Kinabalu Park Under Threat

Sabah Parks in battle against killer invasive alien species.

Science fiction? Not quite. The flora and fauna in Kinabalu Park is indeed under threat from a species of flower foreign to Sabah. It is alien to Mount Kinabalu, is aggressive and has not natural enemy among the exotic flora of Kinabalu Park. This flower is the Dandelion.

Has Dandelion done any harm
Yes. Take the case of Kinabalu Butter Cup, a beautiful yellow flower native to Mount Kinabalu. It is seldom seen where there are concentrations of Dandelion, and where Dandelion proliferate, there are no Kinabalu Butter Cup.

Orange Raspberry plants are also dying wherever it is surrounded by Dandelion. Where there used to be plenty of Orange Raspberry plants, they are getting less and less. The cause for concern is the extinction of flowers native to Mount Kinabalu, and its effect on the eco food-chain.

The Dandelion was first observed in 1998 in Panar Laban, and has since spread to Mesilau and Layang Layang. it is likely to have found its way to Mount Kinabalu by climbers who unintentionally brought the seeds over in their boots or backpacks.

Dandelion Eradication Project
A three day joint Dandelion eradication project was carried out on 15th to 17th May 2009. This project involved the Park Rangers, Sabah Herb Growers Association, staff from the State Library, Sutera Sanctuary Lodges and Malaysian Navy personnel. After 3 days of efforts, 300kg of Dandelion was successfully removed from Mount Kinabalu.

The Park is unsure if this invasive flower has displaced any local flora. To conserve the value of the park, and to protect the local flora, efforts continue to reduce and control the spread of Dandelion.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, June 21st, 2009 at 4:16 am and is filed under Nature. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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