Sarawak discovers 12 new wildlife species!

Sarawak recently discovered 12 new wild life species at the Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary and Batang Ai National Park.

Among one of the newly discovered species were Begonia jamilahanuiana, named after the chief minister’s wife Puan Sri Jamilah Anu.

Besides Begonia jamilahanuiana, the other newly discovered species includes one species of wild orchid, one species of ginger, one species of Marantaceae and eight other species of begonia.

The wild orchid, Marantaceae and ginger were discovered at Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, but it was said to could also be found in Batang Ai National Park as both the forest of Lanjak-Entimau and Batang Ai are contiguous.

Meanwhile five out of the nine species of begonia were found at Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, two more at Batang Ai National Park and another two including Begonia jamilahanuiana could be discovered at both sites.

The 12 wildlife species were discovered after a short period of survey by a joint survey team comprising scientists from Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) and the Singapore Botanical Gardens under the Research for Intensified Management of Bio-Rich Areas (RIMBA) Sarawak project.

The project was launched in August last year by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

With the finding of 12 new wildlife species, it was mentioned that more species could be discovered given additional time and wider coverage of the area.

Wild orchids and begonia are protected under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance, 1998. Orchids, Marantaceae and begonias have been widely used as ornamental plants in a number of countries. However, the potential of Marantaceae and begonia as ornamental plants in Malaysia have not been widely explored.

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