Vegetation near the summit of Mount Murud
|Elevation||2,424 m (7,953 ft) |
|Location||Limbang Division, Sarawak, Malaysia|
|Parent range||Kelabit Highlands|
|First ascent||1922 by Eric Mjöberg|
Mount Murud at the elevation of 2,424 m, is the highest mountain in Sarawak, located at the boundary between Miri and Limbang Division, in the Kelabit Highlands. It is a white-yellowish sandstone mountain, formed during the Miocene Epoch, extends for 4 km long, running in the ENE-WSW direction. Mount Murud has two highest points, with one point higher than the other by only 15 m.
The first attempt to climb Mount Murud was made in 1914 by John Coney Moulton, curator of Sarawak State Museum but failed due to food shortage and killings of their native guides due to a Dayak Lun Bawang invasion. He made a second attempt to climb the mountain in 1920 but failed again. The first successful ascent of Mount Murud was by a Swedish zoologist who was also a curator of Sarawak State Museum, Eric Mjöberg in October 1922. He spent six days at the summit of the mountain and collected various animal and plant species. His collections were documented by various authors in the third volume of Sarawak Museum Journal in 1928. Following this, his footsteps were followed by other botanical collectors in the 1960s and 1990s. During Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, a Gurkha post was built at the summit. In the 1980s, a man from Ba'kelalan named Agung Bangau saw a vision to build a church there. A church was later built at a plateau on the mountain and the first prayer meeting was held in July 1985, attended by 600 people from the nearby villages of Ba'kelalan and Bario. Today, a village is built around the church completed with public amenities; receiving visitors around the world. It is regarded as a sacred mountain where smoking and alcoholic drinks are prohibited. Prayer meetings are held every two years by the Mount Murud Prayer Ministry. In 1995, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) organised an expedition to Mount Murud. During the expedition, a species of Vanilla orchid named Vanilla kinabaluensis, Rafflesia pricei, and slipper orchid Paphiopedilum were discovered. A total of 70 samples were collected by the UNIMAS expedition team.
The UNIMAS expedition team defined the animal and plant species collected from 1,500 m to 1,800 m range above sea level as species originating from the Mount Murud; because specimens collected below this level can originate from the mountain surroundings. Mjöberg noted in 1925 that nine species of birds that were previously known as originated from Mount Kinabalu are also found at Mount Murud. This is supported by another evidence that 77% of Pteridophyte and 75% of orchids are common in both mountains. However, despite the close proximity of Mount Murud with Mount Mulu (65 km WSW of Mount Murud), both mountains have different summit flora. As of 1995, a total of 35 pteridophytes, 7 gymnosperms, 96 monocotyledons, and 207 dicotyledons were listed as summit flora of Mount Murud. The tropical pitcher plant species Nepenthes murudensis is named after the mountain and is thought to be endemic to its summit area. Also Murud black slender toad Ansonia vidua is only known from this mountain.
- Beaman, JH; Anderson, C (1997). The Summit Flora of Mount Murud, Sarawak, Malaysia. Contributions from the University of Michigan Herbarium. pp. 85–141. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- Mjöberg, Eric (1925). "An Expedition to the Kalabit Country and Mt. Murud, Sarawak". Geographical Review. 15 (3): 411–427. doi:10.2307/208563.
- Hong, Carolyn (26 January 2015). "Seeking God in peak pilgrimage". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- "Mount Murud". Sarawak Tourism Board. Archived from the original on 4 November 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- "History". Mount Murud Prayer Ministry. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- Jebb, M.H.P. & M.R. Cheek 1997. A skeletal revision of Nepenthes (Nepenthaceae). Blumea 42(1): 1–106.
- De Witte, J. 1996. "Nepenthes of Gunung Murud" (PDF). (567 KiB) Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 25(2): 41–45.
- Frost, Darrel R. (2016). "Ansonia vidua Hertwig, Min, Haas, and Das, 2014". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
- Haas, A.; Das, I.; Hertwig, S.T. (2016). "Ansonia vidua (Widow Slender Toad)". Frogs of Borneo. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
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