick rattan with overgrowing roots can be seen. A rare cave centipede was found here during a day trip. The almost straight trail then abruptly slide down to the left avoiding the overgrown trail straight ahead. It zig-zags along the slope to join back the main trail. Some twenty minutes later, you see several huge boulders on your right. You can rest here before we proceed. Continuing, a further 5 minutes down hill will leads you to

right turn. At this point, a wildboar wallow can be seen on the left. During raining season, the wallow could be filled with water. Further down hill, a python was seen beside the trail. A tortoise was seen feeding a mushroom. As we come near the coast, an area filled with healthy nepenthes can be found. It has the hanging features unlike the normal one which grow on the ground. Clay jugs and empty barrel can be seen here. A testimony that the area could be used for moonshine or illegal liquor many years ago. A stream greets you as we near the coast. The water here is drinkable. One has to find his way out as the place has overgrown. It was formerly a coconut plantation. At one time ducks were reared here. After 1995, the farmer had abandoned the duck farm. This could be one of the reasons why Pantai Mas was covered with mud. Another factor could be the pigs‟ discharge from the adjacent Pantai Acheh‟s pig farms at the village. A more environment friendly treatment had been enforced on the farms. Since then, the beach has seen great renewal with sand beach. And for once, the name Pantai Mas (Golden Beach) may hold truth. TRAIL 12: FROM UNITED HOKKIEN CEMETERY JOINING RIDGE TRAIL AT 3G & 3H Length: 1.5 km 2 hours Recreational grading : 3-4 Condition: overgrown ferns Use: light Pantai Mas is the most remote of the six beaches in the Pantai Acheh forest reserve. At Telok Bahang fishing village look out for the signboard to the United Hokkien Cemetery. The junction is beside a Chinese temple. Follow the road until you reach the United Hokkien Cemetery Kongsi and park your vehicle there. The hike starts from here. Continue walking along the tarred road and at the first junction take the right-hand road. The road continues to ascend until it meets a drain on your right. Follow the drain uphill until you see a broad flight of steps. Head towards the steps. When you reach the top of the steps, continue on and climb over a huge boulder. There is a welldefined trail from this point. After about 30 minutes you will reach a rain gauge. Then continue walking for 20-25 minutes until you come to a three-way junction. Take the right-hand path. The trail descends steeply. You will come to another junction. Take the path on your left. The trail continues downhill for about 10 minutes before reaching another junction. Take the right-hand path. This portion of the trail becomes more challenging as you will encounter boulders. You need to use all your limbs to negotiate them. After 30-40 minutes you will come to a rather confusing part of the trail where it branches to the right instead of continuing downward. Follow the branch. You will be able to hear the waves as you approach Pantai Mas. The trail suddenly opens out into a coconut plantation with overgrown lalang. Walk along the forest edge until you find a clear path leading to the beach. TRAIL 13: RIDGE OF TANJUNG GEMUROH

Length: 2 km 3 hours Recreational grading : 3-4 Condition: remote & overgrown Use: rarely used Trail 13 can be subdivided into trail 13A, 13B and 13C. Trail 3A starts from the ridge trail of the junction of 3F and 3G. The trail inches slowly south through thick overgrowth as this is a remote trail. Some half hour of blazing, you will notice a Yjunction. The right is trail 3B and the left is trail 3C. Trail 3B will be descent downward right into Pantai Mas. While trail 3C will continue southwesterly to Tg. Gemuroh, joining the coastal trail 15B and 15C.

TRAIL 14: SOUTH WESTERN RIDGE OF BKT BATU HITAM Length: 1 km 1 hours Recreational grading : 3-4 Condition: remote & overgrown Use: very rarely used This trail is an isolated trail and has not been used by hikers. It was so overgrown that finding the trail can be a problem. About half an hour south of the peak of Bkt Batu Hitam the highest point in the Penang National Park, you will come to a junction. The left trail will continue on the main ridge trail. On the right is trail 14. The trail descends south west to meet the coast at between trail 15A and 15B. TRAIL 15: FROM PANTAI ACHEH TO PANTAI MAS Length: 1.5 km 1 hours Recreational grading : 2-3 Condition: remote Use: light

Fig 4.10: Crossing the wooden bridge from Kg Pantai Acheh to Pantai Mas

You will have to travel until the end of the main road at Kampung Pantai Acheh. Keep left until you come to a fenced compound. You could hear animal commotion from the pig sty. Skirt by the perimeter of the farm and look out for a crossing over a stream. This is where the trail to Pantai Mas starts. Refer picture below. After crossing the narrow-treetrunk bridge, you will climb steeply up for about 10 meters before you hit an elevated path following the contour of the hill slope. From

here, you will take about 20 minutes to reach the only stream running beneath the boulders found along the path. You will continue another 20 minutes passing through huge hanging boulders before coming down to the beach.

4.3 Interviews I interviewed several persons at PNP. They include a park officer, a boatman, the sweeper at the beaches and hikers in the park. Questions were rather informal as I believe the feedback will be more genuine. Most of the questions will be based on the conservation aspect of the park. (i) Park Officer Question: Why strong concrete signboards were broken down and replaced with wooden one? Park Officer: This is the concept used for “eco” where all infrastructures should be as “natural” as possible. Wooden signboards are considered ecofriendly. Question: Don‟t you think wooden signboards will be eaten up by termites? Park Officer: The woods used were of hardwood and should not pose any problem. Boatman Question: How do you find business after the forest reserve declared a National Park? Boatman: Very good. On weekend, my income can be several hundred. Question: Who are you customers? Boatman: Both foreigners and local. Question: You are burning rubbish (at old bungalows at Teluk Duyung). Did the ranger stop you from burning? Boatman: They allowed me to burn near the bungalows. Outside the compound, I am not allowed. Sweeper (December 2004) Question: How many beaches do you sweep in the park? Sweeper: Three beaches – Teluk Duyung, Pantai Kerachut and Teluk Aling. Question: How often do you sweep the beaches? Sweeper: Twice a week. Question: How many sweepers? Sweeper: Only myself. My son only helps me to do the job. Question: Who pay for your job – is it the wildlife department? Sweeper: No, the Town council. Local Hiker Question: How often do you come to Penang National Park?




Hiker: I have been here many years ago. I didn‟t know that it is now a National Park until after I arrived. Question: How do you find the beaches after so many years? Hiker: The beaches are now more crowded. There are now a lot more rubbish. I can see patches of bushes being burnt causing an ugly sight. Question: Do you want to come to the park again? Hiker: Of course. It is the only unspoilt place in Penang. Question: Do you agree with the building of wooden walkway? Hiker: I think it is waste of fund. They should build more educational signboards. (v) Foreign Tourist Question: How often do you come to Penang National Park? Tourist: Ooh it is my first time in the park. Question: Do you like the park? Tourist: Ooh yes, the beautiful scenery in the forest and the meromictic lake at Pantai Kerachut. Question: Is there anything that can be improved in the park? Tourist: Yes, a lot of rubbish. Do Malaysians like to throw rubbish? Question: Oh….well only some uncivilized minded people….. Outstation Local Question: How often do you come to Penang National Park? Answer: This is my first time. Question: Do you like the park? Answer: If not for the beaches, the park looks all the same as my backyard in Perak. Question: Why is it so? Answer: Nothing much to see, only the beaches. Well, I came here to walk in a real forest but here, I am walking on raised platform! Question: Wouldn‟t it be better to walk on raised platform? Answer: I think the authority should let the park be as natural as it is.


4.4 Potential of Penang National Park Penang National Park was declared on 4th April 2003. Located at the north-western corner of Penang Island stands the last wilderness and nature heritage of Penang, covering an area of about 2562 ha. Part of the area forms the catchment of Teluk Bahang dam. It is the most remote part of the state. Lying way out of civilization, it is the nature park for scientific & nature studies and recreational activities. Penang National Park is all lush green and the fragrance of the sea breeze is enchanting. It conveys to us the message of eco-balance that everyone should live life joyfully. Its ecosystem consists mainly of tropical lowland forest with coastal features. Be it beaches, hills, forest trails or even lake, it offers big biodiversity as a national park. There are 8 beaches. The beaches of Penang National Park are popular amongst tourists as well as locals. Each beach has its own uniqueness; richness of variety of floras and faunas and of its potential tourism activities. 1) Pasir Pandak

It should be noted that Teluk Bahang is the area where the Bahang Bay is located. It is usually being confused with the Teluk Bahang township. At the very edge of the northern boundary of the forest reserve lays Teluk Bahang the forest reserve. The panoramic fishing jetty engulfing the backdrop is a rare sight by itself - built of

Fig 4.11: Signboard of the PNP

mangrove timber and palm trunks. This scenic beach is bustling with tourists and campers going into the national park. The area is disturbed with sandy beach and seasonal muddy seabed. Much litter have accumulated and scarred the scenic beach. A little stream flows into the bay. A scout camp was supposedly built here to replace the coronation camp at the Botanic Gardens. Army reserves trainings were common here. Flora: – Disturbed secondary forest and hardy plants such as the screw pines dominate the coast. The red paper-like bark called pelawan trees are abundant. Undergrowth and ferns spread between the trees. Fauna: – Reptile such as monitor lizards and snakes are common. Squirrels and monkeys occasionally make an appearance. Tourism: - This beach is easily accessible within walking distance from the jetty and the restaurant. There is a shady camping ground and with civilization just around the corner – makes suitable venue for family outings. How to reach there: From Georgetown, use the northern coastal road passing through Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Fringghi and Teluk Bahang town. At the Teluk Bahang roundabout, continue straight towards the fishing jetty. Use trail 1A along the coast after the jetty. 2) Teluk Tukun Sungai Tukun flows into Teluk Tukun. A small island opposite is Pulau Tukun Tengah. At the estuary, the forestry department had built chalets. The national park headquarter will be situated here. Camping pits were built along Sungai Tukun. There are several small swimming pools for campers. The piped water is supplied from the upper stream.

