Gunung Palung National Park
Gunung Palung National Park lies on the island of Borneo, in the
Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, north of
Ketapang and east of
6 See also
8 External links
Gunung Palung was first protected in 1937 as a forest nature reserve
covering 300 km2 (120 sq mi). In 1981, the size was
increased to 900 km2 (350 sq mi) and its status raised
to a wildlife reserve, and on 24 March 1990 the area became a
The park is notable for its diversity of habitat types, ranging from
mangrove and freshwater swamp forest, to lowland alluvial (empran
bench) forest, to montane forest, and for its diversity of wildlife.
It is one of only a handful of parks in the world where orangutans can
be seen in the wild.
A research station (Cabang Panti) was established at the western foot
of the main Gunung Palung mountains in 1985, and is owned and operated
by the park management authority. Research there has contributed
significantly to our understanding of
Borneo forest biology.
Illegal, non-mechanized, 'hand logging' has been a problem in the
park, especially from ca. 2000-2003. Initiatives by park authorities
and NGOs (increased policing, monitoring by microlight, educational
activities) contributed to a reduction of illegal activities, however,
reduction of these activities has seen a resurgence in illegal logging
at several hot-spots. The park was one of the key sites of the
EU-funded Illegal Logging Response Center (ILRC, now continued in
In 1985 Dr. Mark Leighton established the Cabang Panti Research Camp
deep within the National Park. The site encompasses over 2,100
hectares networked by over 25 km of well-marked trails extending
throughout all seven forest types including the upper montane forest.
Following a short period of non-occupation from 2004-2007, Cabang
Panti Research Station was rebuilt in 2007 with money provided by two
research teams from the United States. Projects led by Dr. Andrew
Marshall of the University of California at Davis and Dr. Cheryl Knott
of Boston University funded the reconstruction. The current facilities
include a main two-story wooden building complete with six private
rooms, three office areas, a kitchen, living area and a mezzanine.
Three out-buildings include one five-room bunkhouse for local research
assistants, and two one-room houses for Principal Investigators. These
buildings were donated to
Gunung Palung National Park
Gunung Palung National Park in 2011.
Cabang Panti is currently home to a number of researchers including
two long-term interests: the Gunung Palung
Orangutan Project, and the
Gibbon and Leaf-Monkey Project.
In September 2011, all researchers were expelled from Cabang Panti by
the local Park Office after an
NGO sent a letter to Jakarta detailing
encroachment by illegal logging into the research site. The park
justified the reaction by saying they needed all four buildings to
house the rotating 4-6 person teams of forest police. After an appeal
to Jakarta, researchers were allowed back into the area, however were
not granted access to the buildings.
The orangutan is considered the umbrella species for conservation in
the National Park, and is also an important ecological agent for seed
dispersal and seed predation. It is believed that orangutans at Gunung
Palung constitute one of the most dense and largest populations on
Borneo. A census conducted in 2001, part-funded by The Orangutan
Conservancy, gives an estimate of 2500 individual orangutans, about
17% of the estimated population in
Borneo and close to 10% of the
The Gunung Palung
Orangutan Project was established in 1994 by Dr.
Cheryl Knott. This project integrates scientific research about
orangutan biology and ecology with conservation programs aimed at the
preservation of this endangered species and its habitat. Cheryl Knott
is conducting scientific investigation of the factors governing
orangutan reproduction and population viability, increasing awareness
on the local level to encourage support for conservation of the park
and community education around the park and capacity-building for
National Park Office staff.
In the last decade there has been a great increase in the amount of
illegal logging within this national park. This, in conjunction with
the fires raging across the Indonesian rainforests, made immediate
conservation action in this area of paramount importance. The Gunung
Orangutan Conservation Program was initiated to address the
threat to orangutans and their habitat.
The park has potential for ecotourism, and has a number of attractive
sites for visitors. The only way to gain permission to enter the park
is by paying for a package offered by Nasalis Tour and Travel or one
of its partners. Nasalis is a for-profit corporation owned and
operated by local National Park staff and administrators. As of August
2011, the park had not approved any other tourism companies to operate
within the park boundaries.
Geography of Indonesia
^ a b c Endriatmo Soetarto; M. T. Felix Sitorus; M. Yusup Napiri;
Center for International Forestry Research (2001). Decentralisation of
Administration, Policy Making and Forest Management in Ketapang
District, West Kalimantan. CIFOR. p. 42.
^ Website of Gunung Palung
Yayasan Palung: Local conservation organization
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Rawa Aopa Watumohai
Taka Bone Rate
Bukit Barisan Selatan