Friday, November 13, 2009

Something for my neighbours (2)

Kuala Selangor Nature Park


View from the Main Hide across the brackish lakes

Kuala Selangor lies just 75 kilometres north-west of Kuala Lumpur, near the mouth of the Selangor River. In addition to it’s small-town charms there are many nearby attractions to suit the nature lover, including the Kuala Selangor Nature Park and the colonies of fireflies living along tributaries of the Selangor River.

Kuala Selangor

The Kuala Selangor Nature Park is managed by the Malaysian Nature Society, under a co-operative arrangement with the Selangor State Government. This coastal area was once dominated by mangroves, but since the construction of coastal bunds it now comprises a strip of remnant mangrove forests, mainly Avicennia sp., behind which are brackish lakes and ponds and a large area of secondary forest. In many respects the ecological history of the area is similar to Singapore’s own Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Thus, familiar vertebrates such as mud skippers, mud lobsters and the Malayan Water Monitor can be seen from the bund and the mangrove boardwalks.

The endangered Milky Stork Mycteria cinerea -

During the migration season, between September and March, the lakes and ponds teem with shorebirds such as plovers, Greenshank, Redshank and various species of sandpiper travelling the migration route of the East-Asian Flyway. These very same birds may well stop at Sungei Buloh for a final meal of worms and molluscs before heading south to winter in the warmth of Australia.

One bird deserves a special mention – the Milky Stork. In conjunction with Zoo Negara, an active breeding program of this globally endangered species - less than 100 specimens are thought to exist - is being conducted in a specially constructed aviary next to the main lake. Visitors are not allowed inside the aviary, however the birds can clearly be seen nesting in the enclosure. It is hoped, upon release, these captive-bred storks will choose to make Kuala Selangor their permanent home.

Kuala Selangor Nature Park has over 200-hectares of immature secondary forest. Easy walks are possible along the well worn trails; where the sun streams through breaks in the canopy keep an eye open for lizards and skinks warming themselves, especially the Common Sun Skink. Familiar forest birds such as Woodpeckers, Bulbuls, Sunbirds and Malkohas can also be seen.

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