Fig 4.12: Campsite at Sungai Tukun

Flora: - The cool stream feeding the Tukun bay fans out into the shallow sea. Several mangrove trees are found along the estuary. Secondary forest is the main feature. Exotic flowering plants and ornamental plants are decorated along the trail parallel with the stream. Timber trees are found along the upper reaches of the stream. Fauna: - Two types of monkeys are found here. The dusky leaf monkeys and the long tailed macaque can be seen if you are observance enough. Birds are aplenty. Tourism: - Proper camping ground and amenities provided by the authority make camping a luxury. Birdwatching should not be missed here. The swimming pools provided good place for family outings and nature camps. How to reach there: It is about 20 minutes from the jetty. You need to walk along the coast to reach the beach of Teluk Tukun. The trail is clear and easy. Use trail 1A-1B. 3) Tanjung Aling Tanjung Aling housed the USM‟s research centre. There is a jetty to bring in supply from town. The forest and coastal areas are been used for research on bio-technology. The research station‟s collection museum has vast collection of flora and fauna exhibits. Fig 4.13: Teluk Aling. The jetty serves the USM‟s biological station.

Flora: - The secondary forest surrounding the centre has vast variety of plants. Herbal plants are aplenty and need more research to discover the potentials. Fauna: - Rats, birds, monitor lizards, snakes and squirrels are common. The occasional landing of turtles provide record of the larger fauna found here. Tourism: - The beach is easily accessible and it is a suitable camping site for campers who prefer to camp within the vicinity of the biological station. It is also a resting place for hikers enroute to Muka Head and beyond. How to reach there: It will take about 30 minutes to reach Tanjung Aling from Teluk Bahang. One needs only to follow the coastal trail via Sungai Tukun. Use trail 1A-1B-1C. 4) Teluk Duyung Teluk Duyung is a beautiful bay protected by the Muka Head‟s cape. It is the most popular beach for tourists. Teluk Duyung is also called Muka Head, named after the Muka Head‟s peak which stands a majestic lighthouse. It is a private land cultivated with coconuts and durians. A burial ground of at least 80 years old resembles that of Indonesian‟s Acheh is an interesting historical artifact.

Fig 4.14: Teluk Duyung is a beautiful beach.

Flora: - Pyrrosia angustata an uncommon fern found only in this part of national park. Other noticeable trees planted include casuarina trees, sea almond, cashew nuts and the swaying coconut palms. A colony of unidentified aroids grow between a section of the coconut orchard. Fauna: –The fact that Teluk Duyung is also popularly known as Monkey Beach suggests that monkeys are abundant. The species that are common here are the Long Tailed Macaque. Other animals include the vipers, monitor lizards, squirrels and rats. Amongst the most noticeable big birds are the White bellied Sea Eagles and the Brahminy Kites. Tourism: - It is an ideal swimming bay with flat and sandy seabed. Beachcombers will enjoy collecting mollous during low tides. Lunch packages were organised by the beach hotels. Barbecue pits were built by them to cater for the tourists. A broad flight of steps leads up from the beach to the lighthouse. The peak offers a panoramic view of the Kedah‟s peak and the surrounding islands. The lighthouse was built in 1883 and has a useable well on the peak. How to reach there : A nice walking trail with cemented bridges over small ravines have been built by the Forestry Department to provide easy access to Teluk Duyung. One should be able to reach Teluk Duyung within 90 minutes from Teluk Bahang. Larger boats can only reach there during high tide. Use trail 1A-1B-1C-1D. 5) Teluk Ketapang This is a small isolated beach stretching less than 100 meters. It was originally known as Monkey Beach. This is where monkeys roam the beach scavenging and ransacking campers. The beach got it name from the numerous sea almond trees known locally as Pokok Ketapang. The seed of the sea almond when cut open give a white kernel tasting like almond and hence the name sea almond.

Fig 4.15: Teluk Ketapang

Flora: - There are many exotic trees planted by the previous inhabitant of this isolated beach. Quite a number of matured timber trees are found along the trail between

Teluk Duyung and Teluk Ketapang. Some rare herbs can also be found. These include the famous aphrodisiac plant called eurycoma longifolia or locally known as tongkat ali. Fauna: - Bats are abundant here as the sea almond attracts fruit bats. The long tailed macaques are common. Monitor lizards and sea otters are often seen around the rocky bay. Tourism: - This secluded beach with a small bay can be easily accessed by boat. The hotels that offer packages often come to this beach to prepare barbecue lunch for the guests. Turbulent current around the Muka Head‟s cape hindered smaller boats from easy assess to this beach. Black sand is found along the beach. A little stream flows to the sea providing the needed fresh water for campers and tourists. How to reach there : The easier way to reach there is by boat from Teluk Bahang's jetty. For the hikers, you need to get to Teluk Duyung before cutting across the valley behind the bungalows to reach Teluk Ketapang in less than 30 minutes. However, the trail is usually overgrowth with bushes. Use trail 1A-1B-1C-1D-2. 6) Pantai Kerachut Famous for its seasonal meromictic lake, it is a popular picnic and camping site and famous turtle hatchery. Collecting of the turtles‟ eggs is prohibited. Pantai Kerachut is the only beach where the Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas can be spotted. It is believed that the Green Turtle only migrate here for nesting as extensive algae are not known and found around Penang Island. It is one of the largest sea turtle and the Penang National Park will ensure the continuity of the turtle‟s visit.

Fig 4.16: Hanging bridge at Pantai Kerachut

Fig 4.17: Pantai Kerachut

Flora: – Cashew nuts are common here. This indicates that some agriculture activities had taken place many years ago. Fully-grown timber trees are found inside the forest beyond the coast. From afar the tree crowns look greyish from the crowns of shorea curtiss. Fauna: – Bats and birds are common. Long Tailed Macaques are a nuisance as they raided campsites for food. The other Dusky Leaf Monkeys which are shy are harder to

spot. The calls from a pair of resident stock billed kingfisher in the evening occasionally break the monotonous beating waves and chirping birds. Wildboars, monitor lizards, and mousedeers are quite common during low tourist seasons. Tourism: - The memorictic lake is the greatest attraction here. Warm saline water below and fresh water on top. Crab, rare fishes and large prawns are quite common. The fishery department has built a turtle sanctuary. How to reach there: There are more than one way to reach Pantai Keracut. If you are coming from the fishing jetty, follow the track along the coast until you cross a gazebo and the bridge. Take the path on the left that leads away from the coast. The path is well used. You should be able to reach there in an hour and a half. Use trail 1A-6A-6B-6C/6D/6E. 7) Teluk Kampi Teluk Kampi has the longest beach in the park. Tell signs of trenches were found along the northern coast indicating a defense post for the Japanese Army. Historically this could be the best landing place for seafarer. There are many artifacts and past history to be found if one is to venture further.

Fig 4.18: Teluk Kampi

Flora: –The beach is long and plants are aplenty ranging from rocky bonsai to timber and herbal plants. Wild orchids found on steep rocky slopes are common. An old fruiting pokok malacca can be found along the beach. The tree bear fruits throughout the year welcoming hikers to refresh their taste buds. Fauna:– Fish are wild. Campers will never have to bring food if they care to fish. Wild boar and some wild cats have been sighted. A couple of sea otters can be seen basking on the beach from afar. Tourism: - A stroll from one end of the beach to the other offered a sweeping panorama over the blue ocean far beyond. Lazing on this isolated beach, the distant skyline with passing steamers and setting sun guarantee to refresh and charge up your life again. How to reach there: This is the furthest beach from any starting point. There are several trails that can lead to Teluk Kampi. The most common is the one from Pantai Kerachut over Tanjung Kerachut and down to Teluk Kampi. Use trail 1A-6A-6B-6D-6E-8A-8B-8C. 8) Pantai Mas Pantai Mas is a golden beach. It was a beautiful beach until the pig farm at Pantai Acheh village polluted it with muddy discharge from the farm. The beach still looks “golden” with the golden sand if not for the enormous amount of rubbish washed ashore. Being very close to civilization, mud and mangrove create a wilderness few

people would like to go. The difficulty to access Pantai Mas by sea could be the reason why dwellers abandoned their homes here.

