Pulau Kukup State Park (Ref: 1287) designated on 31st January 2003; 647 ha; 01°19′N 103°25′E. is a mangrove island located at about 1 km offshore from the south-western region of the state of Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. It is a small mangrove island (approximately 647.2 ha) surrounded by mudflats (about 800 ha). The island experienced extensive harvesting for mangrove wood back in the 80′, however, wood extracting operations from this island had ceased since August 1993. Regeneration of mangrove tree species has indeed taken place since then.
The natural resources of Pulau Kukup have never been studied in detail. As a result, these types of wetland habitats are under-represented and ignored in the list of wetland habitats of national importance. Pulau Kukup was officially gazetted as a State Park under the jurisdiction of the Johor State Park Corporation on 27 March 1997. The objective of turning this island into a state park was to promote preservation of this habitat in Peninsular Malaysia, as well to promote the eco-tourism sector and to provide research avenues.
The main reason of turning Pulau Kukup into a state park was for conservation purposes, the Johor State Park Corporation strongly believed that an ecological assessment of the whole island was needed as data on the natural resources of Pulau Kukup are very scarce. Wetlands International was commissioned by the Johor State Park Corporation to carry out a study on the ecological assessment of Pulau Kukup, Johor.
To be declared as Ramsar site, there are some criteria to be fulfilled:
Unique ecological wetland (Mangrove Island)
Consist endangered species – Leptoptilus javanicus (Lessear adjutant stork)
High biodiversity of mangrove species in small areas
IBA – Important bird areas
Wetland has a lot of values and benefits for the economic. It can contribute to the fisheries, water supply, aquaculture, wild life, resources, transport, recreation and tourism opportunities. Pulau Kukup also has the biodiversity attractions. It is containing 50% of the world true mangrove species. It is also home to 12 species of fauna and 76 species of birds. For its marine life, it has many species of fish, crabs and micro-benthic organism
Sources : johorparks.com.my