HomeBlogs Gunung Palung National Park Gunung Palung National Park lies in the regencies of North Kayong and
Ketapang, in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, north of
Ketapang and east of Sukadana.
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
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.
non-mechanized, 'hand logging' has been a problem in the park,
especially from ca. 2000-2003. Recent initiatives by park authorities
and NGOs (increased policing, monitoring by microlight, educational
activities) have contributed to a reduction of illegal activities. The
park was one of the key sites of the EU-funded Illegal Logging Response
Center (ILRC, now continued in FLEGT).
The Park has enormous potential for ecotourism, and has a number of attractive sites for visitors.
Orangutan conservation 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 world’s
in 1985 Dr. Mark Leighton established the Cabang
Panti Research Camp deep within the National Park. Cabang Panti,
encompassing 2100 hectares, currently houses a number of research
projects including the Gunung Palung Orangutan Project, 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 working with Tim Laman in 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 Palung Orangutan
Protection Plan was initiated to address the threat to orangutans and
Guided walks are operated from Sukadana to Lubuk
Baji forest camp, which is an uphill hike of at least 90 minutes through
humid, slippery, spectacular rainforest. The wooden house has no
mattresses, sheets or pillows (as at June 2008).