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Betung Kerihun National Park

Written By Rio Gonzales on Thursday, March 29, 2012 | Thursday, March 29, 2012


Betung Kerihun National Park (previously Bentuang Karimun) is a national park in the province of West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, Indonesia. It is located inland, along the Malaysian border. The park was established in 1995, and has a total area of 8,000 km2 (3,100 sq mi).Together with the 2,000 km2 (800 sq mi) Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Malaysia, it has been proposed to form a World Heritage Site named the “Transborder Rainforest Heritage of Borneo”.

Topography and Ecology
Betung Kerihun National Park is hilly and mountainous, with altitudes ranging from 150 m (490 ft) to almost 1,800 m (5,910 ft). The topography is characterized by steep slopes, with more than half of the park area having slopes over 45%. The highest peaks are Mount Kerihun (1,790 m/5,870 ft) and Mount Lawit (1,767 m/5,800 ft). The park is located at the headwaters of the Kapuas River.
The park largely consists of two ecoregions, Borneo montane rain forests, which covers about 2/3 of the area, and Borneo lowland rain forests.


Flora and Fauna
In the lowland forests the dominant emergent tree is dipterocarp species, which are replaced at higher altitude with oaks (Quercus and Lithocarpus ssp.) and chestnut trees (Castanopsis ssp.). At least 97 species of orchid and 49 species of palm have been identified in the Park.
The fauna of the park is rich, with 300 species of bird (25 endemic to Borneo), at least 162 fish species and at least 54 mammals. The park is home to endangered Bornean orangutan and seven other primate species: Müller’s Bornean Gibbon, White-fronted Surili, Maroon Leaf Monkey, Southern Pig-tailed Macaque, Crab-eating Macaque, Sunda Loris and Horsfield’s Tarsier.

Human habitation
Several Dayak tribes, including Dayak Iban, Dayak Taman, and Dayak Bukat live in the park. There are 12 villages in and around the park, 2 of which are located inside the park (Nanga Bungan and Tanjung Lokang) and 6 are adjacent to the park boundary. They live from hunting, collecting non-timber forest products and subsistence farming based on a pattern of shifting cultivation.

