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Tanjung Puting, Orangutan’s Heaven

17 April 2011 1,148 views No Comment

Indonesia‘s Tanjung Puting is a national park located on Kalimantan or Borneo in the province of Central Kalimantan. The park is famously known as the biggest orangutan conservation in Indonesia or maybe in the world. The park is composed of about 400,000 hectares of peat swamp forest, heath forest, dryland dipterocarp forest, mangrove and coastal beach forest, and secondary forest.

In 1930s, Tanjung Puting was set aside in the by the Dutch colonial government for the protection of the proboscis monkey and orangutan, and in 1977 was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a national park in 1982. In addition to proboscis monkeys and orangutans, the park is also natural home to macaques, clouded leopards, wild boars, gibbons, sun bears,porcupines, and Sambar deer. There are also many reptiles, including monitor lizards, crocodiles, and pythons; birds, including kingfishers and hornbills; and endemic insects, such as the giant Bornean butterfly.

Today Tanjung Puting National Park is a popular ecotourism destination, with many tour companies offering multi-day boat tours to visit the research centers and view the wildlife. In 1997, the park was home to 105,000 people. The park was heavily damaged by fires in 1997 and 1998, and today remains threatened by illegal logging, illegal mining, and forest clearing for agricultural uses.

Currently approximately 65% Tanjung Puting’s main forest is degraded. And it has been the greatest threat to the wildlife and the loss of orangutan’s natural habitat. There are four research centers that have been established within the park for the rehabilitation and learning center of orangutans and many other primates. Camp Leakey, built in 1971 with assistance from the Leakey Foundation, was the first of these centers.

In Tanjung Puting Park, you will see the orangutans – a lot of ex-captive orangutans – rehabilitated in the park. you will also meet the king of this area, the largest and the oldest orangutan who is still living in a wilderness of a national park.

The romantic forest, the romantic river and the romantic atmosphere of the park are also offer different experiences especially for those who want to have an adventurous honeymoon.

Tanjung Puting is distinguished by the following:

  • blackwater rivers with high acidity (pH 4.0 or less)
  • major populations of pheasants including the Argus, black, and the crested and crestless fireback pheasants major populations of birds of prey including the crested serpent eagle, Brahminy kites, and falconettes
  • large populations of hornbills, primarily including the rhinoceros, pied and black hornbills which are the most commonly seen
  • major populations of refuging monkeys, proboscis monkeys and macaques which come to the river to sleep in the trees at night
  • rookeries containing thousands of breeding wetland birds including darters, night herons, white egrets, and lesser adjutant storks
  • only known populations of wood ducks in Kalimantan
  • major populations of wild orangutans, gibbons, dolphins and dugongs (manatee-like animals that served as the source-material of mermaid stories) in Kumai Bay
  • pockets of alluvial gold dust
  • major populations of the endangered Dragonfish or Arwana, a “living fossil” which supposedly brings good luck to its owners

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