Educational Post

Bobi Handoko

NATIONAL PARKS IN SUMATRA

The national park is a protected area by the central government from human development and pollution. National parks are set aside as a nature conservation area which has original ecosystem, managed by the zoning system and utilized for research, science, education, aquaculture, tourism and outdoor activities. Here is the lists of the national parks in Sumatra.

GUNUNG LEUSER NATIONAL PARK (NORTH SUMATRA AND ACEH)

Gunung Leuser National Park is a large national park covering 1.094.962 hectares in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, located at the border of the provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh. The park is named after one of its highest point, the 3,381m Mount Leuser (Gunung Leuser). The highest point in the park is "Puncak Tak Punya Nama (The peak with no name)".

There are several interesting things to see inside Gunung Leuser National Park, such as untouched tropical rainforest, highland forest, and some wild animals, especially primates. Seeing the orangutans is a magical experience. You can usually see them near the rehabilitation centre and at the feeding platform during the morning and afternoon feeding sessions.

The best experience is an encounter in the jungle where there are many semi-wild and wild animals. The wild orangutan can be difficult to spot unless you go deep into the jungle. There are also white and black gibbons that make an amazing noise calling out to each other and Thomas leaf monkeys. If you are lucky, you may be able to see hornbills, leopard cat, various snakes, and monitor lizards. Since there are very few still alive, it is very improbable that either the Sumatran tiger or the Sumatran rhinoceros will be encountered, although footprints and droppings have been reported many times. Gunung Leuser National Park is also a representative type of coastal forest ecosystems, and tropical rainforest lowlands to the mountains. Types of rock are composed of sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks, limestone, rock pluton, rock alluvium, and soils of Leuser are dominated by brown podzolic, podzolic, and litosol.

BATANG GADIS NATIONAL PARK (NORTH SUMATRA)

Batang Gadis National Park (TNBG) is a national park located in the regency of Mandailing Natal (Madina), North Sumatra, according to the state administration, this region surrounded by 68 villages in 13 districts in Mandailing Natal. The name of this national park is derived from the name of the main river that flows and splitting Madina district, that is Batang Gadis river.

Animals that can be found in Batang Gadis National Park are Sumatran tiger (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae), wild goat (Naemorhedus Sumatrensis), tapir (Tapirus Indicus), Asian golden cat (Catopuma Temminckii), binturong (Arctitis Binturong), bear (Helarctos Malayanus), sambar deer (Cervus unicolor), muntjac deer (Muntiacus Muntjac), and Malayan porcupine (Hystrix Brachyura). There are 242 species of birds in the area of Batang Gadis National Park. 45 species are protected-birds in Indonesia and 11 species of them are endangered, they are Sumatran ground cuckoo (Carpococcyx Viridis), salvadori pheasant (Lophura Inornata), and Sumatran cochoa (Cochoa Beccarii).

BERBAK NATIONAL PARK (JAMBI)

Berbak National Park is a nature conservation area for the largest swamp forests in Southeast Asia, located in Tanjung Jabung, Jambi province, Indonesia. The uniqueness in here is the form of a combination between peat swamp forest and freshwater swamp forests which crossing all east coast of Sumatra. Berbak National Park conservation area covers 1,627 km².

Plant species in Berbak National Park included meranti tree (Shorea spp.) as the one of best wood in the world, and various species of palm. Berbak National Park has the most famous palm species of ornamental plants in Indonesia. The palm species are categorized as rare plants, they are the types of leaf umbrella (Johannesteijsmannia Altifrons) and the newly discovered type, that is lepidonia kingii (Lorantaceae).

Hundreds and even thousands of migratory birds can be seen in Berbak National Park, which can lead to admiration when birds flying in groups. The entrance to the western section of Berbak National Park can be reached through exploring the Air Hitam Dalam river. Named with "Air Hitam Dalam" because the color is like black coffee, Air Hitam Dalam in english is Deep Black Water.

SEMBILANG NATIONAL PARK (SOUTH SUMATRA)

Sembilang National Park is representative of peat swamp forest, freshwater swamp forest and riparian forests (riverside) in South Sumatra province. Plants in the land and waters are characterized by the presence of golden leather fern (Acrostichum Aureum), nipa palm (Nypa Fruticans), casuarina (Casuarina Equisetifolia), pandan (Pandanus Tectorius), sea hibiscus (Hibiscus Tiliaceus), nibung (Oncosperma Tigillarium), jelutung (Dyera Costulata), tualang tree (Koompassia Excelsa), gelam mice (Syzygium Inophylla), loop-root mangrove (Rhizophora), mangrove apple (Sonneratia Alba), and large-leafed orange mangrove (Bruguiera Gymnorhiza).

Areas of coastal and forest in Sembilang and Banyuasin peninsula are the habitat of Sumatran tiger (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae), Sumatran elephant (Elephas Maximus Sumatranus), tapir (Tapirus Indicus), gibbon (Hylobates Syndactylus), Asian golden cat (Catopuma Temminckii), sambar deer (Cervus Unicolor Equinus), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus), water monitor lizard (Varanus Salvator), Sembilang fish (Plotosus Canius), Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle (Chitra indica), river dolphin (Orcaella Brevirostris), and various kinds of birds.