Fig 4.19: Pantai Mas

Flora: – Formally a coconut plantation, it is now a wasteland overgrown with lalang and other undergrowth. Strangely not too distant from the coast a whole colony of nepenthes manages to survive the coastal habitat. The muddy seabed also helps mangrove trees to propagate. The soft wood sea hibiscus with the yellow flowers has flourished right to the edge of the beach. Fauna: – Lizards are common. Aroids and some exotic ornamental plants can be found. A resident otter family can be seen every day along the mangroves. mousedeers, civet cats and small mammals are found in the interior. Tourism: – With muddy seabed and difficult accessibility by boat, Pantai Mas is an adventure beach. Here streams run throughout the year. How to reach there: Access to and from the sea to Pantai Mas was by means of small fishing boats during high tides. The next access is through the overgrown trails from United Hokkien Cemetry or the longer ridge trail starting from Teluk Bahang. The easier walking trail will be from Pantai Acheh village. It takes about 45 minutes. Use trail 15A-15B-15C. The Hills The vast stretch of hills stretching from Teluk Bahang to Pantai Acheh holds great potentials for adventure and tourism. It has undulating topography with ravines and little valleys and hills of irregular height linked by ridges. It is through these ridges that many trails crisscrossed each other to form an intervene web of trails in the park. The highest point is Batu Itam at 1500 feet on the southern flank of park. Bukit Telaga Batu is about 1100 feet and has potential folklore of a 6 inches deep well on a boulder on top the western flank of the hill. The magnificent serviceable lighthouse stands majestically on the Muka Head peak of 700 feet is still faithfully guiding seafarers into our Penang's water. The hill practically joins to form a ridge bisecting the park into West and East. It is fortunate that a dam has been built on the southern east of park providing the needed buffer zone whereby rich flora and fauna will thrive. The eastern side of the park is therefore a vital water source. This area should be a protected area for wild species against human intrusion. Most of the hills remind us of clear skys and dark forest, of steep climbing and flat terrains, of slippery leaflets, of large boulders, of cheerful friends shared by a common memories of pain and fun. Perhaps this could be the only place where hikers are free to roam in Penang.

4.5 Pictorial account of the Park

These photographs taken after the Wildlife Department took over from the Forestry Department. Huge funding from the Federal Government to the National Park has spurred unnecessary developments. Money was not spent wisely in conservation and protecting of the fauna and flora, but was instead spent just because there were money to spend. The following pictures were taken from the period 2000 to 2005.

4.5.1 Some Fauna in Penang National Park Penang National Park is rich in fauna as it has been documented that there are at least 25 species of mammals, 53 species of butterflies, 46 species of birds (including a significant number of migrants) and considerable variety of marine life in the adjacent seas (including sea anemones, corals, mollusks, crustaceans, schinoderms, and sea turtles). There are also many species of land and sea snakes, the python being most commonly found. Other fauna sighted include the common tree shrew, slow loris, flying lemur, sea otters, pangolin or scaly ant-eater, leopard cat and civet cat. Wild boar and mouse deer are common. There are also many species of bats, and campers are often treated to the flight of giant flying foxes and giant fruit bats. In the swampy areas, monitor lizards are abundant; the common ones being the black jungle monitor, the water monitor and the tree monitor (Chan, 2002) There is a rich diversity of both local and migratory birds. The white-bellied sea eagle can be found in abundance at the park. There were at least 10 pairs of breeding adults seen during one of my trekking along the coast. The park is also home to two species of monkeys - the long-tailed macaque and the dusky leaf monkey. The long-tailed macaque can be a nuisance as they raided campsites and steal foodstuffs from visitors.

Fig 4.20: Horned Lizard (Gonocephalus sp.) Malay name (Sesumpah Pokok Bertanduk) digging on the ground.

Fig 4.21: White bellied sea eagle.

Fig 4.22: Temple viper found along the trail to Teluk Duyung.

Fig 4.23 : Soft-shelled turtle found only in crystal clear streams in the park.

Fig 4.24: Asian giant terrapin

Fig 4.25: Hanging Termite nest provides home for some birds

Fig 4.26: Mudskippers at Pantai Mas

Fig 4.27: Juvenile Monitor lizard

Fig 4.28: Agamid lizard

Fig 4.29: A foot long giant worm

Fig 4.30: A miniature frog along the ridge trail.

Fig 4.31: Jewel beetle coexist with fungi.

Fig 4.32: Red spiny rat

Fig 4.33: Freshwater prawn

Fig 4.34: A non poisonous bronze-backed snake was killed by a group of children before I could stop them at the entrance of the park.

Fig 4.35: Sting less bee.

Fig 4.36: Ghost crab

Fig 4.37: Brush-tailed porcupine taken with heat sensing camera.

Fig 4.38: Lesser mouse deer taken with heat sensing camera.

Fig 4.39: Common palm civet taken with heat sensing camera.

Fig 4.40: Measuring and collecting data on avian.

Fig 4.41: Tagging Storkbilled kingfisher

Fig 4.42: Collecting data on bat

Fig 4.43: Horned Tree Lizard

Fig 4.44: Plaintive squirrel

Fig 4.45: Trek of Water monitor lizard at Telok Kampi beach

Fig 4.46: Cicada found at the park.

4.5.2 Some Flora in Penang National Park

The flora in the park consists of coastal mangrove forest, lowland dipterocarp forest and some hill dipterocarp forests. The main families in the dipterocarp forest are Dipterocarpaceae, Leguminosae, Apocynaceae, Burseraceae, Dilleniaceae, and Palmae. Herbaceous plants include Araceae, Marantaceae, Gesneriaceae, Zingiberaceae and Commelinaceae. Some commercially important species are Balau (Shorea nateriales), Seraya (Shorea curtisii), Meranti (Shorea sp.), Resak (Hopea avriculata), Merawan (Hopea albescens) and Damar Laut. Another common tree is the fig tree belonging to the family Moraceae. (Chan, 2002) There are many fern species found in the park. One unique species is the stag horn fern (Platycerium coronarium). The oak leaf fern (Drynaria spp.) are found growing in abundance on the beach of Teluk Kampi. The other is the bird‟s nest fern (Asplenium nidus) which are found on tree trunks and branches. At higher elevation, the sunloving ferns such Dipteris conjugate and Dicranopteris linearis can be found. Wild orchids grow abound. The forests are also the home of many species of wild ginger. Two common pitcher plants are the Nephenthes albomarginata, recognized by the white ring below the pitcher‟s mouth found on the western slope of the hill, and the Nepenthes ampullaria found mostly along streams. Mangroves are found in small pockets along the coast. Other coastal vegetation includes the colorful sea morning glory (Ipomoea pes-caprae) on sandy shores, with it prominent purple flowers. Penang National Park is not a virgin forest as timber extraction was carried out between the late 1910s and the late 1930s and the area has been silviculturally treated (Ong and Dhanarajan, 1976). Nevertheless there are some 72ha of virgin jungle reserve left, and these areas are rich in flora (Chan, 2002)

Fig 4.47: Mata pelandok (Clerodendron laevifolium)

Fig 4.48: Bintangor (Calophyllum spp) found in the park. The same tree in Sarawak claimed to have properties to cure HIV.

Fig 4.49: Medang kemangi (Cinnamomum porrectum) The plant produces sarsi aroma. The roots can be used for body “wind”.

Fig 4.50: Ficus spp. The plant that has its flowers inside the fruits.

Fig 4.51: Kelat Gelam (Syzygiup cerinum) Before the invent of dye, the reddish barks were used for dying leather

Fig 4.52: Kamunting. The fruits can be eaten.

Fig 4.53: Meranti melantai. One of the timber tree found in the park.

Fig 4.54: Nepenthes ampullaria found along stream in the park.

Fig 4.55: Nibong (Oncosperma tigirarium) commonly found at Pantai Kerachut

Fig 4.56: Ornamental plant

Fig 4.57: Rengas (Anagardiaceae) A timber tree with black poisonous sap.

Fig 4.58: Screw pine found along the coastal area of the park.

Fig 4.59: Strangling ficus

Fig 4.60: Tongkat ali

Fig 4.61: Strange looking tree at Pantai Kerachut

Fig 4.62: Aroid at Teluk Duyung

Fig 4.63: Mangrove at Sg Tukun.

Fig 4.64: Nature‟s art.

Fig 4.65: Selaginella intermedia. A herb used for treating cancer.

Fig 4.66: Giant Fungi

Fig 4.67: Mushroom.

Fig 4.68: Flower from liana

Fig 4.69: Wild ginger

4.5.3 Infrastructures, Development & Attractions in Penang National Park

Fig 4.70: Unnecessary new road

Fig 4.71: Poor management of the park. Almost 3 months and the same ugly looking scenario at the entrance.

Fig 4.72: Wooden stairs being built down to the edge of the beach.

Fig 4.73: Burnt forest near the trail to Teluk Duyung.

Fig 4.74: Used materials to built the park infrastructure were indiscriminately burnt along the trail.

Fig 4.75: Cemented Bridge built by the Forestry Department in 1998 still in good condition.

Fig 4.76: There is no urgency to repair this section of the trail as compare to Fig 4.77.

Fig 4.77: Unnecessary wastage of fund. Solid bridges being “camouflaged” with wood.

Fig 4.78: Contractor used the A-frame chalet to work from. Remain of sawn wood and roofing and rubbish were being thrown onto the beach.

Fig 4.79: Deplorable state of A-frame chalet at Sungai Tukun.

Fig 4.80: New signboards left along the remote trail to Pantai Mas from United Hokkien Cemetery, Teluk Bahang. An indication of poor management of the park.

