KUALA LUMPUR: A total 567 plant species out of the 1,600 Peninsular Malaysia plant species assessed in the Malaysia Red List have been classified as threatened, said Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) director-general, Dr Khali Aziz Hamzah.

In a statement today he said the assessment is intended to determine species conservation priority.

He said FRIM is conducting scientifically based research and preservation efforts for effective conservation management.

“FRIM is also conducting research and population monitoring for selected threatened species to improve knowledge on distribution, reproductive biology and ecology.

“These threatened plant species include Dipterocarpaceae, Begonia spp. (asam batu) and Aquilaria spp. (karas),” Dr Khali said.

He said FRIM is also doing a phenology study to learn about flower and fruit development, as well as the factors affecting them.

“These study results are vital in making recommendations to forest managers and stakeholders to work out and plan effective conservations efforts.

“FRIM’s research results have helped with the establishment of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) by state forestry departments for the preservation of threatened species population in situ, as well as the development of species action plans,” said Dr Khali.

Since 2010, FRIM has also been collecting the seeds and seedlings of threatened species for conservation and to date has over 72 species in its collection.

He added that FRIM does ex situ research and conservation of threatened species, too. — Bernama