Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia text by Mark Sullivan photos by Kathleen Sullivan and Eric Hunt
More pictures by Eric Hunt visit:
Workers culitivating coffee illegally in Bukit Barisan Selatan National
Park photo by Kathleen Sullivan
Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park covers a total area of
3,568 km² (881,668.5 acres) on the southern tip of Sumatra,
Indonesia stretching from Tanggamus and West Lampung regencies in
Lampung to Kaur
regency in Bengkulu. It started as a Wildlife Sancutary in 1935
National Park in 1982. The national park is part of the a
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of
represents a signifigant natural habitat for in situ conservation
because of its large diversity of flora, fauna and ongoing ecological
and biological processes. It is home to a variety of wildlife
mammals, 425 birds, 45 amphibians and reptiles and 51 fish species. It
also contains around 200 species of tree, 126 orchids, 15 species of
bamboo, and 44 undergrowth species.
The Sumatran tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, and
striped rabbit are some of the unique and endangered animal species
found in the park. Besides its abundance in flora and
fauna, the park is also blessed with a number of fascinating natural
beauty spots, including its four lakes, four waterfalls, seven natural
caves and 23 river basin areas.
photo by Eric Hunt ©
Coffee and lumber are two of the largest export products from Sumatra,
Indonesia. The park has lost 20% of its forest to illegal coffee
The World Wildlife Fund has found that more than 450 km² of
Bukit Barisan Selatan park land is being used for growing coffee,
producing over 19,600 tons. The coffee is then mixed in with legally
grown Sumatra coffee and sold to the world market. Indonesia
is the 4th
largest producer of
coffee and the 2nd largest of robusta coffee. Robusta coffee is the
coffee found in the major brands in your grocery store. Vietnam is 1st
Madagascar is also a major producer.
Over 50% of the island of Sumatra's forest has been cut down. In
Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park the Lampung chapter of the
Forum for the Environment (Walhi) records that around 50 percent of the
park area has been damaged, while the Lampung Forest Conservation
Consortium (KKHL) claims 60 percent of the park area has been
73% of the the lumber is illegally cut down. The illegal lumbering is
cause for flooding and landslides hitting Sumatra
and Indonesia as a whole. From illegal-logging.info: "
In some provinces, notably Riau, police investigations have shown that
logging companies have somehow managed to obtain licences from the
local authorities to cut down trees in protected rainforests...
The inability of the
authorities to rein in the loggers has been
variously ascribed to a shortage of forestry officials, collusion
between police and logging companies, and corrupt judges."
Current predictions (2008) are 70% of the park
will devoted to coffee growing, forested or settlements by the end of
2010. There are
currently around 15,600 squatter homes in the area.
Deforestation just outside Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park.
photo by Kathleen Sullivan
Lumber Truck in Sumatra
photo by Kathleen Sullivan
of the Flying Squad escorting a baby elephant out the park after being
found alone. Its mother had been poached. The use of domestic elephants
to lead a baby elephant out of the wild is less tramatizing to them
capturing the baby elephant. photo by Kathleen Sullivan
Sumatra, Indonesia is the 6th largest island in the world, 1100 miles
long, 270 miles wide at its widest point with 986 orchid species.
Map is fully functional. You do not need Google Earth