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Part Of Tembat Forest Reserve In Terengganu Will Be Gazetted For Rafflesias

Part Of Tembat Forest Reserve In Terengganu Will Be Gazetted For Rafflesias

After Rafflesias were found in 2019, the Tembat Forest Reserve is now being gazetted to protect its habitat from harmful human activities.

Melissa Suraya Ismail

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The Terengganu Forestry Department (JPNT) will gazette part of the Tembat Forest Reserve, in Jenagor, in an effort to preserve the natural habitat of the Rafflesia flower or Pakma, as the locals call it.

The area is closed off at the moment to safeguard the area.
(Credit: Mohd Khairul Fikiri Osman / Bernama)

As reported by Bernama, Roslan Rani, the director of the JPNT, said that for this purpose, the department would submit the related papers in the near future to the state government.

If everything goes smoothly, the move to gazette the area will be implemented this year in accordance with Section 10 (1) of the National Forestry Act 1984.

This is to ensure the sustainability of the habitat and ecosystem of this special Pakma flower.

Roslan Nani

The flowers were actually found in the Tembat Forest Reserve in 2019. Since then, it has proliferated a lot there with the right host conditions suitable for the parasitic flower.

Normally found in Sabah and Sarawak, many nature lovers come from near and far to look at the Rafflesias in Terengganu.

However, visitors are reminded to not touch the sensitive flower as the plant may die because of it. They are also reminded to not come too close to the flowers in big groups as they can damage the roots.

West Terengganu District Forest Officer, Mohd Shahril Nizam Mat Ali (left) and Forest Ranger, Mat Shafie Omar (right) were seen measuring the flower found in the Tembat Forest Reserve, Jenangor, Kuala Berang.
(Credit: Mohd Khairul Fikiri Osman / Bernama)

According to Roslan, the type of Rafflesia that is found in the Tembat Forest is from the Cantleyi species, which is the largest, most beautiful and rare one.

Additionally, visitors who want to visit this Pakma flower in the Tembat Forest have to apply for a special permit from the Hulu Terengganu district officer. If they fail, they could be charged with trespassing.

(Credit: Mohd Khairul Fikiri Osman / Bernama)

Pakma Flower Fun Facts

While we’re on it, let’s get to know some facts about the largest flower in the world.

  • Did you know that Rafflesia takes years to grow but blooms for only a maximum of a week?
  • Rafflesias are not always found on the ground, they can grow on the host’s roots or stem even while hanging a few metres up in the air.
  • The Rafflesia featured on our RM10 banknote is the Rafflesia Azlanii species. It is indigenous to Peninsular Malaysia and was first discovered in the Royal Belum Forest Reserve of the state of Perak in 2003.
  • Even though it’s a parasitic flower, Rafflesias are very sensitive to human touch. The bacteria on our hands may cause the flower to wilt and die.
  • The Rafflesia flower was named when Joseph Arnold, a British explorer, found it in 1818 after his Malay servant pointed it to him in Sumatra. And so it was named the Rafflesia, after Sir Stamford Raffles, their leader.

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