Fig 4.81: Trees including this screw pine being burnt when tour boat operator burnt the rubbish.

Fig 4.82: Dirty beach at Teluk Duyung.

Fig 4.83: Missing signboard at Teluk Duyung.

Fig 4.84: January 2005. Massive destruction at Teluk Duyung.

Fig 4.85: Graffiti at Teluk Duyung.

Fig 4.86: Littering by hikers at a remote trail.

Fig 4.87: Illegal squatters hut at Teluk Duyung. White feathers of migrant birds slaughtered for food by the illegal immigrant workers.

Fig 4.88: Rubber tapping in the National Park.

Fig 4.89: The cemented jetty refurnished with wood after the Wildlife Department took over the park.

Fig 4.90: Wastage of fund by building silted walkway over cemented trail.

Fig 4.91: Mist net found at the edge of Penang National Park.

Fig 4.92: Wooden signage erected. The concrete signage was destroyed which could last for years and maintenance free.

Fig 4.93: Fishery Department signage at Teluk Ketapang and the deplorable state. The beach is also a turtle laying area.

Fig 4.94: Domesticated goats in the National Park at Teluk Duyung.

Fig 4.95: Poorly erected signboard on a remote trail.

Fig 4.96: Unnecessary uplifted walkway. Note that this area is not prone to flooding as it is on high ground. Wastage again.

Fig 4.97: Rubbish burning outside the compound of USM‟s field station.

Fig 4.98: Washing of paint into the sea – polluting the ecosystem.

Fig 4.99: The new Pasir Pandak bridge – the gateway into PNP today.

Fig 4.100: Less than a year, this unnecessary wooden walkway need to be repainted to keep the shine – wouldn‟t it be wiser to use the fund for patrolling the park?

Fig 4.101: June 24, 2005. Tour operator burning rubbish at Teluk Duyung.

4.6 Current Management of the park With the gazetting of PNP in April 2003, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) took over the site management from the Penang State Forestry Department (FD). At present, the PERHILITAN is manning the Teluk Bahang entrance and a ranger station at Pantai Kerachut. The state PERHILITAN director is the park manager (penguasa). Table 4.102 shows the current staff strength and designation.

Fig 4.102: Current staff strength and designation (Source: Penang National Park, Vol 1 (Draft), 2005) No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Designation Director Deputy Director Assistant Enforcement Officer – Ecotourism and Management Assistant Enforcement Officer – Information, Education, Services and Community Wildlife Assistant Enforcement Officer Chief Clerk Assistant Accountant Administrative Assistant Enforcement Unit Number of staff 1 1 1 1 1 4 1 1 1 8

The draft plan proposed that the staff strength be increased. It suggested 6 officers, 15 rangers and 11 laborers (PNP draft, 2005) The increase in staff strength is necessary as they will be required to police the protected area against illegal intruders and hunters.

Chapter 5: Analysis 5.1 Interpretation of Results 5.1.1 Unnecessary Development Affecting the Ecosystem The object of development according to the concept of ecotourism as explained by the ranger was to ensure as far as possible a more “natural look”, one that would be consistent with the natural surrounding. The colors and the materials used should be as natural as possible. It was on this interpretation that concrete signboards which were “maintaining free” were knocked down and replaced with wooden structures. These new wooden signboards‟ structure had their timber sourced from other part of the jungle in Malaysia. Indirectly, this interpretation of “natural look” had affected the increase in demand of timber and thus increase logging activities and destruction of ecosystem from another part of the jungle in Malaysia. It is ironical that this conservation of Penang National Park has indirectly affected the degrading of other forest ecosystem in Malaysia. Destroying structures and rebuilding them will increase the stress to the surrounding – to the fauna and the flora. Contractors building the structures produce waste which was burnt. Some of the wastes were thrown on the beach without any regard on the ecosystem. Grease and building materials were washed into the fragile streams. The aquatic larva, fishes and other marine fauna will be affected by the waste.

Fig 5.1: Picture at Sungai Tukun. Stream with cement washing seen here due to the contract work (inset).

On the trail from Teluk Aling to Teluk Duyung, a raise wooden platform had actually caused a huge liana tree to be chopped to make way for the platform. The huge liana would have taken years to grow. It would have supported many other fauna with food and shelter. With the beautiful platform, a tree was chopped and it had affected the macro ecosystem in that area. That was a sheer waste of fund which was unnecessary. The steep rocky coast was cut to make way for wooden platform to provide easy access to hikers. Hikers had been using the natural trail without complaint. Barely a year, the wooden platform needed to be repainted with a coat of shellac. Beside, these cuttings of the coast destroyed some of the natural formation of the coast and destroy the fauna and flora found on the sites. A rare earthworm of a foot long was seen struggling on this path to find a new home. How many fauna were under stressed and perished due to the development will not be known.

Fig 5.2: New coat of shellac on the less-than-a-year platform. This money should have been used to maintain other important infrastructure. Arrow points to unpainted area.

Fig 5.3: Concrete platform on swampy land was neglected – just because this structure is not “natural looking”? Picture taken on Jan „06

5.1.2 Soil erosion that has caused by heavy usage The most eroded trail in Penang National Park is that of trail to Pantai Kerachut. This trail has been shifted several times during the custodian of Forestry Department. Wooden steps were later being replaced with hardened cement. Yet, erosion could not be controlled as the trail is steep and lack leaves litter. Without top layer of leaves litter, the soil was exposed to flowing rain water. These caused erosion to the trail. With influx of tourists and the heavy usage, the trail was “eroded” of top cover and thus exposed to the natural element. At the highest point of the trail, the steep bank of the trail collapsed during one of the raining season in 2005. Fig 5.4: The black burnt oil palm kernels laid on the trail with the wooden drain cover on the left found at the beginning of the trail to Pantai Kerachut. Note the expensive wood used.

The park authority realizing the seriousness of the erosion started an experimental system of drainage. A section of the path was covered with burnt oil palm kernels. The oil palm kernels were porous and do not retain water. Concealed below the material was a piping to drain excess water. Whether these burnt oil palm kernels have any effect on the indigenous fauna and flora is still not to be seen at this moment. Could the material have any side effect on the animals or plants?

5.1.3 Degrading or destruction of vegetation Rule No: 3 of the Appendix IV on the Rules and Regulations In The Penang National Park states that throwing of rubbish in the park is an offence. Rule No: 5 also states that burning and campfire are not allow. These codes of rules in the national park on the strict regulation on human activities are very commendable indeed. However, enforcement or the lacks of responsibility of the park custodians make the park the dirtiest national park in the world (Ang, 2005). Rampant rubbish burnings were openly done at Teluk Duyung, Teluk Ketapang and Teluk Aling. The path to Sungai Tukun was burning with construction material left behind after the construction of wooden platform. All these human activities were degrading and destructive to the fauna and flora of the park.

Fig 5.5: Tour operator burning rubbish at the edge of the forest at Teluk Duyung.

5.1.4 Water usage and pollution The highest point in this state park is Bukit Batu Itam (464 m) which is relatively a low hill. The water catchments around Pantai Kerachut were limited. A camp site with toilet facilities, a Ranger Post and the Fishery Department Post housing the turtle hatchery will create demand for water in the near future during drier season. At the moment, taps were not repair. Water was left flowing at a toilet. The rangers managing the area were not bothered about the leakage. The water source came from a mini pond behind the Fishery Department‟s hatchery post. Water from the small stream had been a source of live for the flora and fauna in that area. With the increase in usage, it will indirectly affect the ecosystem and increase stress to the flora and fauna in that area. At the northern end of Pantai Kerachut, most campers preferred to use streams to wash. Soap and waste water flowing into the meromictic lake will caused pollution and thus depilated the crustacean in the lake. Increase usage and increase tourists to the park will surely give a serious impact if a sustainable carrying capacity is not well planned.

5.1.5 Air pollution The crucial role of natural forests is more importantly in the conservation of soil, water and wildlife, as well as in the protection of the environment (Rashid, 1996). Many patches of the park were burnt indiscriminately. The beaches at Teluk Aling, Sg

Tukun, Teluk Duyung and Teluk Ketapang were areas where open burnings were done occasionally especially during dry months. These beaches were frequented by tourists. Tour operators were seen burning the rubbish instead of taking out the trash. Smokes were emitted from burning rubbish and bushes and trees. Tourist boats and water scooters add to the increasing air pollution in the park. Noise and air pollution although seem insignificant, they posed stress and hazard to the natural inhabitants. Unlike the national park of Kuala Tahan, laughter and excessive noises were not tolerated. On a trip to Kuala Tahan, a ranger actually reprimanded a local tourist for not adhering to the rules. The tourist guide was also given a lecture. This enforcement was lacking in Penang National Park although it is under the same authority.

