Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Illegal Gaharu Activities at Bukit Mertajam

Gaharu = Agarwood = Eaglewood = Karas = Aquilaria spp

Whatever name given, its resin is very valuable. People have kill to get this resin. Citizens from our northern neighbour have entered illegally into the jungles of Northern Peninsular Malaysia to harvest gaharu. On some of our exploring trips, we saw traces of chopped gaharu trees at Belum-Temengor Rainforest Complex and Muda Forest Reserves. Sadly, not much was seen being done by our law enforcement authorities to curb them. Maybe they were too near the border?

But not this gaharu in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

There were several gaharu trees seen in the area in mainland Penang. The exact position of the cut tree can be found at this GPS point (N5 22.369 E100 29.463).

The dead tree has just been cut less than a month. And maybe another 6 months, it will be ready for harvest. Somebody will be richer and our natural heritage will be poorer...perhaps this should be revenue for Penang State rather than illegal robbers.

Would any authority care about this illegal harvesting anymore? I doubt.

A huge gaharu tree, could be 50 ft in height could valued several thousands.

Size of the tree. Picture taken on 21 Jan 2009.

Black fungi seen on the dead wood. The darker the wood (caused by the fungi), the more value it will be.

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