Batang Ai-Lanjak Entimau, Malaysia
- Batang Ai-Lanjak Entimau, Malaysia Photo
- ©Joshua Pandong
This region of Sarawak shelters the endangered Bornean species of orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus. Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary and Batang Ai National Park are among the richest sites for plants and animals in Malaysian Borneo. There are eight distinct forest types in the protected area, including the rare montane mossy forest. In addition to the orangutans, there are Bornean gibbons, white-fronted langurs, long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques, binturongs, barking deer, bearded pigs, and clouded leopards.
The Batang Ai-Lanjak Entimau complex together with the Betung Kerihun National Park of West Kalimantan, Indonesia, form the largest protected area where Pongo pygmaeus is found.
- Accessing Batang Ai National Park requires outboard-powered longboats as it is drained by several rivers, mainly by the Batang Ai.
- With its rugged and hilly terrain that ranges from 190–4,215 feet above sea level and patches of old secondary forests, Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary offers ecologists and botanists unique opportunities to study species succession and forest dynamics.
Except for patches of abandoned secondary forest, the forests in Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary are relatively undisturbed primary forest. Illegal hunting is the biggest concern in this landscape. Throughout Sarawak, a rapidly expanding road network has made formerly remote forests accessible to hunters with shotguns and spotlights.
|© Philadelphia Zoo |
WCS has been involved in Sarawak since the 1960s, when noted conservationist Dr. George Schaller conducted pioneering studies of orangutans. Today, WCS, together with Sarawak Forestry Corporation, is surveying the area’s orangutan population, documenting the fruit trees the primates rely on, and assessing the major threats they face. WCS has also partnered with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation to help raise awareness of these threats among local communities and schools through conservation education programs.
Recently, WCS helped achieve a major breakthrough in orangutan conservation efforts in this region. A November 2009 Regional Symposium on Orangutan Conservation, which brought together international experts and non-governmental organizations, resulted in 17 recommendations—such as creation of a new protected area for orangutans and increased patrols to prevent illegal killings. These recommendations were then submitted to the Sarawak government to be endorsed as state policy.
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