5.1.6 Wildlife stress, disturbances and lost Kiew (1996) mentioned that the growing interest in ecotourism is putting much pressure on biodiversity. With the infrastructures and new bridges, there will be an influx of tourists into the park. These will definitely cause pressure to the animals and plants. A noticeable different is the fauna surrounding the meromictic lake. With the permanent ranger post at Pantai Kerachut, there are no sea otters to watch at meromictic lake. During the night, there were fewer fireflies (Pteropytx tener) as compared to the pre national park status. The other larger forest fireflies‟ species (unknown) were not seen behind campers‟ toilet. Could they have extinct because of human activities? During the development of the camping facilities and the ranger post, Indonesian workers were found using mist net to trap birds and bats for food. Mist nets were laid at the forest edge bordering the meromictic lake. There was no proper supervision of the workers or could it be “pagar makan padi” (malay proverb: fence to protect but instead it destroys the crop). Fig 5.6: A full load of sea mollusk on a wheel burrow being collected from the small island within the national park by park rangers. The “harvest everything” is very damaging to the population and natural wildlife. This is a typical example of “pagar makan padi”. (Picture taken beside the ranger post. Jan „06) There were lesser mousedeers and other small mammals at the vicinity of Pantai Kerachut. I have not seen them for a long time since the forest reserve became a national park.

5.2 Questions about alternatives

The draft plan open for public scrutiny in March 2005 was a hasty approach made to be bulldozed through. A time frame between 16 March and 25 March 2005 was given to read 2 volumes totaling more than 500 pages. The draft was put up in the website but the website was always down when one need to assess it. Only selected NGOs were given a copy each for scrutiny. I was given a copy to read by a friend from an NGO. A thorough reading could not be completed in time. Therefore, a brief summary of the content and the comments (Appendix VII) were posted by me to the email group to which I am a member. The following questions were noted from my reading:a) Building of an access road from Teluk Bahang to Pantai Kerachut. The benefits stated in the draft plan were not concrete enough. It mentioned that with the access road, it will improve access for the less mobile tourists and lower the service costs and reduced time for emergency response. Road kills. The most widespread and damaging threat (Kiew, 1996) is the opening up of the surrounding land. Divided lands restrict animals‟ movement. A research done showed that an area divided will affect the growth of animals' population. Less mobile tourists have always been using the boat to reach Pantai Kerachut and there is no reason why they can‟t do it after it became a national park. Is it necessary to cater for this group but detriment the already fragile and small park? Response to emergency can be done by using radio communication (Source: Appendix C page 7, Draft Plan). This was mentioned in the draft plan but it was ironical that the draft plan proposed an access road to improve communication where radio communication can serve this purpose. A repeater station had already been set up at Muka Head‟s peak since 2005 to serve the ranger post at Pantai Kerachut. Emergency evacuation can be done by sea. Gunung Tahan which is so remote and dangerously vulnerable to accident and need 3 days walk to the nearest medical help at Kuala Tahan still do not need any access road. Pantai Kerachut which is only 45 minutes walk to Teluk Bahang definitely does not need a road. Access road will over develop Pantai Kerachut which is also a turtle hatchery. Easy access will increase the tourists‟ arrival and thus the sustainability of this smallest park in the world could be jeopardize. Access road will pollute the streams that feed the fragile meromictic lake and Sg Tukun. While there is a "…need to minimize swimming pools on streams…constraining the movement of aquatic species" at Sg Tukun (Pg 144 Last para, Draft plan). This access road at the head stream will affect the aquatic species. It should be noted that "These streams are all short, and relatively steep" (Pg19 para 1, Draft plan). These are features of the park which will not be conducive for building an access road. Erosion will cause pollution of streams and affect the quality of the water and will be a threat to the environment and ecology of the park. This threat is especially real for the meromictic lake.

The draft also proposed an environment friendly transport. This could only meant battery operated transport. Can a battery operated transport have the horsepower to climb hill. What will be the maintenance cost for such vehicle? Or can it be maintenance locally? Talk about limiting access and closure (Pg 177, Draft plan) is unnecessary if easy access by road is none. Let nature "apply the limit" rather than the unpopular regulation of "limited access". Limiting access by enforcement also involved costs in increase in park officers and the required paper works. A win-win situation to the fishermen who have been affected by the declaration of the coastal limit of the park. Without an access road, these fishermen can become boat operators ferrying tourists in the park. (Pg 52 Para 4, Draft plan). One of the criteria for ecotourism is the need for the involvement of local resident in the industry. The employment created from the boat business can only be realized if there is no access road. "The immediate concern is to sustain the nesting sites for marine turtles in the park" (Pg 50 Para 1, Draft plan). Access road brings more intrusion and creates enforcement problems and costs.

b) Building new wilderness trails while some other wilderness trails will be closed! This is very ironical - build new trails and close the others. One of our nature policies is to strictly stick to the old trails. Opening new trails are not encouraged. A new wilderness trail to Bukit Telaga Batu was proposed. A viewpoint at the top will be built. There is already an existing trail to Bukit Telaga Batu. The trail to the peak is very steep. Not many people would want to hike to this peak as it involved strenuous climb. An existing view point at Sungai Tukun was neglected because there were not many people going up to this view point. There is no rational reason to build one at Bukit Telaga Batu which is much further than Sungai Tukun. New wilderness trails will affect the carrying capacity and increase stress to the animals as the park is very SMALL. Hunters and plant collectors will have easy access to remote areas and there will be no control of the collection of protected species of plants as well as animals when enforcement is lacking. A community of shy Spiny Turtles used the shallow “well" at the peak at Bukit Telaga Batu to cool themselves. The development of the new trail and the view point will destroy this habitat as there is no alternative water source at the peak. Please help save the spiny turtles.

Fig 5.7: A juvenile spiny turtle found along the trail at Bukit Telaga Batu. His days are numbered if a view tower materializes.

c) Building "hardened" trails to replace the "natural" trail. This project had already started even before the draft plan was approved. Fig 5.8: Before. Hardened trail using wood. Built in 2004.

Fig 5.9: After. A year later, the same hardened trail of wood was replaced with pebbles and concrete. A sheer waste of public fund. Worker seen repairing in 2005. The project to build hardened trail to replace “natural” trail is a “double standard” applied merely to fulfill the need of the authority. On one hand they mentioned that all infrastructures should be built to look “natural” but on the other hand they try to build artificial walkway over natural trail. With poor maintenances, these man made artificial structures will be an eyesore within a short span of a several months (Fig 5.8). Trekkers and hikers would prefer natural trails to hardened trails. Hardened trails will cause knee injuries and gave an artificial looking surrounding to nature lovers. These hardened trails are actually wastage of fund. High maintenances are required to put these hardened trails in good-looking.

Chapter 6: Conclusions 6.1 General Discussions Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Biological Sciences dean Prof Masshor Mansor reminded the park management planners and decision-makers that there was a clear difference between a national park and a garden. There were plan to incorporate foreign flora such as Chinese bamboo and exotic Brazilian plants to beautify the landscape (The Star, 11 April 2005) National parks should be left alone in their primeval condition (Masshor, 2005) Ironically, the PNP had already embarked on the development although the deadline for feedback of the draft plan was March 31, 2005. It was a shame as only 6 person out of 1.2 million Penangites gave their feedback before the deadline. The 566-page daft plan was uploaded onto the website for public scrutiny with only 2 weeks for their comments. This was the reason Penangites commented that they had yet to finish reading the content (The Star, 11 April 2005) PNP is touted to be the smallest national park in the world. The 2,562 ha park covers 1,181 ha of land and 1,381 of sea. It would even be smaller had the perimeter of 1.5 km of sea did not incorporated into the park. With this, minor disturbances to the environment will have a far-reaching implication on the ecosystem. The proposed building of road from the park HQ to Pantai Kerachut will have major impact on the fragile ecosystem. It would provide an extra passage for animals such as stray dogs and rats to invade the jungle (Masshor, 2005) The existing fish cages at Pasir Pandak has caused pollution and silting of fish wastes on the beaches. Between the livelihood of fisherman and the fragile ecosystem, the latter should be of tantamount important if the concept of national park is to be taken into consideration.

6.2 Recommendations 6.2.1 Enforcement It will be useful to look at the enforcement aspect of the National Park before I summarize the findings of the previous chapters. It is important that protection of the forests and the environment urgently requires a pragmatic and down-to-earth (Rashid, 1996) approaches. Enforcement is an important aspect in the efficient management of a sustainable national park. An impact on the environment will be felt when there are no proper enforcement by the rangers on enforcing the legislation. Lukewarm altitude of the enforcement officers at Pantai Kerachut where no action was taken to protect the rules and regulations of the park. On the New Year eve of 2006, the park rangers at Pantai Kerachut had an outdoor barbeque with his family and friends. Smoke from the barbeque pit was blown by the fresh sea breeze into the forest behind. The air was filled with oily smoke. Fire crackers and fire works display were released by campers in front of the ranger post.

Fig 6.1: Left over of fireworks display on Pantai Kerachut. These create stress to the natural inhabitants of the park.

The rangers did not take any action. Empty casings of the fire works were littered on the beach. Although these events did not pose any known significant damages on the beach, a detailed study could prove otherwise. The smoke from the fireworks was blown towards the meromictic lake which had a small colony of fireflies, some rare aquatic insects and small mammals. How much damages and disturbances on fireflies, bats and nocturnal faunas were not be known.

Fig 6.2: Kingcrabs are rarely found at Pantai Kerachut. With no strict enforcement, campers were free to catch rare creature.

