Indonesia Ecotourism 6#: Tanjung Puting National Park And The Problem | b l o g o d r i l

03 December 2009

Indonesia Ecotourism 6#: Tanjung Puting National Park And The Problem

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On the Tanjung Peninsula in the south of Borneo, the Tropical humid forests cover 3.050 sq km (1178 sq mi) of the swampy alluvial areas between Kumai Bay and Seruyan River has been known as biosphere reserve and national park. This ecosystems were characterized by various type of forests, such as remnants of dryland dipterocarp forests, peripheral mixed swamp forests, peat swamp forests, mangrove and coastal beach forests, and secondary forests. Here is The Tanjung Puting National Park, a large spectrum of ecosystems!

Dryland dipterocarp forest consist of Shorea spp., Myristica spp., Castanopsis spp., Lithocarpus spp, Iron wood (Eusideroxylon zwageri), etc; peat swamp forest with Dyera spp., Tetramerista spp, and, the high value coservation of plant species, ramin (Gonystylus bancanus). Heath forest composed of Dacrydium spp., Eugenia spp., Lithocarpus conocarpus and Castanopsis spp.; mangrove and coastal beech forest including Rhizophora spp., Bruguiera spp., Sonneratia spp. and Xylocarpus granatum.

The area is also significant for marine animals, including crocodiles, dolphins, mudskippers, and dragon fish. The dragon fish, highly prized by collectors, are vulnerable to poaching.

History

The Tanjung Puting National Park was primarily established by the Dutch colonial government for the protection of the orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) in the 1930’s. The area was originally declared as a game reserve in 1935. In 1971, Camp Leakey was established as a site for scientific research and a rehabilitation centre for orangutans.

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In 1986, Dr. Biruté M.F. Galdikas established the Orangutan Foundation International , a non-profit organisation that raises much needed funds for the rehabilitation of orangutans, to re-install their natural instincts for the wild. She has been involved in the conservation of Indonesia's natural resources and proved to be instrumental in convincing the Indonesian government to turn the site of her orangutan research at Tanjung Puting Reserve, into a National Park. Indonesia government, then, declared Tanjung Puting National Park in 1982.

Untill now, Tanjung Puting National Park has been known as the important park for it's orangutan rehabilitation. It helps orangutans that have been raised illegally as pets to adapt to wilderness.


Tourism

As great apes, Orangutans ("people of the forest") are among human kind’s closest living relatives in the animal kingdom. These great red apes share approximately 97% of their genetic material with humans.

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At Tanjung Puting National Park, visitors can cruise on the Leakey River towards camp Leakey and thrill treks into the heart of the jungle will be unique opportunity to observe Orangutans, and watch them live , breed, and roam freely in their natural habitat, besides these fascinating Red-orangutan.

There will be innumerable other creatures to see and hear, there are Orangutan (the agile gibbon), The long nosed Proboscis monkey, The crab eating Macaque, The satin blue King fisher, The rare Storm stork, The pied Hornbill, and a wide variety of song birds. In fact, visitors will be entering the realm of prehistoric wonders of nature. In the last Eden of Borneo’s tropical rain forest, you will catch glimpses of fragrant Orchids high in the canopy intricate blossoms, Lush foliage and colorful fruits deep in luxuriant heart of this great island.

At Rimba Lodge and Relax, take your time and afternoon be ready to involve with unique local community in the Seikonyer village (Rimba Lodge to village just neighbor). There are massage & Spa, called Batimung, visitors would be relax after the long jungle treks. Then, canoeing in the river and accompanied by experienced local children. Born to be wild...!!!


Problem

Among the problems that the biosphere reserve faces today are illegal logging, agricultural practices and gold mining which takes place adjacent to the biosphere reserve boundaries. There also, palm oil plantations surrounding the Park. Palm oil plantations are the number one threat to rain forests in Indonesia and, thus, to orangutans and other species of wildlife.

Palm oil is used as an ingredient in products such as soap, cosmetics, and cooking oil. Furthermore, palm oil is now being used for biofuel. Ironically, turning palm oil into biofuel is probably worse than using the petroleum products we are trying to avoid. To prepare palm oil plantation, most people in Indonesia ussualy slash and burn forests land. It emits large quantities of carbon dioxide into the world's atmosphere, making Indonesia the third largest emitter of carbon in the world after China and the United States.

Substituting biofuel based on palm oil for regular petroleum-based fuels does not decrease the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, rather it increases these emissions from the fires used to convert forest to plantation and destroys precious habitats for endangered animals, see this video: BIOFUELS: Driving a Catastrophe).



Courtesy of the images:
[1]. Wanto, http://www.flickr.com/photos/wantoborneo/184623601/
[2]. look-closer, http://www.flickr.com/photos/look-closer-at/2882634184/
[3]. kurious_oranj, http://www.flickr.com/photos/rbryant/4113892373/

Courtesy of the video:
biofuelwatch, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebCrzl37LZY

Related Posts:
1. Papua’s Forests Are Coming Under Major Threat
2. Indonesia Ecotourism 5#: Way Kambas
3. Indonesia Ecotourism 4# : Ujung Kulon
4. Indonesia Ecotourism 3# :Gede - Pangrango
5. Indonesia Ecotourism 2# : Tangkahan
6. Indonesia Ecotourism 1# : Bromo-Tengger-Semeru

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