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Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (LEWS) and Batang Ai National Park (BANP)

Date of Submission: 23/06/2004
Criteria: (viii)(ix)(x)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Forest Department, Srawak 936 60 Kuching, Sarawak Malaysia
Coordinates: N 1°11' - 1°51' E 111°51' - 128°28'
Ref.: 1988
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Description

Lanjac Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (LEWS), with an area of 168,758 ha and its proposed extension of 18,414 ha was initially established as a Lanjak Entimau Protected Forest in 1940. Because of its importance as natural habitat for wildlife the area was gazetted as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1983. With a size of almost 200,000 ha, the area is now the largest Totally Protected Area in Sarawak. The Sanctuary comprises a major part of the hilly terrain between Batang Rajang in the North and Batang Lupar in the South. The terrain in the Sanctuary is rugged throughout with its most strongly dissected terrain located in the south. Elevation ranges from 60 m a.s.l. in the flood plains of the Rajang tributaries to a maximum of 1,285 m a.s.l. at the summit of Bukit Lanjak in the south-west. The Sanctuary comprises two watersheds. The northern part of the Sanctuary is drained by the Rajang tributaries such as Sungai Katibas, Sungai Ngemah and Sungai Kanowit, while in the south by the tributaries of Batang Lupar namely Batang Ai, Sungai Engkari and Batang Skrang. On the other hand the Batang Ai National Park, which was gazetted on 1 Jan. 1991, encompasses the tributaries and headwaters of Batang Ai which flow into the reservoir of Batang Ai Hydro-electric dam managed by Sarawak Electricity Supply Corporation. The terrain is steep with elevations ranging from 100 m to 975 m a.s.l. at the summit of Bukit Ensenga. When the area was first proposed as a National Park in 1984, there was no longhouse or recent cultivation (NPWO, 1984) as the people moved out of the area during the Indonesian "confrontation" with Malaysia in 1963. People began to move back into the area in 1987 as a result of the flooding of the lower valley for the hydro- electricity project. There are now three longhouses within the Park boundary. Rainfall data from the three meteorological stations indicated a mean annual rainfall of 3,500 mm. Temperature rarely exceeds 28°C. Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary and Batang Ai National Park are among the richest sites for flora and fauna in Borneo. Eight distinct forest types including the rare montane mossy forest are recognized. The 30 to over 100 years old secondary forests offer 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 a relatively undisturbed primary forest. It is also the home of the rare giant Rafflesiu flower and the endangered orangutan (Porzgo pygrnezu), with an estimated population of 1,360 individuals and other totally protected species such as Borneon gibbons and hornbills. Besides, 21 species of the flora are critically endangered while another 20 are endangered. Three mammals and 9 bird species are vulnerable. Because of its many outstanding characteristics, Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary was selected by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in 1991 for in-situ nature conservation project with a view to develop it into a model for biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of genetic resources for forestry and community development. Phase I and I1 of the project (1993-2000) revealed the species richness and diversity. New species, new records, rare and endemic species were discovered. Among the significant finding in the insect world is the abundant Rajah Brooke's Birdwing butterfly (Troides br-ookiaizu brookiana). It is the only invertebrate species protected under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance. In the pristine tributaries of Sungai Bloh and Ulu Sungai Katibas are found abundant high value fish namely semah (Tor tontbm) and empurau (Tor tanzbroidcs). As for the Batang Ai National Park, with an area of 24,040 ha, almost the whole area is forest covered although a large proportion is secondary forest and rubber garden. The primary forest is unlogged and consists of mixed dipterocarp forest, kerangas forest or tropical heath and secondary forests. Like those for the Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary these forests are also home to various fauna1 species, notably the orangutan and the white fronted langur. Studies conducted in 1996 revealed that the park inhabits as many as 400 orangutans. Gibbons and hornbills are also found to be abundant within the area. The presence of dozen of saltlicks throughout the park also attract ungulates.