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Sabangau National Park

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


Sabangau National Park is a national park in Central Kalimantan, a province of Indonesia in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo.


Geography
The national park is centered on Sabangau River, a blackwater river. It flows through the Kelompok Hutan Kahayan or Sabangau peat swamp forest (5,300 km2), between the Katingan and Kahayan rivers. The peat swamp forest is a dual ecosystem, with diverse tropical trees standing on a 10m - 12m layer of peat - partly decayed and waterlogged plant material - which in turn covers relatively infertile soil.
Orang Utan in Sabah, Borneo

The severely degraded eastern part of the forest, between the Sabangau and the Kayahan, is officially designated for agriculture. However, since the failure of the Mega Rice Project, which drained large areas of peat forest in an attempt to create rice paddies, no further efforts are being made to make it suitable for this purpose

The forest has been damaged by legal and illegal forestry. There is no longer any continuous forest cover where Orangutans may cross the river. A satellite view shows a grid of logging roads throughout most of the forest.

However, the western part is now protected as either National Park or National Laboratory Research Area. A study of the area shows that the hydrological integrity of the forest has been maintained, and it is therefore ecologically resilient,although since it is close to the regional capital Palangkaraya it remains at risk.

 Ecology
The forest is home to the world’s largest Orangutan population, estimated at 6,910 individuals in 2003, and other rare or unique species. The total Agile Gibbon population in the Sabangau catchment is estimated to be in the tens of thousands, but is declining fast.

Vulnerable bird species include the Large Green Pigeon (Treron capellei) and possibly Storm's Stork (Ciconia stormi) and Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilus javanicus). Efforts are underway to establish long-term ecological monitoring in the forest.


 References

     1.  orangutan trop.com: Sabangau Forest
     2.  Ecological Impact of the One Million Hectare Rice Project in Cantral Kalimantan, Indonesia,
         Using      Remote Sensing and GIS. Boehm, H-D.V. and Siegert, F.
  
     3.  Density and population estimate of gibbons (Hylobates albibarbis) in the Sabangau catchment,
          Central Kalimantan, Indonesia[dead link]
     4. Birdlife.org Hutan Kahayan
     5. The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Research Project:Monitoring ape populations in the Sabangau 
         Forest, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
                                                    source: http://en.wikipedia.org

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