Conservation and Threats
Betung Kerihun National Park was first established as a 600,000 ha nature reserve in 1982 by a Ministry of Agriculture decree. The size was enlarged to 800,000 ha in 1992 and the conservation status was changed to national park in 1995. The Betung Kerihun Park Management Unit was formally launched by the Minister of Forestry in 1997. Currently, it has 57 full time staff and 20 honorary members. Among these, 24 park rangers are responsible for supervising each of the four field posts in the 800,000ha area.
Significant threats towards the integrity of Betung Kerihun are deforestation by illegal logging and wildlife poaching. WWF data collected in 2002 found that about 31,000 trees were illegally logged in the Park. Reports suggest poaching of the most endangered primate orangutan is reaching alarming levels. About 10-15 orangutans were traded every month from West and Central Kalimantan forests to supply markets in Indonesia’s large cities, including Jakarta and Denpasar.
Betung Kerihun National Park was determined by the Ministry of Forestry as a national park on September 1995. This Park is located in Putussibau and Embalih district, Kapuas Hulu  regency, West Kalimantan. The park covers a total  area of 800,000 hectares, or approximately 5,5% of the total area of  West Kalimantan.The species diversity of flora and fauna in this Park is interesting. The indigenous inhabitants of this region are also including a variety of Dayak tribal groups, namely, Dayak Iban, Tamabaloh, Taman Sibau, Kantu, Kayan Mendalam, Bukat Mendalam, Bukat Mateluani, and Punan Hovongan.Many interesting tourist attractions are found in this national park. Along with a high biodiversity of flora and fauna and the ,beautiful tropical landscape this park is made attractive by the vibrant cultural richness of the community living inside as well as outside the park boundaries.
There are three broad zones of the park suggested for ecotourism development. These are Embaloh (educational  tourism), Sibau (eco-community based tourism) and Bungan (adventure tourism).
The indigenous inhabitants of this region are also including a variety of Dayak tribal groups, namely, Dayak Iban, Tamabaloh, Taman Sibau, Kantu, Kayan Mendalam, Bukat Mendalam, Bukat Mateluani, and Punan Hovongan. Many interesting tourist attractions could be found in Betung Kerihun National Park. Along with its high biodiversity of flora and fauna and the beautiful tropical landscape,  this park is made attractive by the vibrant cultural richness of the community living inside as well as outside the park boundaries.
For ecotourism development , there are three broad zones of the park recommended,  i.e:  Embaloh (educational tourism), Sibau (eco-community based tourism) and Bungan (adventure tourism).
As a mega-biological diversity area,  Betung Kerihun National Park has  numerous sites and activities of interest, such as :
For the Botanically inclined…..Admist the dense jungles of Betung Kerihun National Park, many new plant species have been discovered, including Musa Lawitiensis and Pinaga bifidovariegata mogea. The Park is also home to the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia, as well as the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus). These alone as well as the potential for more discoveries, have become attractions for plant researchers and other botanical enthusiasts.
For the animal lovers……..The diversity of fauna in Betung Kerihun National Park offers ample opportunities for observing birds, fish, primates and other large mammals in their natural habitat. Mineral springs which called “sepan” by the local people, are strategic spots for watching and photographing wild animals. Various animals, such as deers, pigs, and bears, routinely visit these springs in search of the mineral rich water, especially during the dry season. These locations have already been mapped with digitized system for convenience visitors who wish to reach these spots.
Visitor can do trekking, caving, and, with advance arrangemen, kayaking, canoeing or white-water rafting, as well as cultural tourism in Tanjung Lokan, Bangun and other settlements scattered around  the park.
Local indigenous expertise in managing their natural resources and forests is reflected in cultural attraction with a distinct flavor of Dayak tribal traditions.
Topographically, Betung Kerihun National Park is hilly. The Muller range which connects Mt. Betung and Mt. Kerihun also forms the border between Indonesia and Serawak, Malaysia.
Small streams flow from the foothills of the Muller mountains to form the Kapuas, Sibau, Mendalam, Bungan and Embaloh Watersheds. The Park can only be reached via these rivers.
The Park has eight types of forest ecosystem such as lowland forest, old secondary forest, Dipterocarpus, sub-montane and montane forest, with a high value plant diversity of 1,216 species consisting of 418 genera and 110 families (75% endemic to Kalimantan). Fourteen species are “new records” in Indonesia, like Musa lawitiensis, Neouvaria acuminatissima, Castanopsis inermis, Lithocarpus philippinensis, Chisocheton cauliflorus, Syzygium spicata, and Shorea peltata; and 13 species of palm which are “new records” in Kalimantan, such as Pinanga bifidovariegata and Ixora sp.
There are some 48 species of mammal, including seven primate species such as the maroon leaf monkey (Presbytis rubicunda rubicunda), orangutan (Pongo satyrus), Mueller’s Bornean grey gibbon (Hylobates muelleri), white-fronted leaf monkey (Presbytis frontata frontata), and banded leaf monkey (P. femoralis chrysomelas); 301 species of bird, 51 species of amphibian, 52 species of reptile, 170 species of insect, and 112 species of fish.
The dominant and most commonly seen animals are orangutan (Pongo satyrus), sambar deer (Cervus unicolor brookei), western tarsier (Tarsius bancanus borneanus), Mueller’s Bornean grey gibbon (Hylobates muelleri), maroon leaf monkey (Presbytis rubicunda rubicunda), sun bear (Helarctos malayanus euryspilus), hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana), and larger Malay mouse deer (Tragulus napu borneanus).
The most distinct species of bird in this Park are the wreathed hornbill (Aceros undulatus) and the helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) which is the mascot of West Kalimantan.
The Park has been proposed as a Trans-Border Reserve together with Lantjak Entimau Wildlife Reserve in Serawak.
The potentially vast biodiversity riches of the Park pose a challenge to researchers to reveal them. But the Park also has several other attractions such as beautiful vistas over the forest crown which seems to go on forever; crystal-clear water flowing from waterfalls on the hilltops; birdcalls and the screeches and cries of various animals.
As with other inland people throughout much of Kalimantan, most of the people living around the Park are Dayak. Here, they belong to the Dayak Iban, Dayak Taman, and Dayak Bukat tribes. Many people are still adorned with tattoos in typical and very distinctive patterns.

Wildlife:
Maroon Leaf Monkey, Orangutan, Mueller’s Bornean Grey Gibbon, White-Fronted Leaf Monkey, Banded Leaf Monkey, Orangutan, Sambar Deer, Western Tarsier, Sun Bear, Hairy-Nosed Otter, Larger Malay Mouse Deer, Wreathed Hornbill and Helmeted Hornbill.

Adventure:
Caving, Trekking, Kayaking/Canoeing, Mountain Climbing and Wild Animal Watching.’

Where is Betung Kerihun National Park:
Region:
Located inland, along the Malaysian border Location:Kapuas Hulu Regency. [Formerly called Gunung Bentuang], West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia
Interesting locations/attractions:
The Muller Range:

This forms part of the national border. Mt. Kerihun and Mt. Betung are good
places for climbing.
Tekelan, Sibau, Mendalam, Embaloh, Kanyau rivers: kayaking/canoeing, observing animals and plants, and cultural tourism.
Riam Lapan and Riam Matahari:
hardy souls can test their whitewater rafting skills on numerous rapids, rated at class III-IV in difficulty, climaxing at class V in Riam Matahari.
Sedik,
Batang Pilung and Jaan rivers: waterfalls, observing animals and plants, and cultural tourism.
Tanjung Lokang:
located in the western part of the Park, there are steep slopes and limestone caves suitable for caving. Also sites of cultural interest.
Best time of year to visit:
September to December.
How to reach the Park:
Pontianak-Putussibau by four wheel drive, about 18 hours; or by small plane (Cessna), about 2.5 hours. Then, from Putussibau along the Kapuas, Sibau and Mendalam rivers by semi-longboat, about 5 hours, or alternatively, from Putussibau up the Kapuas and Embaloh Hulu rivers by speed boat, about 3 hours; and then up the Embaloh Hulu river by semi-longboat, about 9 hours.
                                                       source :http://lombokmarine.com

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