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North Sulawesi Gunung Sahengbalira Protection Forest

North Sulawesi

Gunung Sahengbalira Protection Forest

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General
The Gunung Sahengbalira Protection Forest covers an area of 5,000 ha and is nominated as a nature reserve in Indonesia’s National Conservation Plan. The site holds the last remaining area with reasonably extensive forest on Sangihe Island. Forests range from primary lowland tropical rainforest to sub-montane forests at the higher altitudes. The site is named after the highest peak in the area: the Gunung Sahengbalira (1015m).
The UK based Action Sampiri, the local name of the endemic Red-and-blue Lory, tries to raise environmental awareness and develop eco-tourist accommodation in the area. The Sangihe Islands are especially interesting for bird-watchers as three endemic and endangered birds can be found. For more info about their work in the area see the address details below.
Access
Tahuna, the capital of the Sangihe Islands is easy accessible by boat from Manado. Boats leave for Tahuna every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A more expensive approach goes by PELNI ferry, every two weeks from Bitung, or by plane from Manado. Gunung Sahengbalira Protection Forest is accessible from Tamako in southern Sangihe. Tamako is served by several (mini)-buses from Tahuna.
You don’t need a permit to enter the site but visitors must seek permission from the village heads. Ask Frets Pangimangen, owner of the Rainbow losmen, for advice. Guides and porters can be found in Upel village at the foot of Gunung Sahengbalira.
Accommodation
* Lilipan B – Tamako
o Rainbow Losmen
* Tahuna
o New Victoria Veronica
o Penginganpan Seda Hana
Addresses
KSDA Manado, Jl. Babe Palar, Manado, SULUT.
Mapala Areca Vestiaria, Fakultas Pertanian, PO Box 39, Kleak, Manado 95115, SULUT.
Contact M.B. Hutajulu or Feibe Katuuk.
Action Sampiri, 1 The Croft, North Sunderland, Seahouses, Northumberland NE68 7XA. England.
Telephone: ++-44-(0)1665-720325
Trekking
* Upel village – Gunung Sahengbalira 2-3 hrs.
* Coast-to-coast trek 2-3 days.
Mammals
* Sulawesi dwarf cuscus – Strigocuscus celebensis
* Variable flying fox – Pteropus hypomelanus
* Sulawesi rousette – Rousettus celebensis
* Malayan false vampire bat – Megaderma spasma
* Swift fruit bat – Thoopterus nigrescens
* Common long-tongued fruit bat –
* Sangihe tarsier – Tarsius sangirensis
* Malay civet – Viverra tangalunga
* Sulawesi giant rat – Lenomys meyeri
* House mouse – Mus musculus
* House rat – Rattus rattus
* Sangihe tree squirrel – Prosciurillus leucomus
* Sulawesi giant squirrel – Rubrisciurus rubriventer

Birds
* Philippine Scrubfowl – Megapodius cumingii
* Dollarbird – Eurystomus orientalis
* Sulawesi Kingfisher – Ceyx fallax
* Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher – Cittura cyanotis
* Rainbow Bee-eater – Merops ornatus
* Oriental Cuckoo – Cuculus saturatus
* Asian Koel – Eudynamys scolopacea
* Lesser Coucal – Centropus bengalensis
* Sulphur-crested Cockatoo – Cacatua galerita
* Great-billed Parrot – Tanygnathus megalorynchos
* Blue-backed Parrot – Tanygnathus sumatranus
* Sangihe Hanging-Parrot – Loriculus catamene
* Glossy Swiftlet – Collocalia esculenta
* Moluccan Swiftlet – Aerodramus infuscata
* White-throated Needletail – Hirundapus caudacutus
* Sangihe Scops-Owl – Otus collari
* Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove – Macropygia amboinensis

