MUKAH: Tellian assemblyman Yussibnosh Balo suggested that certain timber species such as ‘nyatoh’ need to be replanted here to replenish the stock and restore the forest ecosystem while providing a habitat for edible worms – lelamas.
The tree (benyatok in Melanau) itself has dual benefits – provides a habitat for lelamas, a Melanau exotic food while the wood for making furniture and other uses.
He claimed that the supply and existence of lelamas is already extinct due to non-existence of nyatoh trees, following agricultural development, particularly oil palm plantation.
“Lelamas is hardly found here in the last few years, and due to scarcity of supply, the price can reach up to hundreds of ringgit per kilogramme,” he told reporters after launching the Tellian Floating Market here last Saturday.
Yussibnosh claimed that lelamas feed on nyatoh leaves, as the tree is its habitat.
The former Balingian assemblyman also claimed that if there were no nyatoh trees, there would be no lelamas.
He therefore, suggested that perhaps the Sarawak Forestry Department could look into the possibility of replanting nyatoh trees in the forest here.
It is understood that the rare lelamas could be found only in certain parts of Dalat forests, but not in Mukah district, particularly Tellian.