Friday, July 2, 2010

Tanjung Piai National Park

Field trip to Tanjung Piai National Park

13th April 2010
Today we will bid good bye to Kota Tingi in order for us to move on to Kukup. Since we are in Johor State, taking the chance to introduce Tanjung Piai the southern tip of Asia to my friends. No doubt both of this town is in Johor state, but Kota Tingi is in the east where else Kukup is in the west. According to my GPS the journey should takes about 2 hrs, unfortunately GPS could not process with a parameter called “traffic Jam”.

The co-ordinate of N01o 19 569 E 103o 26 612 from Kota Tingi will need us to pass through Johor Bahru a big township in Johor state. As today is Tuesday normal working day, we seem to be joining the crowds of office workers battling traffic jam.
***sigh*** oooh no this seems to remind me of my daily journey to office back in KL.

With a friend recommendation it might be an interest of us to stop at Gunung Pulai, Kulai. Since is on the way, out of curiosity we discovered that this place is frequent by picnickers during the weekends and public holidays. We reached Kukup, Kampung Air Masin about noon. Kampung Air Masin is a fishing village in the district of Pontian Johor, This small fishing village is a popular spots for tourist particularly Singaporean and Indonesian on weekends and public holiday. There is a ferry terminal with regular ferry service connect to Tanjung Balai and some parts of Riau Island. Weekends Singaporean will flocks in by chartered ferry. Tourist attraction here would be seafood, boat trips to fishing trap build on stilts. If possible tourist would also make a trip to Tanjung Piai National Park for sunsets and have a memorial moments at the Southermost Tip of Asia.

For bird watching trip to Tanjung Piai would not be complete without visiting Kukup National Park. Kukup National Park, a mangrove island forest situated 1 km from Kg Air Masin, Kukup. It is approximately 647 hectares. Pulau Kukup was gazetted as Johor National Park on 27th March 1997. Till to date this small island remain uninhabited. Arrangement of boat service can be make at Kukup National Park Office, Kg Masin. In this field trip I was quite a disappointment to discovered that Kukup National Park is close for renovation until September. I still recalled during my previous visit in the year of 2004 the majestic moment of encountering Mangrove Whistler. Never could believe that such a melodious whistling calls could come from a plain olive looking bird. I still recalled the whistling melodious song from that Mangrove Whistler initially makes me think that it was originate from my birding mate.
Hei.. you whistle ? No it is not from me.. is a bird nearby …. Look just above ….

After we had our lunch at a famous Seafood restaurant, Kg Air Masin we head off to Tanjung Piai National Park. Tanjung Pia National Park, is at the southern tip of Mainland Asia. It is named after the fern called “Piai”. Tanjung Piai is a mangrove forest reserves in Johor. The GPS co-ordinate is N01°16 E 103°31.

This park is also managed by Johor state government - Johor National Parks Corporation (JNPC). Previously Tanjung Piai was part of Sg Pulai mangrove forest reserve. Tanjung Piai was approved by Johor State Government as a Johor National Park in 1997. It is open to the public in year 2002.
With the result of Ecological survey conducted by Wetlands International-Malaysia in 2001, on 31st Jan 2003 it was enlisted as part of Ramsar Site. Tanjung Piai National Park is home to about 20 ‘true’ mangrove plant species.

What is Ramsar Sites?
Ramsar is a named of a place in Iran. Ramsar sites is named after the place at Iran where the 1st convention gathering of representatives from 18 countries on 2nd Febuary 1971. Through this convention gathering the representatives came to agreement that wetlands of many kind such as lake, swamp land, mangrove forest existence has it own use to balance the world ecology system. Some wetlands such as swamp land which is non profitable would normally be overlook it’s significance. Changing their ecology will eventually disastrous to mankind. Many of natural disaster such as floods, tsunami, enormous fatalities could be avoided by not mismanage any of the natural existed wetlands of any kind.

Looking at the importance of wetlands, over the years Ramsar sites list continues to grow. Each sites is of internationally interest.
To be listed as Ramsar sites it has to met and fulfil the conditions and criteria that had being agreed upon in that convention.

Up to date there are 5 Ramsar sites in Malaysia (Tasik Bera, Pulau Kukup, Tg Piai, Sungai Pulai, Kuching Wetland National Park and Lower Kinabatangan, Segama Wetland). The uniqueness is 3 of Ramsar Sites are at Johor States. Pulau Kukup 647h, Tg Pia 526h, Sg Pulai 9,126h.
Tanjung Piai is a wetland consist of coastal mangroves and intertidal mudflats located at the southernmost tip of continental Asia. Besides being the home to about 20 ‘true’ mangrove plant species as well as 9 more mangrove-associated species in such a small area. Tanjung Piai is also in the East Asian Australasia flyway of birds migrations path.
A slow scroll on the boardwalk, one would discover the uniqueness of mangrove ecosystems. Mangrove forest beside act as protection against erosion, it is also home for many species of animals, fishes and moluska.
I wish to thank Mr Harban Singh the park manager of Tg Piai who is with great enthusiasm give us a talks on the importance of Ramsar Sites.

Tg Piai resort tel no 07-6960011 beside the Tg Piai National Park a privately own resort could be a choice if do not wish to stay at some homestay facilities offered at Kg Air Masin, Kukup or Kukup golf resort. Tg Piai Resort have restaurant facilities for those who prefer Halal food.

Non-Halal Food.
With the Tg Piai Park manager recommendation we have our dinner at Sin Chuan Heng N01°20 361 E 103°27 599. We have no regret. FYI this restaurant is only open for dinner.

EEEEEh an ignorant actions of mismanage waste disposal would pile up the sea bed with a lot of rubbish. The chain reaction is fish, crabs could not breed, this will lead to sea products that is one of our food source affected.
You can play an important role to save/preserve our Mangrove Forest by spreading the news about the importance of the Mangrove Forest

List of Birds saw and heard.
Sunda Pgymy woodpecker, Laced Woodpecker, Spotted Wood Owl, Common Redshank 100+ at about 6:15pm (low tide), Grey Heron, Little Heron, Common Iora, Black Naped Oriole, White Throated Fantail, Javan Myna, Yellow Vented Bulbul (1,000+ in the early part of the morning at Southern tip participating in group fly out to 1-2 km to the sea and back) Ashy tailorbird, Artic Warbler, Big Flocks of Red Jungle Fowl, White Collared Kingfisher.


wondersf said...

Where are the bird pictures?

terence said...

Tanjung Piai look great but I never been before. Great Blog and nice meeting you up at the workshop.

Wong Chor Mun said...

yar it is also nice time meeting up with you at the workshop. People of same interest flocks together.. :-)
Thanks for leaving your comments on my "slow update" blog.