Perched atop misty mountains, tropical montane cloud forests are one of Earth's most imperiled and neglected ecosystems. More than half of these forests occur in Southeast Asia; those in Malaysia are considered some of the best studied in the region. Malaysia has numerous mountains that are exceptionally rich in biodiversity and sustain numerous locally endemic species, but they are also threatened by expanding forestry, agriculture, infrastructure, and global warming. Malaysia serves as an excellent case study to illustrate the issues and challenges associated with tropical cloud forest conservation. We critically assess the current status of Malaysia's cloud forests—focusing on their biological uniqueness and prospects for long-term survival—and propose conservation strategies for agricultural, forestry, tourism, and policy sectors to help conserve these endangered ecosystems. It is our hope that decisionmakers around the region can use our review to evaluate and improve their national strategies related to cloud forest conservation.
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Vol. 61 • No. 1