Kayan Mentarang, The Largest National Park in North Kalimantan
Kayan Mentarang National Park is the biggest uniformity of primary and secondary forest, which covers 1,360,500 hectare, and still remains in Kalimantan and in the Southeast Asia. It is located in Bulungan, North Kalimantan, Indonesia, with humid weather and temperatures around 16°C – 30° C. This national park, situating at 200– 2,258 meters above sea level, has approximately 3,100 mm per year of rainfall.
Because of its geographical location, this national park is blessed with various biodiversity, ranging from tropical flatland area to heavy rainforest at mountain range, which becomes cocoon for many types of vegetation and endangered animals.
A few vegetations are:
Pulai (Alstonia scholaris), jelutung (Dyera costulata), ramin (Gonystylus bancanus), agathis (Agathis borneensis), kayu ulin (Eusideroxylon zwageri), rengas (Gluta walichii), gaharu (Aquilaria malacensis), aren (Arenga pinnata),various types of orchids, forest palms, and Tropical pitcher plant or Kantong semar.
Interestingly, many of the vegetations are not yet identified, and considered new ones in Indonesia. There are 100 species of mammals (15 species of them are endemic), 8 species of primates, over 310 species of birds, and 28 species among them are Kalimantan endemic and have been registered by ICBP (International Committee for Bird Protection) as the endangered species.
A few endangered animals are as follows:
Clouded leopard / macan dahan (Neofelis nebulosa), Honey bear / beruang madu (Helarctos malaynus euryspilus), White Head Lamur / lutung dahi putih (Presbytis frontata frontata), and Buffalo / banteng (Bos javanicus lowi).
There are approximately 20,000 – 25,000 people from Dayak tribes, namely Dayak Kenyah, Punan, Lun Daye and Lun Bawang, live in the vicinity of this national park. They live side by side with the surroundings in reference to their indigenous knowledge and wisdom. That uniqueness is apparent in the way they preserve natural diversity. Many kinds of archeological inheritance like burial places and ancient stone equipments could be found in this national park. It is estimated that Kayan Mentarang National Park is one of the major archeological sites in Kalimantan.
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