Post-Monitoring of Relocated Nepenthes rafflesiana (Nepenthaceae)

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As part of the Big Paper Solution (BPS) initiative, they have engaged with DHI Water and Environment Sdn. Bhd. (DHI), Forestry Department (FD), Jabatan Alam Sekitar, Taman dan Rekreasi (JASTRe) and UBD-IBER to relocate the protected species of Nepenthes rafflesiana (Nepenthaceae) to Berakas Forest Reserve Recreational Park (Berakas FR). Following the completion of the relocation works in January 2020, UBD-IBER took over over the post-relocation monitoring with the help of Forestry Department and Friends of Belalong (FoB) volunteers to assess the survival of the relocated plants.

The post-relocation monitoring project started after 1 month (early March) of acclimatization phase to which the plants are allowed to adapt to its new environment before they are assess. About 94 individuals of N. rafflesiana are currently assessed where several measurements are taken to see if these individuals are adapting well to their new environment such as the height, number of aerial and terrestrial pitchers and to take note if there is any yellowing and browning of the different parts of the plants including stem, leaves and pitchers. The next monitoring sessions will be done in September 2020 and March 2021 (six month intervals).

N. rafflesiana was chosen as it is listed under CITES which indicates that this species is considered endangered due to increasing habitat lost from forest fire and degradation. Furthermore this plant tend to be popular in the market illegally due to its interesting carnivorous habit and unique pitcher. Interestingly within this single species, it has several varieties and forms with different morphologies in terms of its pitcher according to whether it is terrestrial or aerial (lower and upper pitcher). Locally, N. rafflesiana has been used to cook rice due to its shape and also the flavor it provides.

Text & photos by: UBD BRC