This lack of enforcement is perceived as partly due to the lacking in management efficiency. Enforcement officers were jobseekers who do not have consciousness on the environment. Shaharuddin (2000) mentioned, “…sound forestry policy and legislation is a prerequisite for the efficient management, conservation and utilization of forest resources.” 6.2.2 Management of the park With the gazetting of PNP in April 2003, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) took over the site management from the Penang State Forestry Department (FD). At present, the PERHILITAN is manning the Teluk Bahang entrance and a ranger station at Pantai Kerachut. The state PERHILITAN director is the park manager (penguasa). Fig 6.3 shows the current staff strength and designation.
Fig 6.3: Current staff strength and designation (Source: Penang National Park, Vol 1 (Draft), 2005)

No 1 2 3

Designation Director Deputy Director Assistant Enforcement Officer – Ecotourism and Management

Number of staff 1 1 1

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Assistant Enforcement Officer – Information, Education, Services and Community Wildlife Assistant Enforcement Officer Chief Clerk Assistant Accountant Administrative Assistant Enforcement Unit

1 1 4 1 1 1 8

The draft plan proposed that the staff strength be increased. It suggested 6 officers, 15 rangers and 11 laborers (PNP draft, 2005). The increase in staff strength is necessary as they will be required to police the protected area against illegal intruders and hunters. With only 8 enforcement officers, there is a need to increase the number to manage the enforcement of the park. However, even with the increase in the number, there won‟t be any effect on the protection if the officers are lacking in their responsibilities. The park‟s development committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow (Star, 21 Mac 2006) said that there are now 21 staff members manning the park. Another 16 staff member will be added before the scheduled official opening in April 2007.

6.2.3 Sustainable Carrying Capacity Elaine (1993) noted that rapid growth of trekking tourism involving channeling of trekkers along a small number of routes has caused a conflict between this desire to confine tourists to specific locations and the small carrying capacity of these locations. This has been compounded by the sensitivity of many natural and cultural environments. To address these issues, Elaine (1993) suggested that Government should support environmental management schemes. To counter the consumer culture, people need to regard reducing consumption not as a sacrifice, but as a substitution for the intangible factors that enhance a harmonious relationship with the environment (Razali, 1996). The plan for administration of ecotourism development by the Wildlife Department should be managed by a sustainable strategy. One that will not cause a conflict of interest between increase in tourists and sustainable environment. To this effect, I would propose a limit to these adverse impacts with the following suggestions: Imposing an entrance fee of at least RM5 for locals and RM20 for foreigners. Limiting visitor numbers and implementing a ban on camping-based tourism on some remote beaches. Penalties for non-compliance of rules and regulations Contributions to special funds for environment management, waste disposal and trash clean-up Tourists need to pack out trash by imposing a deposit for every disposal container used

Fig 6.4: A tariff system from Yayasan Sabah – a sustainable management of forest park. Two rates one for local and the other for foreigner.

6.3.4 Sustainable Ecological Development Since the national park is a complex ecosystem maintained by ecological processes and by complex interactions among species, Salleh and Manokaran (1993) have pointed out that these processes and interactions must not be so disrupted in the pursuance of economic activities that there is serious disruption in the goods and services provided by the ecosystem (Chee, 1996). Rampant developments, unnecessary developments, eyes pleasing infrastructures, new facilities, new plans and more tourists attracting wastages which have already being built, being planned or in mid development were seen as wastages that indirectly harm the ecosystem.

Fig 6.5: Trees were chopped down by contractor to build trail. Main picture showed building materials being left indiscriminately along trail to Pantai Kerachut. Inset top left: logs left to rot.

Turner & Others (1990) wrote, “People have exploited forests for millennia, but they can only carry on doing so if this exploitation is truly sustainable; using methods that do not give short term profits at the expense of long term yields.” It is on this note that the prospect of Penang National Park should be at her natural state as it is now for

many years to come. A sustainable method of development is in urgent need. A transparent blueprint of the on going projects should be make known to the public, not just the authority and its committees.

Conclusion: The Right to Live Each evening looking out on the distant setting sun, the raptors make their final catch before going back to the tall seraya trees. Hovering and guiding gracefully above and making a dashing dive, and emerging with a catch or two seem much more enjoyable than seeing caged exotic wildlife imported from far away places. This is best natural safari of Penang National Park. Tourism forms the basis of northern Penang's economy, to which the park make a small significant contribution. The beach tours were adequately promoted on the sun, sand and sea. The variety of unexpected sights offered by the coastline, the greenery, the greyish canopy tree tops, the acrobatic raptors, the golden beaches combed with fresh sea breeze, can be fully appreciated while on a boat. At present there are not much resort facilities at the park. The only available chalet accommodation at Sungai Tukun had been abandoned. The Wildlife Department had built camping facilities at Sungai Tukun and Pantai Kerachut. The old buildings at Teluk Duyung were abandoned as well. The other beaches do not have camping facilities. Campers need permission to camp on the beaches. Under the shadow of the Penang National Park, all wild life dwells. It is the last wilderness in Penang and must be preserved at all cost at its present state to face the constant challenges to that very distracting force seeking to pit against nature called development. With vibrant beauty, all flora and fauna sing in harmony and invoke us to treat them with love and care. Nature has so extravagantly bestowed upon us this last wilderness called Penang National Park. A very important significant of setting up a park is to conserve, protect and sustain it for the benefit of the present and future generation. These numerous so-called developments; on building infrastructures, on beautifying the park; and perhaps turning the park into a “theme” park was a mistake. It is with this note; I felt sad to see the custodians of the Penang National Parks embarking on a so-called tourist attracting-development with poor sustainable regard to the fragile ecosystem. Thank you.

References Ministry of Housing and Local Government Malaysia. (1996). Bukit Bendera Local Plan, Municipal Council of Penang Island. Publisher: Ministry of Housing and Local Government Malaysia. Chan, N.W. (2000). The Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve Penang‟s First State Park?. Malaysian Naturalist Vol. 53, No. 4, 32-39, Malaysia. Publisher: Malayan Nature Society, Malaysia. N.D.Jayal & etc. (1986). Conservation, Tourism & Mountaineering in the Himalayas. Publisher: Indian Mountaineering Foundation, India British Mountaineering Councils. (1993). Greater Ranges Conference. Publisher: BMC Greater Ranges Conferences, India. Elaine Brook. (1993). Tourism Impact in Upper Mustang, Nepal. Publisher: BMC Greater Ranges Conferences, India. I.M.Turner & others. (1990). The Dynamics of Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve: a Synthesis of Recent Research. Proceedings of the International Conference on Tropical Biodiversity, Kuala Lumpur. Pg 166-174. Allen & Unwin. (1992). Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hill, 5th Edition. Publisher: Allen & Unwin Charles Shuttleworth. (1981). Malaysia‟s Green and Timeless World. Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books (Asia) Ltd MNS publication. (June 1976). Malayan Naturalist. Publisher : Malayan Nature Society, Malaysia. John Briggs. (1988). Mountains of Malaysia – a practical guide and manual. Longman Ang Sek Chuan et. al. (1999). Selected Nature Trails of Penang Island. Publisher: Malaysian Nature Society, Penang Branch Chan Lai Keng, Editor. (2003). Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve: The case for a State Park. Publisher: Universiti Sains Malaysia DCT Consultancy Services. (2005). Penang National Park, Volume 1 The Management Plan (Draft) & Volume 2 Supporting Studies And Additional Information For The Management Of Penang National Park (Draft).

Quek, L.F. (1998). Help Us Make Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve The First State Park in Penang. Newsletter of Malaysian Nature Society (Penang Branch), April issue, Penang. Consumers Association of Penang. (1996). State of The Environment In Malaysia. Publisher: Consumers‟ Association of Penang, Malaysia. Jabatan Perhutanan Negeri Perlis. (2002). The Concept of Park Development In Malaysia (Institutional Framework, Management And Operation). Publisher: Jabatan Perhutanan Negeri Perlis. Shaharuddin bin Mohamad Ismail. (2002). The Potential of Forest Legislation in Park Management in Peninsular Malaysia. Publisher: Jabatan Perhutanan Negeri Perlis. Sira Habibu and Choong Kwee Kim. (2005) Leave park alone, say nature lovers. Publisher: The Star Monday 11 April, 2005. c_hp/hp_kelp_history.asp (about kelp spp – sea weed) l (sea urchin) (sponges) (America‟s Premier Watershed Restoration Partnership) (Dirtiest National Park) (Penang National Park 2004) (Penang National Park I) (Penang National Park II) (Pantai Mas)

Appendices Appendix I National Park Enactment NATIONAL PARK ACTS AND ENACTMENT The first National Park in Peninsular Malaysia was declared in 1938/1939 which includes an area of 4,343 square kilometer. 57% of the area is in National Park Pahang and the area is 2,477 square kilometer, 24% of the area which is 1,043 square kilometer is in Kelantan and the rest 853 square kilometer is in Terengganu. The Penang National Park is under the National Park Acts No: 226 (1980). The National Parks that was declared in 1938/1939 is under the National Park Enactment (Pahang) No: 2 (1939) which is only enforced in the state of Pahang, National Park Enactment (Kelantan) No:14 (1939) is for Kelantan and National Park Enactment (Terengganu) No: 6 (1939) is for the state of Terengganu. Beside the enactments, Wildlife Protection Acts No:76 (1972) are being enforced to protect wildlife and birds in the parks. National Park Acts No: 226 (1980) National Park Acts No: 226 (1980) was introduced on February 28, 1980. It contains 11 sections which include the declaration of the National Park, reasons for the Acts, Advicing Council, Functions, Responsiblity, Restrictions and others related information. These Acts are only applicable to the present National Parks that will be declared in Peninsular Malaysia. These Acts DO NOT apply to the National Parks of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu.