Tens of thousands of migratory birds from Siberian can be seen in Sembilang around October. This is an interesting phenomenon and attraction, as can be heard directly the roar of birds flying together and cover up the sound of waves of Bangka strait. The other bird species such as Asian dowitcher (Limnodromus Semipalmatus), spotted redshank (Tringa Erythropus), great white pelican (Pelecanus Onocrotalus), milky stork (Mycteria Cinerea), lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos Javanicus), white-winged black tern (Chlidonias Leucopterus), etc. The northwest of Sembilang National Park is directly bordering Berbak National Park located in Jambi province.

SIBERUT NATIONAL PARK (WEST SUMATRA)

Siberut National Park is located in the Siberut island at the coast of West Sumatra, separated by Mentawai strait made Siberut National Park situated approximately 155 km from the capital city of West Sumatra, Padang city. 60% of Siberut National Park covered by Dipterocarpaceae forest, coastal forest, mangrove forest and swamp. Rainforest in Siberut National Park is relatively unspoiled by many large trees with an average height of 60 meters.

Siberut National Park has four primate species that are not found in any other regions of the world, they are Bokkoi or Pagai Island macaque (Macaca Pagensis), Mentawai langur or joja (Presbytis Potenziani Siberu), Mentawai gibbon or bilou (Hylobates Klossii), and simakobu or pig-tailed langur (Nasalis Concolor Siberu). In addition, there are 4 types of squirrels are endemic, 17 species of mammals and 130 species of birds (4 of them are endemic).

Siberut island and its national park is one of the biosphere reserve by UNESCO in the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB). MAB is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

BUKIT TIGA PULUH NATIONAL PARK (JAMBI)

Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park is a hilly region in the middle stretch of eastern lowlands of Sumatra with very high potential diversity of endemic plants and animals. Types of forest ecosystem in Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park is lowland forest, Dipterocarpaceae forest (0 - 300 meters) and upland forest with the types of flora such as jelutung (Dyera Costulata), red gum (Palaquium spp), pulai (Alstonia Scholaris), tualang tree (Koompassia Excelsa), meranti tree (Shorea spp.), rafflesia flower (Rafflesia Hasseltii), jernang or dragon's blood palm (Daemonorops Draco), and various types of rattan.

Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park has 59 species of mammals, 6 species of primates, 151 species of birds, 18 species of bats, and various types of butterflies. Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park also become the habitat of Sumatran tiger (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae), tapir (Tapirus Indicus), agile gibbon (Hylobates Agilis), bear (Helarctos Malayanus), crested fireback (Lophura Ignita), great argus (Argusianus Argus), etc. Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park has important role as hydro-orologis protection for watershed area of Indragiri Kuantan.

Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park neighborhood is protected-jungle and condition of the park is relatively unspoiled. Communities around Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park consists of several tribes with the customs and culture which still living very traditional life, they are Suku Anak Dalam, Talang Mamak tribe and others. The community especially Talang Mamak tribe still believes that the hills and plants in Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park has a magical power in their lives. Indirectly, they commit to participate actively in maintaining and protecting the plants and animals inside Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park.

BUKIT DUA BELAS NATIONAL PARK (JAMBI)

Bukit Dua Belas National Park is one area of lowland tropical rain forest in Jambi province. Plant species in Bukit Dua Belas National Park are billian (Eusideroxylon Zwageri), meranti tree (Shorea spp.), tualang tree (Koompassia Excelsa), jelutung (Dyera Costulata), dragon's blood palm (Daemonorops Draco), damar or resin (Agathis sp.), and rattan (Calamus sp.). There are approximately 120 species of plants, including their functions that can be developed as a medicinal plant.

This national park is the habitat of rare and endangered animals such as gibbons (Hylobates Syndactylus Syndactylus), pig-tailed macaque (Macaca Nemestrina), Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis Diardi), kancil (Tragulus Kanchil Javanicus), bear (Helarctos Malayanus Malayanus), kijang (Indian Muntjac Montanus), leopard cat (Prionailurus Bengalensis Sumatrana), hairy-nosed otter (Lutra Sumatrana), ajag (Cuon Alpinus Sumatrensis), Sumatran striped rabbit (Nesolagus Netscheri), bido snake eagle (Spilornis Cheela Malayensis), and others.

There are many rivers come from within the region, so that's why this region become watershed area of Batang Hari river. National park topography is flat and undulating, with the hills or mountains like Bukit Suban, Punai river (± 164 meters above sea level), Gunung Panggang (± 328 meters above sea level), and Kuran hills (± 438 meters above sea level).

The indigenous people in Bukit Dua Belas National Park is Suku Anak Dalam who inhabited it for century. Suku Anak Dalam considered jungle in Bukit Dua Belas National Park as wanderings ground where they interact with nature, help each other, care for one another and support each other. To meet their needs, Suku Anak Dalam go for hunting, fishing, searching for honey, and tapping rubber for sale.

