Crown Management Jakarta Capital - Indonesia Field Report III
Posted in the Business News Forum
Since: Feb 13
#1 Feb 25, 2013
Although once a jewel of biodiversity in Indonesia, teeming with Sumatran rhinoceroses and bantengs (wild Asian cattle species), and long-portrayed as one of the greatest wilderness areas left on the Indonesian side of Borneo, much of Kutai today looks like a devastation zone. Kilometers deep into its boundaries, the park has been stripped of trees. Despite the fact that the park is nominally a protected area, the trees have been logged for their hardwoods as well as to cultivate palms. The park was also badly affected by extensive fires several years ago. The big dipterocarp trees that are the essence of a Southeast Asian rainforest and on which many animal species depend for survival – and the hardwood of which is unfortunately highly valuable – have been all but eliminated in vast tracks of the park. The one last standing dipterocarp a kilometer deep into the forest has become an attraction to show to tourists. As a result, and also because of hunting, few hornbills are left in much of the park: Over the days we spent there, we saw only three species of hornbills: wrinkled, rhinoceros, and Asian pied. Overall, despite hours and hours in the forest, we could saw few other species of birds and mammals, including those that should be common genera in this kind of habitat, such as bulbuls and broadbills. One of the most common bird species in the park, even as deep into the forest as that which several hours of hiking would bring us, seemed to be the blue-eared barbet, a typical forest-edge species whose prevalence well inside the forest indicated that the forest is destroyed and of marginal quality and resembles more a forest edge, rather than a high-quality lowland growth.
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