IMBAK CANYON CONSERVATION AREA
A Hidden Valley
Situated on the North-East of Maliau Basin and North-West of Danum Valley, Imbak Canyon is an approximately 25km long valley squeeze between the long ridge mountain along its North & Southern flank. Most of the areas remain scientifically unexplored. Flowing through this narrow valley is a tea-colored river caused by tannin leaching out from the falling leaves and has almost natural pH.
Imbak Canyon Conservation Area is interesting in term of landscape variation and conservation potential. It shelters species that are endemic although they may be found in other parts of Borneo. Two new species of Dipterocarp has been described in Imbak Canyon, one is from Dipterocarpaceae family, the Dipterocarp Megacarpus and another one is Rubiaceae family, the Ceriscoides imbakensis. Potential for more discovery of more species is not impossible.
Imbak Canyon is also marked as a place to see winged beasts. Endowed with an abundance of unspoiled nature reserves and thousands of living symbiosis, at least 202 species of birds have been recorded so far. These include five Bornean endemics: the Blue-headed Pitta, White-crowned Sharma, Black-throated Wren-Babbler, Bornean Blue Flycatcher, Bornean Bristlehead and Helmeted Hornbill which are internationally near-threatened according to IUCN's Red Data Book.
Why imbak canyon is important?
It is one of the last remaining substantial areas of unlogged lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah.
It is the origin of the Imbak River, one of the headwaters of the Kinabatangan, Sabah's most important waterway. Conservation of a unique and rare area like the Imbak Canyon upstream has significant co-relation to programmes such as the World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia's 27,000 ha "Gift to The Earth" Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary downstream, which was pledged by the State Government in September 1999.
It plays an important role as a wildlife corridor connecting Danum Valley and Maliau Basin Conservation Area for major mammals like Bornean pygmy elephant, Orang-utan, Tembadau, Bearded pig and Clouded leopard.
It also plays a crucial role as a seed source or gene bank for facilitating forest rehabilitation and restoration.
Its geographical position and its pristine state make it an ideal site for research into the non-destructive use of undisturbed forest, including carbon sequestration and bio-prospecting, as well as of non-timber forest products and water catchment management studies.
flora & fauna DIVERSITY
ICCA has rich plant biodiversity with over 600 species recorded to date, making the area potentially important as a source of undiscovered plant-based medicine. It is also serves as a refuge for wildlife in the upper Kinabatangan area and in the widlife corridor linking Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon for major mammals like the Bornean pygmy elephants, Orang-utan, Banteng, Sambar deer and Bornean clouded leopard.
outstanding area of wild natural beauty
The Imbak Canyon is an approximately 25-km long self-contained, narrow and flat-bottomed valley, hemmed in on three sides by sandstone ridges. The Canyon itself, in the north, contains the pristine valley of lowland forest surrounded by steep sandstone ridges, rising to about 1000m above sea level while the southern part consists of more broken, mountainous terrain, rising to the highest peak, Gunung Kuli, at 1,527 m above sea level, and also includes the small limestone outcrop of Batu Timbang, containing caves and cave swiftlets. The shape and location of the valley makes Imbak Canyon an important water catchment area for the Kinabatangan River, the longest river in Sabah and its river system.