Profile on a threatened species

This delightful small fan palm (Max-burretia rupicola) is confined to three limestone hill tops, all within 40km (25m) of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of West Malaysia.

Although two of these hill tops are within the Tempter National Park, the palm is at risk on one oj them from fires lit by climbers reaching the summit;   its   total   world   population   is probably below 1,000.

The third area is the top of the Batu Caves Hill where it is threatened by quarrying.

The Batu Caves themselves are a major tourist attraction and a site of great importance to the Hindu religion. These limestone hilltops, rising as they do above the lowland rain forest of Malaya, are the relicts oj an ancient calcareous mantle and have an extremely varied flora with numerous orchids; many of the species are very local endemics and hence at great risk from habitat destruction.

This species is typical of many — not at present in immediate danger of total extinction but extremely rare and under threat over part of its range.

small fan palm Max-burretia rupicola

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