Gunung Stong State Park
The Little Known Gem
GSSP is surrounded by the Basor Forest Reserve, Gunung Stong Utara Forest Reserve, Gunung Stong Selatan Forest Reserve, Balah Forest Reserve and Berangkat Forest Reserve. These blocks of forests are extensions of the Titiwangsa Range that, at this point, straddles the borders of Kelantan and Perak. They provide buffers and connectivity for GSSP to the larger forest block of the Main Range. GSSP is managed by the Kelantan State Forestry Department.
The vegetation type of the GSSP area is mainly hill dipterocarp forest at elevations between 300m asl (above sea level) and 750m asl. At higher elevations and mountain peaks of between 1,200m and 1,500m, the predominant vegetation types are upper dipterocarp forest and oak-laurel forest. The forests at the lower elevation at GSSP are logged-over but, due to restriction against logging above the 1,000m-level, most of the highland forest above that altitude is still intact. Very little, if any, remains of the primary lowland dipterocarp forest at elevations below 300m asl. In the lowland areas, there are extensive areas of scrubland dominated by pioneer plants such as mahang (Macaranga spp.), perah (Elateriospermum tapos), bamboos and gingers. Of particular interest is the sub-montane swamp forest located in the southern part of GSSP. Endemic plants found within the GSSP include Licuala stongensis (fan palm) and Holttumochloa pubescens (a rare bamboo), found only on Gunung Stong.
The Stong area is also important for flood mitigation and as a water catchment area of two major tributaries of Sungai Kelantan, namely Sungai Pergau and Sungai Galas.
Among the major issues for GSSP are negative impacts from poorly regulated tourism, fragmentation of the park by the Jelawang-Gua Musang Road, human-wildlife conflict and encroachment along the fringes of the park.
WWF-Malaysia was involved the gazettement process of GSSP and has continued its efforts with the development of a preliminary management plan for State Park in 2009. The preliminary management plan contains information on biodiversity, tourism, as well as the physical and socio-economic setting of GSSP. It also contains 32 management recommendations for GSSP that looks intothe protected area legislation, law enforcement, zonation of GSSP and carrying capacity to name a few.
As current activities for GSSP falls under the broad-based strategy of improving management effectiveness of existing protected areas WWF-Malaysia provides support in the implementation of the management plan and also in assisting the managing authority to increase the park’s management effectiveness. Assessment of the park is conducted once every two years using the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT). The application of this tool allows assessing the effectiveness of the park management towards the fulfilment of its management objectives.
• Kelantan State Forestry Department
• Department of Wildlife and National Park Kelantan
• Dabong and Gua Musang District and Land Offices
• Tour operators