Betung Kerihun

Betung Kerihun National Park, previously Bentuang Karimun (BNKP), is a national park in the province of West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, Indonesia. It is located inland, along the Malaysian border. The park was originally established as a 600.000 Ha nature reserve ini 1982 by a Ministry of Agriculture decree. The size was enlarged to 800.000 Ha in 1992, and the conservation status was changed to national park in 1995.

Betung Kerihun National Park is located in Kapuas Hulu, the heart of Borneo. The geographic position is 112o15' - 114o10' east and 0o40' - 1o35' north. Betung Kerihun offers an incredible biodiversity, nature beauty and unique culture and traditions of local communities.

The topography of the park is mainly hilly and mountainous with altitude ranging from 150 to 2.000 m above sea level. With its mountains and hills, the park is characterized by steep slopes (45 % and up) in up tu 61,15 % of its area. The hills and mountains comprise the mountain range of Kapuas Hulu in the north, which is contiguous with the state of Sarawak, East Malaysia, and the Muller range in the east, which is contiguous with the province East Kalimantan. Betung Kerihun owes its name from 2 mountains, which are the Mt. Betung in the west, with an altitude of 1.150 m and the Mt. Kerihun in the east, with 1.790 m the highest peak in the park.

The hydrology of Betung Kerihun is characterized by hundreds of streams and big rivers which form the Kapuas watersheds. Kapuas watersheds cover 9.874.910 hectares or around 67 % of West Kalimantan area (14.680.700 hectares). The climate is characterized by heavy rainfall, which is typical for the inland of Borneo. On average the annual rainfall is about 2.870 mm to 5.500 mm. Dry season occurs between June and September with approximately 100 mm rainfall per month. The wet season starts usually in October and end in May. However there are always years with very high rainfall also in the dry season or extreme little rainfall. For example, the year 2010 was marked by very high rainfall especially in the dry season which caused regional flooding not least in Putussibau.

The park largely consists of two ecoregions, Borneo montane rain forest, which covers about 2/3 of the area, and Borneo lowland rain forest. In the lowland forest, the dominant emegent tree is Dipterocarp species, which are replaced at higher altitude with Oaks (Quercus and Lithocarpus sp.) and chestnut trees (Castanopsis ssp.), at least 97 species of orchid and 49 species of palmhave been identified in the park.

The fauna or the park is rich, with 300 species of bird (25 endemic to Borneo), at least 162 fish species and at least 54 mammals. The park is home to endangered Bornean orangutan and seven other primate species : Muller's Bornean Gibbon, White-fronted Surili, Maroon leaf Monkey, Southern Pig-tailed Macaque, Crab-eating Macaque, Sunda Loris and Horsfield's Tarsier.

Several Dayak tribes, including Dayak Iban, Dayak Taman, and Dayak Bukat live in the park, there are 12 villages in and around the park, 2 of which are located inside the park (Nanga Bungan and Tanjung Lokang) and 6 are adjacent to the park boundary. They live form hunting, collecting non-timber forest product and subsistence farming based on a pattern of shifting cultivation.

Because of the incredible landscape, high biodiversity and uniqueness of local communities culture, Betung Kerihun offers indeed high potential for ecotourism with many attractive tourist destination. More over the park provides also various opportunities for researchers.

Declared by Minister of Forestry No. 510/Kpts-II/1999, June 30, 1999