WAY KAMBAS NATIONAL PARK (LAMPUNG)

Way Kambas National Park is a representative of lowland forest ecosystem which consisting of freshwater swamp forest, grassland, shrub, and coastal forest.

Plant species inside Way Kambas National Park included grey mangrove or white mangrove (Avicennia Marina), pidada (Sonneratia sp.), nipa palm (Nypa Fruticans), cajeput tree (Melaleuca Leucadendron), wight or waplers (Syzygium Polyanthum), rawang (Glochidion Borneense), ketapang (Terminalia Catappa), beef wood-tree (Casuarina Equisetifolia), pandan (Pandanus sp.), evergreen tree (Schima Wallichii), meranti (Shorea sp.), minyak (Dipterocarpus Gracilis) categorized as a critically endangered species of tree in the family Dipterocarpaceae, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia, and ramin (Gonystylus Bancanus).

Way Kambas National Park has 50 species of mammals, they are the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus Sumatrensis), Sumatran elephant (Elephas Maximus Sumatranus), Sumatran tiger (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae), tapir (Tapirus Indicus), wild jungle dog (Cuon Alpinus Sumatrensis), and gibbon (Hylobates Syndactylus Syndactylus). 406 species of birds including white-winged duck (Cairina Scutulata), woolly-necked stork (Ciconia Episcopus Stormi), lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos Javanicus), crested fireback (Lophura Ignita), great argus (Argusianus Argus), oriental darter (Anhinga Melanogaster), various types of reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects.

Wild elephants are trained at the elephant training centre (9 km from the gate of Plang Ijo). The elephant training center was established in 1985. Until now it has managed to train about 290 elephants.

KERINCI SEBLAT NATIONAL PARK (WEST SUMATRA, JAMBI, BENGKULU & SOUTH SUMATRA)

Kerinci Seblat National Park represents the ecosystem types of lowland rain forest to sub-alpine ecosystems as well as some unique ecosystems includes peat swamp, freshwater swamps and lakes. With a total area nearly 1.4 million hectares, Kerinci Seblat National Park is the second largest national park in Indonesia. Extends 350 km from northwest to southeast with an average width of 50 km, Kerinci Seblat National Park is located in 4 provinces and 13 districts in the middle of Bukit Barisan Mountains of Sumatra. More than 1.7 million people are living near the park boundary, and many of them are living inside the park.

Kerinci Seblat National Park has 4,000 plant species dominated by Dipterocarpaceae. Rare and endemic plants such as Kerinci pine (Pinus Merkusii Strain Kerinci), pacat wood (Harpullia Alborea), rafflesia flower (Rafflesia Arnoldii and Rafflesia Hasseltii), and carrion flower (Amorphophallus Titanum and Amorphophallus Decus-Silvae).

Kerinci National Park has 37 species of mammals, 10 species of reptiles, 6 species of amphibians, 8 species of primates and 139 species of birds. Potentials to attract visitors in Kerinci Seblat National Park, such as the sound observation of 3 different types of hornbill, they are rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros Rhinoceros Sumatranus), wreathed hornbill (Aceros Undulatus Undulatus) and the marvelous hysterical laughter of helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax Vigil).

The observation of golden cat (Catopuma Temminckii) has become important research as well in here and the existence of unsolved mystery about the type of primate that walked upright and quickly disappeared among the trees, the local people call it "short people". Kerinci National Park is also being used as an integrated conservation and development program (Integrated Conservation Development Program - ICDP) by Indonesia scientist.

BUKIT BARISAN SELATAN NATIONAL PARK (LAMPUNG)

Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park is representative of the Bukit Barisan mountain range which consisting of mangrove forest vegetation types, coastal forest, and tropical forest in Sumatra.

Plant species inside Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park includes pidada (Sonneratia sp.), nipa palm (Nypa Fruticans), beef wood-tree (Casuarina Equisetifolia), pandan (Pandanus sp.), campak (Michelia Champaca), meranti (Shorea sp.), mersawa (Anisoptera Curtisii), ramin (Gonystylus Bancanus), keruing (Dipterocarpus sp.), damar or resin (Agathis sp.), rattan palm (Calamus sp.), and rafflesia flower (Rafflesia Arnoldii). While the plants that become characterize in this national park is carrion flower (Amorphophallus Titanum and Amorphophallus Decus-Silvae) and giant orchid, tiger orchid, sugar cane orchid (Grammatophyllum Speciosum). Amorphophallus Decus-Silvae inside Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park can reach more than 2 meters.

Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park is a habitat for Sumatran bear (Helarctos Malayanus Malayanus), Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus Sumatrensis), Sumatran tiger (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae), Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus Sumatranus), tapir (Tapirus Indicus), agile gibbon (Hylobates Agilis) , siamang (Hylobates Syndactylus Syndactylus), mitred leaf monkey (Presbytis Melalophos Fuscamurina), kancil (Tragulus Kanchil Javanicus), and Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricata).

Menjukut lake inside Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park is directly adjacent to the high seas of the Indian Ocean, which resembles a massive swimming pool and located not far from the shoreline.