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Introduction and history

The Crocker Range National Park (CRNP) is situated in the Crocker Range, Sabah. Crocker Range was designated to be a forest reserve in 1968. CRNP was then established in 1984 to protect the water catchments area that is supplying clean drinking water to the West Coast and the interior of Sabah. It was then renamed to Taman Banjaran Crocker (Crocker Range Park) in 1996 and managed by the Sabah Parks. Additionally the rising concern to protect its rich biodiversity and rare species of flora and fauna inhabiting these forest areas had been the prime mover in the initiative to gazette it as a National Park. The Park is surrounded by numerous settlements of the Kadazandusun and Murut communities harbouring moderately fast growing population practicing mainly shifting agriculture.


The CRNP is situated in the world’s third largest island, Borneo, in the state of Sabah of Malaysia. The Crocker Range divides the western coastal plains from the rest of Sabah on the south of the great Mount Kinabalu (the tallest mountain in Malaysia). Lying more than 300 metres above sea level, it spreads over 139,919 hectares of densely forested terrain. The spine of Sabah is the nickname given to the Crocker Range. Lying north-east and South-we sternly, this range divides Sabah into two, the western and interior eastern parks. It stretches from south of Kundasang in the north to Tenom in the south.

Located in the park is the Padas River, which bisects the range between Beaufort and Tenom on its journey southwest. It is impassable to boats due to the boulders strewn along the swift flowing Padas Gorge hence making this place the best white water rafting sport in Island of Borneo. However, human ingenuity led to the construction of a railway alongside the scenic gorge. Roads crossing the range have also made the interior more accessible from the coastal areas making it possible for visitors to enjoy the serene tranquility in the rugged mountains.


CRNP receives a rainfall of 3,000-4,000 mm per year, making it one of the highest precipitation areas in Sabah. The water catchments in the park provides an indispensable water source for drinking, agriculture and industrial purposes, and to sustain the daily needs of more than one third of the population of Sabah.

The ecological significance of Borneo is recognize and listed in ‘Global 200’ by WWF, ‘Endemic Bird Area’ by Birdlife International, and ‘Hotspots’ by Conservation International. Borneo is viewed as one of earth’s mega-biodiversity areas.


At present, Sabah Parks’ estimates more than 500 people live within CRP’s boundaries and over 3,000ha of land are still used for agriculture. The communities or scattered households inside and along the park’s boundaries, whether they moved in before or after the gazatting of the park, are relatively poorer and have less access to the commercial and social services available in most rural communities in the plain area. The CRNP faces many treats including shifting cultivation, uncontrolled hunting, the introduction of exotic fisher, and forest fires. The management of CRNP cannot be easily improved via the existing approaches or by simply applying the laws listed in the park Enactment. The law itself doest not allow any residence or human activities inside a park except those authorized by Sabah Parks.


CRNP has had very few visitors, because of the absence of spectacular scenery as in Kinabalu Park and the possibility of easily spotting large animals as in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. CRNP’s beauty, importance and its contribution to the public have not been well appreciated. Its conservation has not been promoted, and fundraising for its management to a sustainable level is limited. As a result, the development of facilities for educational and outdoor recreation remains insufficient.


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