National Parks Advising Council According to the Acts, Advising Council must be chaired by a Minister, State Secretary for the state involved, three representatives from each state, Head of Directors, representative from Treasury, State Economy Planning Unit, Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Forestry Department and not more than 6 representatives elected by the Minister. National Parks Advising Council will advise the Minister on rehabilitation, use, care, enforcement, management and development of the National Parks and other matters that need to refer to the Minister from time to time (Section 6). Establishment of National Parks Committee The committee members appointed by the Minister must include the following: - State Secretary for each state. - A representative from Federal Government Department if the Minister felt there is a

need. - Less than 3 representatives appointed by the Minister. - State Secretary will be the Chairperson for the committee.

Power The appointed Head of Directors under Section 4(1) Wildlife Protection Acts No: 76 (1972) will be responsible for the implementation of the Acts. Head of Director has the right of supervising and directing each procedure on the National Parks. National Park Acts No.226 (1980) National Park Acts No.A571 (1983)

Appendix II Newspaper Cuttings

Appendix III Wildlife Department Organisation Chart













Appendix IV

Rules and Regulations In The Penang National Park

RULES AND REGULATIONS IN THE PENANG NATIONAL PARK It is an offence under National Park Acts 226/1980 if a person breaks the regulation of the National Park. The offences are as follow: 1. Enter the Park without an authorized permit. 2. Take, destroy and smuggle out any wildlife, plant and any natural artifact from the Park without any authorization except for purposes of research which need the written authorization from the authority. 3. Throwing rubbish or littering in the Park is an offence. 4. Defacing plants, buildings or any permanent structures in the Park that are decimating to the beauty of the Park. 5. Burning, campfire or throwing of cigarette butts in the Park except designated area. This is to prevent forest fire. 6. Make noise or any activities that may disturb the peace of other visitors along trails or campsites except with special permission in certain area. 7. Performing any activity or acting as a guide in the Park need permission from the authority. Only certified Nature Tourist guides from the local community are allowed to operate in the Park. 8. Bringing animal/pet or exotic plant into the Park is an offence. Note : Need all visitors‟ cooperation to the Penang National Park to follow the above regulations to maintain the natural habitat and to become an attractive ecotourism destination.

Appendix V Department of Wildlife and National Parks Penang a) Enforcement of Wildlife Protection Act 76/72 Issuance of commercial, hunting, trapping and import/export licenses. Patrolling to control the hunting and smuggling of wildlife. Conduct inspection on wildlife business premises and private residence. Prosecute and compound offences committed under the Wildlife Protection Act No. 76/1972 b) Wildlife Management Investigate and provide assistance to public where wildlife disturbances occur Monitoring of wildlife population and mitigating wildlife disturbances in problem areas c) Conservation Education Create awareness on the importance of preserving and conserving the environment, particularly for wildlife. Extension programs and exhibitions for schools and members of the public Director Puan Misliah Mohd Basir Address Jabatan PERHILITAN Pulau Pinang Tingkat 40, Komplek Komtar 10200 Georgetown Pulau Pinang Tel: 04-261 3039 Fax: 04-261 0330 E-mail:

Appendix VI Tuesday June 7, 2005 Local parks and wildlife reserves in peril By HILARY CHIEW The management of the Endau-Rompin National Park is considering setting up a petting zoo as an added attraction for visitors. The plan is puzzling. Is the park short on nature appreciation programmes or is it just keen to provide a crowd-pleasing activity in the hope of increasing visitor numbers? The intention reflects the inability to convey the conservation message to the public and the lack of understanding of the role of a protected area (PA) – to conserve the natural ecosystem together with its flora and fauna. It also highlights the fact that while some PAs are making significant strides in the right direction, others are struggling to implement their basic objectives. An assessment of PAs by the World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia (WWF) found that several nature parks in the country are operating without management plans – the basic tool that spells out the policies and strategies for managing these wild places.

This leopard was injured after being caught in a poacher‟s snare in the Endau-Rompin National Park. The accessibility of protected areas makes the Only “a few” of the 18 PAs wildlife in them vulnerable to poachers. assessed were either finalising a management plan or about to develop one. Some existing plans require updating and revision while others rely on a business or protection plan which is incomplete or unsuitable. Although setting aside a piece of forest for conservation is the crucial first step, it must be followed up with financial commitment by the authorities. “It is more difficult to obtain allocation for developing management plans than for infrastructure development,” explained Surin Suksuwan, WWF senior scientific officer who headed the assessment team, at a two-day workshop that presented the preliminary results of the assessment. He suggested that the federal government,

which benefits from park entry fee collections, fund the development of management plans. The WWF assessed these terrestrial parks: Taman Negara, Endau-Rompin, Gunung Ledang, Tanjung Piai and Perlis State Park in the peninsula; Bako, Gunung Mulu, Gunung Gading, Kubha, Niah, Lambir Hills, Loagan Bunut, Similajau, Tanjung Datu and Batang Ai in Sarawak; and Kinabalu, Tawau Hills and the Crocker Range in Sabah. These come under five authorities: Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), Perlis Forestry Department, Johor State Parks Corporation, Sabah Parks and Sarawak Forestry Corporation. Respondents who were appointed by the respective park authorities answered 19 questions designed to evaluate the management effectiveness of the parks. These range from biological importance to socioeconomic values of the PAs to legal security and allocation of resources such as staffing, infrastructure construction and funding. Substantial focus was given to assessing the pressures and threats faced by the PAs.

These unusual and majestic limestone pinnacles are among the tourist attractions of Mulu Caves in Miri, Sarawak.

The methodology is based on a framework developed by the World Commission on Protected Areas for Nature and has been applied in Algeria, Bhutan, Cameroon, China, France, Gabon, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Swaziland. Assessment of PAs is deemed crucial as conservationists realise that while there are over 44,000 PAs worldwide covering an area the combined size of India and China, many exist in name only. Some have been seriously degraded while others face increasing pressure from poaching, logging, mining and alien species invasion. Staffing and funding to ensure full protection are also inadequate. Establishment of PAs is widely recognised as the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation and is one of the ways to achieve the 2010 goal of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss called by the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). Some ecosystems under-represented The CBD also called for conservation of at least 10% of each ecological region by 2010. Countries are encouraged to develop a PA network that is representative of their diversity. As the primary agency tasked with ensuring that Malaysia puts in measures to fulfil its CBD commitments, Perhilitan is concerned that Malaysia still has a long way to go. Its protected area division director Sahir Othman said Malaysia has achieved 6% of the collective global target.

“Certain ecosystems are under-represented in our PA system. We still lack representation in the realms of freshwater, coastal ecology and marine,” said Sahir, highlighting the reluctance of state governments to enact parks under the Perhilitan-sponsored National Park Acts 1980. He identified these ecosystems to be the south-east Pahang peatswamp forest, alluvial swamps of Sedili Kecil in Johor, the Terengganu limestone hills and the coastal dipterocarp forest of Dinding and Segari in Perak. WWF‟s Suksuwan added montane ecosystem to the list. He pointed out that except for Gunung Tahan, the whole of the main range is left out of the PA system. The highest peak in the peninsula is part of the tri-state park Taman Negara which is The Perlis State Park protects rare managed by Perhilitan. Although Perhilitan limestone formations. protects 751,413ha of forested lands through its 40 wildlife reserves and two national parks (Taman Negara and the Penang National Park), the coverage is still insufficient. It is only a mere 8.5% of peninsula forests, compared with the 78% controlled by the Forestry Department. While Forestry Department officials present at the workshop argued that Virgin Jungle Reserves (VJRs) should be included in the country‟s PA coverage, Sahir said VJRs lack vital information on boundary, location, size and conservation status. The Forestry Department also said that the 23,002ha spread out in 87 VJRs and representing five forest types – mangrove, heath, peatswamp as well as lowland and hill dipterocarp forests – are essentially a bastion of conservation. However, as VJRs come under the department‟s “protected forest” category which is still subjected to degazettement, conservationists are wary of their protected status. Borneo shines In comparison, Sabah and Sarawak have done a fairly decent job of protecting their natural reserves. Sabah Parks manages six parks that represent most major habitats in the state. Sound management with a strong research tradition has put it in a far better financial position than its counterparts in the peninsula. For instance, revenue from visitor fees is around RM10mil a year.

To date, more than 300 major research projects have been completed and the findings published in scientific journals, both locally and internationally. Sarawak is also making strides in putting more forested areas into its PA network. It will be the first state to have a terrestrial trans-boundary park when the Lanjak-Entimau Transboundary Park is established with Indonesia. Rahimatsah Amat, the former director of Perlis State Park, said PA authorities must develop scientific research programmes and subsequently prioritise their conservation efforts. “For the first five years, it is all right to do baseline research but subsequent research should be more intense,” she said. Land conversion, logging and hunting – either legal or illegal – are the major problems facing PAs in the country. Encroachment by licensed loggers into park areas is a common occurrence. Encroachment happens as PAs boundaries are either not properly demarcated or the accessibility of the parks makes them vulnerable to poachers. Recreational activities that inculcate nature appreciation, such as trekking, should be developed to draw visitors instead of unsuitable activities like fish-feeding.