* Emerald Dove – Chalcophaps indica
* Grey-cheeked Green-Pigeon – Treron griseicauda
* Black-naped Fruit-Dove – Ptilinopus melanospila
* Elegant Imperial-Pigeon – Ducula concinna
* Brahminy Kite – Haliastur indus
* Chinese Goshawk – Accipiter soloensis
* Hooded Pitta – Pitta sordida
* Red-bellied Pitta – Pitta erythrogaster
* Brown Shrike – Lanius cristatus
* Sahengbalira Shrike-thrush – Colluricincla sanghirensis
* Black-naped Oriole – Oriolus chinensis
* Pied Cuckoo-shrike – Coracina bicolor
* Sulawesi Cicadabird – Coracina morio
* Hair-crested Drongo – Dicrurus hottentottus
* Spangled Drongo – Dicrurus bracteatus
* [Cerulean Paradise-Flycatcher] – Eutrichomyias rowleyi
* Island Monarch – Monarcha cinerascens
* Grey-streaked Flycatcher – Muscicapa griseisticta
* Asian Glossy Starling – Aplonis panayensis
* Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
* Pacific Swallow – Hirundo tahitica
* Golden Bulbul – Alophoixus affinis
* Black-crowned White-eye – Zosterops atrifrons
* Arctic Warbler – Phylloscopus borealis
* Yellow-sided Flowerpecker – Dicaeum aureolimbatum
* Grey-sided Flowerpecker – Dicaeum celebicum
* Plain-throated Sunbird – Anthreptes malacensis
* Black Sunbird – Nectarinia aspasia
* Elegant Sunbird – Aethopyga duyvenbodei
* Yellow Wagtail – Motacilla flava

[ ]- recorded on Sangihe, but not (yet) within reserve boundaries.

 

Sangihe and Talaud islands, Indonesia: 1

by Jim C. Wardill and Jon Riley, from OBC Bulletin 29, May 1999.

The remote Sangihe and Talaud islands are situated in the Celebes Sea between Sulawesi and the Philippine island of Mindanao. At the northern limit of the fascinating Wallacean biogeographical region, the islands are home to nine endemic species, five of which are endangered. Sangihe has little natural forest left and there are two key sites: Talawid in the north of the island is a good area for parrots, whilst Gunung Sahengbalira in the south is the only extensive area of forest left on Sangihe and has populations of four endangered endemic species, including two found only at this site. Talaud is a less developed and more remote archipelago. The largest island, Karakelang, has extensive areas of protected forest, supporting important populations of parrots.

The islands can be visited year round, but the most productive time is during the drier months between April and September; the wet season from September to March can make the steep terrain very challenging. Below we give access and accommodation details for the island’s key sites, along with notes on the more interesting species.

Access and accommodation
The islands are accessible from Manado, the provincial capital of North Sulawesi, which is served by international Silk Air flights from Singapore. In early 1999, flights to Sangihe and Talaud had fallen victim to the country’s economic crisis and it was only possible to reach the islands by boat.

From Sulawesi
Ferries depart from Manado harbour at 6 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening for the 12 h crossing to Tahuna, Sangihe. Ferries to Beo, Karakelang, Talaud and Lirung depart from Manado every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 6 p.m. The Pulo Teratai and the Valentine travel direct, the journey to Beo taking approximately 20 h; the Agape Star travels via Tamako and Tahuna, adding six hours to the journey time. Return ferries from Tahuna, Sangihe, are on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening at 6 p.m.; from Talaud on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. It is advisable to buy tickets at the harbour in the morning to ensure a place to sleep on these crowded boats. The KM Tilongkabila, which has luxury cabins, sails through the islands once every 28 days. It leaves Bitung, North Sulawesi, sails directly to Talaud and then returns to Bitung via Tahuna, before heading on to Gorontalo. Schedules and tickets are available from PELNI: Jl. Sam Ratulangi 7, Manado (telephone 0431-862844).

Sangihe
The infrastructure on Sangihe is well developed with good roads, hotels and international telephone links. Tahuna, the capital, is the transport hub and buses to all towns on the island can be found at the new bus station on Jalan Makaampo; one can also charter mikrolets (blue minibuses) to anywhere on the island for approximately US$10. In Tahuna stay at the Hotel Nasional, Jalan Makaampo, (telephone 0432-21185/21462). There are many places to eat, the best probably the Marina Coffee House next door to Hotel Nasional. Food and supplies are available in Tahuna for trips to Talawid and Gunung Sahengbalira. Perhaps the star bird on Sangihe is the Cerulean Paradise-flycatcher Eutrichomyias rowleyi that was recently rediscovered by the Action Sampiri team. People wishing to search for this species should first contact the local office of Action Sampiri which will be opening soon.

Gunung Sahengbalira
The easiest way to get to this site is from Tamako (regular bus from Tahuna, a two-hour journey). Accommodation is available at the Rainbow Losmen in Lilipan B village which can be reached by minibus from Tamako; ask for Frets Pangimangen. Rooms with breakfast cost c. US$3 single or c. US$5 double, with full board for c. US$3 extra per person per day. Frets knows how to reach the forest on Sahengbalira and will organise guides or porters for you. Narrow trails lead into the forest and a path runs along most of the top of the ridge. The area of forest remaining on Gunung Sahengbalira is probably no more than 400 ha and to reach it is a two-hour climb.

 

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