Juvenile fish dominate the catch in 4 main rivers that traverse Tanjung Piai, but there are also adults of some commercially valuable species such as the Sea Bass Lates calcarifer; Snappers Lutjanus argentimaculatus and L. johni; Threadfins Polynemus indicus and Eleutheronema tetradactylum; Tarpon Megalops cyprinoides; White Pomphret Pampus argenteus and Head Grunter Pomadasys hasta. Other common fish species include the Catfish Arius spp., Catfish Eel Plotosusspp., Mullets Liza spp. and Jewfish/sciaenids. The most abundant fish were the Clupeids (Anodontostoma chacunda and Ilisha megaloptera), Ambassids, Engraulids (Stolephorus and Thryssa; Anchovies) and Leiognatids. These are not co mmercially valuable fish, but serve as food for large carnivores such as Sea Basses and Snappers (DANCED Project Document No. 9, 1999). The presence of many species of fish and prawns provides excellent information both on the importance of Tanjung Piai and feeding and nursery grounds for marine life in the Straits of Melaka. The harvest of fish and prawns in the estuary is not significant, however, the small estuaries is a storehouse of juvenile fish and penaeid prawns, which migrate to inshore, and offshore waters and provide for the existence of fisheries.
In Tanjung Piai, the wetlands support many threatened and vulnerable species, which are listed in tables of the report (Wetlands International 2001). To summarize, 3 wetland-dependent birds are near threatened (Mangrove Pitta, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Mangrove Whistler) and 2 primates (Long-tailed Macaque, Pig-tailed Macaque) whereas the Scaly Anteater; Common Porcupine; Smooth Otter and Bearded Pig are either classified as vulnerable or near threatened. From this information and perspective Tanjung Piai Mangroves should be considered internationally important wetlands. Long-tailed Macaque is a near threatened species and the Pig- tailed Macaque is listed as Vulnerable (IUCN 2000). The Lesser Adjuntant Leptoptilos javanicus, a threatened species of stork was observed in the vicinity of Tanjung Piai and areas stretching towards the West Coast of the Johor. Over 50 individuals were recorded (DANCED Project Document 4 (1998), and this is significant as it represents more than 1% of the estimated world population.
Pulau Kukup is unique example of an intact mangrove island which is a rarity in Malaysia. In South-east Asia, mangrove islands have disappeared more frequently in the name of development as compared to coastal or riverine mangroves. Globally under the Ramsar Lists mangrove ecosystem is asmuch poorly represented (only 4 Ramsar Listed mangroves sites occur in Asia).
In Malaysia, it has been observed that mangrove islands are threatened ecological community. More efforts are required to encourage protection of such fragile ecosystem and where appropriate given international recognition since such ecosystems are very few and far between nationally and regionally. In addition, Pulau Kukup wetlands support some globally relevant species such as the Flying Fox (Pteropus vampyrus) which is listed in Appendix II under CITES; Smooth Otter (Lutraperspicillata) which is listed as Vulnerable under the IUCN Red Data List and listed in Appendix II under CITES; Bearded Pig (Sus barbatus) which is listed as Near-threatened under IUCN Red Data List; Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) which is listed as Vulnerable under IUCN Red List and listed in Appendix II under CITES; Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus) stork which is listed as Vulnerable under the IUCN Red List Data and in the World List of Threatened Birds.
The Pulau Kukup mangrove forest is home to about 18 ‘true’ mangrove plant species which represents a very rich species diversity if compared to other far larger mangrove areas in Peninsular Malaysia. Larut Matang Mangroves for example, occupying an area of 40,000 over hectares has only 21 true mangrove species. Given the smaller size of Pulau Kukup (647.2 ha) it great contributes to the biological diversity of the region. Mangroves comprise a very special flora of species adapted to the hostile marine conditions. Only relatively small plant species number.
is able to grow under these harsh conditions. The Lesser Adjutant population has been constantly sighted feeding in the mudflats off Kukup Island. Unofficial reports have indicated there is breeding colony within the islands’ forest. Recent surveys (1999) have shown consistent numbers of waders and shorebirds birds within the vicinity which may represent 20% of the Peninsular Malaysia’s population. The fact that it is a sanctuary for the globally vulnerable Lesser Adjutant (with possible breeding colony) makes it an area of globallyrelevant conservation concern. Pulau Kukup has been identified as one of the many Important Bird Area (IBA) for Malaysia, namely as a stop-over for migratory birds coming from North Asia and Russia.
Visitors can do lots of activities in here such as enjoying the beauty of nature scenery through long informatics boardwalks, bring along the binoculars to observes and take a closer look on birds and marine species waders on rich intertidal mudflat seeking food. Take a short journey on small boat, stream down a river in between mangrove trees and you might see lazy water monitor lizard resting on the tree, climbing crabs, sea snails and many more.
Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness (CEPA) Program was actively conducted by Ramsar Department of Johor National Parks Corporation (JNPC) since 2003. The main objectives is to promote awareness and education about wetlands and their significant importance to all public.
Most targeted group was school students, college and university. The program is under JNPC’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, the feedback was very positive and often being demanded by school teachers and other related agencies throughout the year.
Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) is an initiative taken by government agencies, Malaysia Marine Department, Marine Institute of Malaysia and Johor National Parks Corporation. To firmly protect the sea waterways area of Pulau Kukup and Tanjung Piai.
The proposal was first presented at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 68th Session in March 2015.
As part of the framework cooperation agreement between International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) to prevent pollution from shipping activities through the adoption of PSSA’s within the East Asian region.
Each site has its own attractions and unique characteristics. A perfect location to catch photos, moment, landmarks and many more interesting spot that will never be the same like elsewhere.