The Upeh Guling waterfalls in the Endau Rompin National Park. - Photo by ANDREW SIA

Illegal hunting is more rampant in PAs where native communities are prohibited to hunt. Suksuwan pointed out that such conflicts with local communities were less apparent in Sarawak where indigenous rights to sustainable use of forest resources are upheld. In Sarawak, poaching by outsiders for pure commercial purposes has been controlled via the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 that bans all trade in wildlife. Tourism also poses considerable pressure to national parks. In the Mulu National Park, for instance, visitors have stuffed spent batteries into crevices in caves.

Appendix VII An email sent to the MNS group in March 2005 concerning the Penang National Park Draft Plan.

Dear Nature Lovers, I am sending this email to you to let you know that the Penang National Park draft management plan is ready for public scrutiny. The URL was published in the STAR on 16 March 2005 and they expected the public to finish reading the 2 volumes of 250++ pages each (total about 550 pages!) and to submit feedback before 21 March, 2005! Well, this could only meant one thing - that they are rushing through the plan where several developments will be detrimental to the environment. Whatever the motive, let us do our part to submit feedback to them all for the love of MOTHER NATURE! Please login to this website. However, please be patient as login in to the slow server will be a problem - perhaps that is another motive? The following concerned points were noted from my readingA) Building of an access road from Teluk Bahang to Pantai Kerachut. B) Building new wilderness trails while some other wilderness trails will be closed! (Ironical isn't it?) C) Building "hardened" trails to replace the "natural" trail (ironically the project had started even before the draft plan has been approved?) My comments: A). On building road. Benefit given – improved access for less mobile, lower service costs, reduced time for emergency response. Comment – 1. Road kill. Divided lands restrict animals‟ movement. A research done showed that an area divided will affect the growth of animals' population. 2. Less mobile tourists can use the sea to reach Pantai Kerachut. Is it necessary to cater for this group but detriment the already fragile and small park? 3. Response to emergency can be done by using radio communication (Refer Appendix C page 7) 4. Emergency evacuation can be done by sea. For example at Gunung Tahan which is so remote and dangerously vulnerable to accident and 3 days walk to Kuala Tahan still do not need any access road. Pantai Kerachut is only 45 minutes walk to Tlk Bahang 5. Access road will over develop Pantai Kerachut which is also a turtle hatchery (which do not need many tourists) and would not sustain the already smallest NP in the world. 6. Access road will pollute the streams that feed the fragile meromictic lake and Sg Tukun. While there is a "…need to minimize swimming pools on

streams…constraining the movement of aquatic species" at Sg Tukun (Pg 144 Last para, Draft plan) This access road at the head stream will affect the aquatic species. It should be noted that "These streams are all short, and relatively steep" (Pg19 para 1, Draft plan) 7. Environment friendly transport can only meant battery operated transport. Can a battery operated transport have the horsepower to climb hill. What will be the maintenance cost for such vehicle? Or can it be maintenance locally? 8. Talk about limiting access and closure (Pg 177, Draft plan) is unnecessary if easy access by road is none. Let nature "apply the limit" rather than the unpopular regulation of "limited access". Limiting access by enforcement also involved costs. 9. A win-win situation to the fishermen - don't build access road so that fishermen can be boatmen to ferry tourist to Pantai Kerachut. (Pg 52 Para 4, Draft plan) 10. "…immediate concern is to sustain the nesting sites for marine turtles in the park" (Pg 50 Para 1, Draft plan). Access road brings more intrusion and create enforcement costs. B) On building new wilderness trail Comments – 1. Built new wilderness trail to Bkt Telaga Batu viewpoint when closure of remote trails were encouraged! (Ironical?) 2. New wilderness trail will affect the carrying capacity and more stress to the animals as the park is very SMALL. 3. A community of shy Spiny Turtles used the shallow “well" at the peak to cool themselves. The development of the new trail and the view point will destroy this habitat as there are no alternative water source at the peak. Please help save the spiny turtles.

Thank you for your time. Remember to read the draft and send your feedback to the email address shown in the website before 21 March 2005 (send them by 20 Mac) If you love nature, if you love Penang - this is the time to do your bit.... Regards, Forest Ang

Appendix VIII Email sent to Wildlife Department on Comment on Draft Management Plan of Penang National Park From: Forest Ang <> Reply-To: Forest Ang <> To:,,, Date: Mar 20, 2005 6:54 PM Subject: Comment on Draft Mgmt Plan of Pg Natioal Park Hi, I am Forest Ang, the one who has came out with the website on the dirtiest national park at I am sure many people were not happy with the website but then again there are many more who think such 'dirty' scenarios shouldn't have happened in a national park at all. Alot of the damages were done by the contractors and tour operators. They should be penalized for burning and dirtying the park. I am happy that a mangrove walkway will be built at Pantai Acheh. I only hope that it will be built with concrete rather than wood. Please refer to Kuala Selangor Nature Park's walkway. I think the present one is probably the 3rd generation where wooden walkway eventually collapsed and posed hazard to users. So please use concrete in building the walkway. I am also happy with the canopy walkway but I would prefer the money be spent on other urgent matter, like patrolling the park. Three main concerned about the Draft were:– 1. Developing access road from Teluk Bahang to Pantai Kerachut 2. Developing new wilderness trails which are unnecessary 3. Developing "hardened" trails over the "natural" trails 1. Developing access road from Teluk Bahang to Pantai Kerachut My comments – i) Road kill. Divided lands restrict animals‟ movement. Research done showed that an area divided will affect the growth of animals' population. With the road, wildlife population will be expected to dwindle or diminish. ii) It is not necessary to build road for less mobile tourists as they can use the sea to reach Pantai Kerachut. This is a small park and by building a road many flora and fauna will disappear. ii) With modern telecommunication, emergency response can be done by sea. The marine police and 911 have such facilities for emergency.

iv) Gunung Tahan which is so remote and dangerously vulnerable to accident is THREE days walk to the nearest civilization (Kuala Tahan) butl do not need any access road. Here, Pantai Kerachut is only 45 minutes walk to Tlk Bahang. v) Access road will bring in many more tourists and eventually Pantai Kerachut will be over developed. This will affect the turtle hatchery and eventually killing the goose that lays the golden egg. vi) An access road will cut through the hill where two streams, one feeding the fragile meromictic lake and the other Sg Tukun. While in Sg Tukun there is a "…need to minimize swimming pools on streams…constraining the movement of aquatic species" at Sg Tukun (Pg 144 Last para) Can access road guarantee that the head stream will not affect the aquatic species?? It should be noted that "These streams are all short, and relatively steep" (Pg19 para 1) vii) No access road will be a better alternative where nature will "apply the limit" rather than the would be unpopular regulation of "limited access" Limiting access by enforcement also involved costs. viii) A win-win situation to the fishermen - don't build access road so that fishermen can be boatmen to ferry tourist to Pantai Kerachut. (Pg 52 Para 4) 2. Developing new wilderness trails which are unnecessary & view point at Bkt Telaga Batu My comments:i) It is better to follow existing wilderness trail to Bkt Telaga Batu rather than have new trail which will caused more damages to the steep terrain from Teluk Duyung to Bkt Telaga Batu. ii) New wilderness trail will affect the carrying capacity and more stress to the animals as the park is very SMALL. iii) A community of shy Spiny Turtles used the "well" at the peak to cool themselves (Ang, 2005). The development of the new trail and the view point will destroy this habitat as there are no alternative water source at the peak.

3. Developing "hardened" trails over the "natural" trails My comments:i) 'Hardened' trails over extensive area will give stress to animals. ii) 'Hardened' trails would mean the wooden structures (which are being built now) which will be a wastage of fund and they need regular maintenance. Please check the Tmn Negara Kuala Tahan's wooden structure to Bkt Teresek to see the wastage. iii) All trekking tourists prefer natural trails. Please do a survey and you will know. Other suggestions:

i) In Singapore where nature parks are limited, there are many volunteer organisations helping the authority to keep watch of the park. Perhaps there should be one for PNP. ii) All contractors doing work should be 'watched' over their shoulders. All rules should be applied to the contractors too. If not enough staff then call for volunteers. Tour operators should also be given warning. There are many more smaller issues but i think the 3 main issues should be addressed (through the reasons given) and hence all other minor issues will be minimized. Thank you so much for reading In Nature One Must be Humble One for Nature forest ang Replies by the Wildlife Department Reply Forward Invite More options 3/21/05

tnpp to me Hi Sir,

Thank you for your thoughts and feedback. We will take your opinion into considerations. Best Regards, Management PNP

Reply Forward Invite to Gmail hutan to me Many thanks for your contribution. MEC ----- Original Message ----From: "Forest Ang" <> To: <>; <>; <>; <> Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2005 6:54 PM Subject: Comment on Draft Mgmt Plan of Pg Natioal Park More options 3/23/05

Appendix IX Map of Penang National Park. Source : PNP Draft Plan

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