Summary: One of the most prominent natural parks in Borneo, Tanjung Puting is also a beautiful sanctuary for orangutans and a great place to learn about environment.
It is not a secret that forest in Indonesia is in threat of extinction due to activities, such as illegal logging, which even has reached national park. Therefore, many efforts have been made to increase people’s conscience and knowledge about environment. Tanjung Puting is one of the national parks in Borneo Island, in West Kalimantan area in particular. The forest is a part of Indonesia and becomes a sanctuary for various plants, trees and animals species, including the orangutans.
Tanjung Puting is a very important national park in West Kalimantan, because it serves as a sanctuary for rare species of plants and animals. Despite damages from occasional forest fire and illegal logging, many efforts are made constantly to prevent further damages and combat illegal logging. Opening the park for public education is one of them.
The national park has existed since 1937, when the Dutch government turned it into sanctuary for orangutans and proboscis monkeys. The park size is 415.040 hectares, and the national park consists of sanctuary, production forests (for certified logging and plantation) and water area. Since 1984, the sanctuary has been declared national park by Indonesian government.
Ecosystem, Animals and Plants
Tanjung Puting National Park is a rich ecosystem, consisting of lowland tropical forest, dry forest, swamp area, mangrove forest and coastal forest. The rich ecosystem layers in this national park create heavens for various species of plants and animals and make this park one of the richest tropical national parks in the world in terms of species and ecosystem types.
The national park is a house for many distinctive species of animals and plants, and many of them are endemics or they cannot be found naturally in other areas except West Kalimantan. Here are some plants and animals you can find in this national park.
Tanjung Puting National Park is a home for more than 35 species of animals, and many of them are extremely rare. For example, sindang lawe bird (Ciconia stormii) is declared as one of the rarest birds in the world, and the bird does not exist anywhere but in this area. In addition, the great Alba birds are among the most abundant here.
Tanjung Puting National Park is commonly known as a sanctuary for rare mammals such as sun bear, deer, mouse deer, dugong, proboscis monkeys and of course the orangutans. In fact, there is special facility in this park with the main mission to increase the population of orangutans in Kalimantan.
Tanjung Puting National Park is a home for various trees, which often become target for illegal loggers such as the Shorea species (meranti), Dipterocarpus species (gaharu), Nipah trees, rattan and mangrove trees. There are also unique plants such as the bug-eater plant Nephentes (Kantong Semar).
Now, Tanjung Puting National Park is open for public, as a facility to educate people about environment and ecosystem. People can also come to the orangutan research facility called Camp Leakey to learn more about orangutans and see the species that are taken care of before being released. They can interact with the orangutans, including feeding them and taking pictures.
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