Danau Sentarum National Park, the most excotic water system in the world

Danau Sentarum NP viewed from top of Bukit Terkenang (c) Agus Tri

Danau Sentarum National Park lies in the upstream of Kapuas River, about 700 km from the delta. It was acknowledged as Ramsar Site in 1994 and decreed as a national park in 1999.  The park consists of seasonal lakes and freshwater swamp forest. There are 88 small islands and 80 lakes forming the park. Surrounded by mountains such as Lanjak in the north, Muller in the east, Kelingkang in the west and dataran tinggi Madi in the south, the park is more like a basin. The basin functions like a reservoir. During the rainy season, the basin will be flooded. The wet season usually take about 9 – 10 months wetting the basin at 6 – 14 meters in  depth. On the contrary, it will dry during drought season and some lakes within the basin would form a bared land. These conditions make the lakes have a very unique ecosystem.

The fish are abundant in the lakes including arwana Super Red (Sceropagus formosus), Botia macracantha, Colus microlepis are endemic to Danau Sentarum . A number of 266 fish species have been recorded living in the lakes. According to the study, there have been 311 bird species including Strom’s Stork and Great Argus, 147 mammal species including Proboscis monkey and orangutan (Pongo pymaeus), and 31 reptile specie. Crocodillus raninus which are said to be extinct have ever been found the park. Additionaly, of the 675 species of flora living in the park 154 is orchid species.For the local, the lakes which cover 132.000 hectare, play an important role for their life. They  traditionally catch the fish from the lakes and sell them to the city. About 70% of the fish in West Kalimantan sold in the market is from Danau Sentarum. There is an interesting phenomenon with regard to the local. During drought season when the fish are abundant and easy to catch, people from outside of the park would come to the lakes to catch the fish. However, when rainy season are due to, they leave the park and only the local stay. The park also provide another income for the local. It is the honey bee which have also been supported the ecoomic of the local. There have been 15 – 20 ton honey bee yielded per year. Danau Sentarum honey bee has had an international organic bee sertificate from the Indonesia Organic Association. Melayu, Dayak Iban, Dayak Kantuk and Dayak Embaloh are 4 tribes who have been living in the park since their ancestor. They have been take fish and honey from the park sustainably and they are very concerned to preserve the park.

How to get there

By flight to Pontianak followed by another flight or by bus from Pontianak to Putussibau

Contact :

Danau Sentarum National Park Office

Jl. C.Oevang Oeray No. 43 Sintang

Telp./Fax. +62 (565)22242

e-mail : balai.tnds@yahoo.com

 

 

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