indonesia travel magazine

West Kalimantan, Hutan Sambas Nature Reserve

Hutan Sambas Nature Reserve


Location:l-ª55’N, 109-ª25’E; in the extreme northwest corner of Kalimantan on the border with Sarawak, Kabupaten Sambas, West Kalimantan.
Area:120,000 ha.
Altitude:Sea level to 600m.
Description of site:
A large area of lowland forest including about 43,000 ha of mangrove forest and 100 ha of beach forest. The rest of the area consists of peat swamps and moist lowland dipterocarp forest. The depth of water in the peat swamps varies from 50 cm in the wet season to 10-20 cm in the dry season. The main riverine system is the Sungai Sambas and its tributaries. The Sambas is about 500-1,000 metres wide and has a maximum depth of nine metres during the rainy season. Tidal influence is noticeable up to 30 km inland.
Climatic conditions:
Humid tropical climate with an average annual rainfall of about 2,500 mm.

Principal vegetation:
Mangrove forest, peat swamp forest, freshwater swamp forest and moist lowland dipterocarp forest. Dominant tree species include Gonystylus bancanus, Dactyloclados szenos:achys, Campnosperma auriculata, Vatica oblongifolia and Shorea spp. The undergrowth consists of species of Pandanus and Palmae.

Land tenure:State owned (Indonesian Government).
Conservation measures taken:None.
Conservation measures proposed:
The area has been proposed as a Nature Reserve (Cagar Alam).

Land use:Forestry exploitation, shifting agriculture, hunting and harvesting of turtle eggs.
Disturbances and threats:
Uncontrolled logging, hunting, harvesting of sea-turtle eggs and shifting agriculture. In 1979, the timber stock was considered to be sufficient for profitable exploitation, but it is not known whether or not commercial logging has since been carried out.

Economic and social values:
The area could be part of an international reserve, linking up with the Samunsam Reserve in Sarawak, Malaysia.

The area is known to be rich in wildlife, and there are several large and important sea-turtle nesting beaches

Special floral values:
The area is known to be of exceptional floral richness.

Research and facilities:
A survey was carried out by the Direktorat Bina Program in 1979. An ecological survey was planned in 1986, but the researcher was not permitted to enter the area because of its military status (near the border with Sarawak).

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