Way Kambas National Park
|Way Kambas National Park|
Sumatran Rhino in the Way Kambas Sanctuary
|Location||Way Kanan Regency, Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia|
|Nearest city||Bandar Lampung|
|Visitors||2,553 (in 2007)|
|Governing body||Ministry of Forestry|
It consists of swamp forest and lowland rain forest, mostly of secondary growth as result of extensive logging in the 1960s and 1970s. Despite decreasing populations, the park still has a few critically endangered Sumatran Tigers, Sumatran Elephants and Sumatran Rhinoceroses. It also provides excellent birdwatching, with the rare White-winged Wood Duck among the over 400 species present in the park.
Threats to the park are posed by poaching and habitat loss due to illegal logging. Conservation efforts include patrolling and the establishment of the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary and the Elephant Conservation Centre.
Flora and fauna
Plant species include Avicennia marina, Sonneratia species, Nypa fruticans, Melaleuca leucadendra, Syzygium polyanthum, Pandanus species, Schima wallichii, Shorea species, Dipterocarpus gracilis, and Gonystylus bancanus. The sandy shores of the park are dominated by Casuarina equisetifolia.
The park has 50 species of mammal many of them critically endangered. There are about 20 Sumatran Rhinoceros in the area, down from around 40 in the 1990s. The number of Sumatran Elephants in the park was estimated to 180 in 2005. The population of Sumatran tigers has declined from 36-40 in 2000 to less than 30. Other mammals in the park are the Malayan tapir, Dhole (Cuon alpinus sumatrensis) and Siamang (Hylobates syndactylus syndactylus).
About half of the bird species are inhabiting the coastal swamps, including mangroves, riverine forest, freshwater and peat swamp forest, and the marshes of the area. The park is one of the last strongholds of the White-winged Wood Duck, with a population between 24-38 birds left, the largest in Sumatra. Among the other 405 species of bird recorded in the park, are the Storm's Stork, Woolly-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Crested Fireback, Great Argus and Oriental Darter.
Threats and conservation
Significant encroachment has occurred along the southern boundary of the park by villagers claiming traditional land rights. Roads and trails into the park are starting points for illegal logging that penetrates into the interior of the park. This resulted in the forest coverage declining to 60% of the park. In 2009-10 an area of 6,000 hectares which was occupied by squatters for decades has been evicted.
Wells left behind by relocated communities in 1984, have proven to be deadly traps for the animals, including baby elephants, rhinos and tigers. In a conservation effort between 2008 and 2010 around 2,000 wells have been closed.
Poaching has been a significant threat, often involving soldiers and in a 2002 case even high-ranked military. In recent years poaching is reported to be more under control, with no cases of rhinoceros poaching, and no cases of tiger poaching reported between 2004 and 2011.
In early 2011 the Ministry of Forestry announced the allocation of funds to establish a rare flora and fauna rehabilitation centre in the park.
Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary
A managed breeding centre named Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) of 250 acres (100 ha) was built up in 1995. The goal of the sanctuary is to maintain a small number of rhinos for research, "insurance", awareness-building, and the long-term goal of developing a breeding program, to help ensure the survival of the species in the wild. Currently five Sumatran Rhinos live at the Sanctuary, most have been translocated from zoos to the large enclosures with natural habitat at the SRS. Since 1997, Rhino Protection Units have been established. These are trained anti-poaching teams of 4-6 people that patrol a minimum of 15 days per month the key areas of the park to deactivate traps and identify illegal intruders. Andatu, a calf who born on June 23, 2013 is the fourth calf live in the zoo all over the world or semi-in-situ captive breeding likes in Way Kambas Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. The mother is Ratu and the father is Andalas who came from Cincinnati, USA in 2007. In earlier October 2003, Andatu height is almost the same of the mother height.
A significant source of conflict between the park and surrounding communities is posed by crop raiding wild elephants. In a study conducted in the 1990s, it was recorded that wild elephants damaged over 45 hectares of corn, rice, cassava, beans and other crops, and around 900 coconut, banana and other trees in 18 villages around the park. Over a period of 12 years, elephants killed or injured 24 people near the park. Villagers attempt to reduce elephant damage by guarding fields, digging trenches between, and modifying their cropping patterns. In 2010 it was reported that villagers used bonfires around their homes to scare away the elephants while forest rangers have been using tame elephants to help drive away wild herds.
Elephant Conservation Centre
The Elephant Conservation Centre (ECC) has been established in the 1980s. The elephants in the centre have been domesticated and used for heavy work, ecotourism, patrol and breeding. Paintings created by elephants at the centre are sold by Novica, a commercial online arts agent associated with the National Geographic Society, with about half of the proceeds assisting endangered elephants throughout Asia. 
The ECC will be provided with an Elephant Hospital which will become the first of its kind in Indonesia and the largest in Asia. The elephant hospital will be built on a 5-hectare area with a Rp10 billion ($1.11 million) investment and expected to initial operations in 2014.
- World Database on Protected Areas: Record of Way Kambas National Park
- Forestry statistics of Indonesia 2007, retrieved 20 May 2010
- Zieren, M., B. Wiryawan, H.A. Susanto: Significant Coastal Habitats, Wildlife and Water Resources in Lampung, Coastal Resources Center, University of Rhode Island, USA, 1999
- Paul Jepson (1997) Fielding's birding Indonesia (Periplus Editions) ISBN 1-56952-133-6
- Ministry of Forestry: Way Kambas National Park, retrieved 30 January 2011
- Oyos Saroso H.N.: Suhadi risks life for Sumatran rhinos, in The Jakarta Post, 18 July 2007
- International Rhino Foundation, retrieved 30 January 2011
- Choudhury, A., Lahiri Choudhury, D.K., Desai, A., Duckworth, J.W., Easa, P.S., Johnsingh, A.J.T., Fernando, P., Hedges, S., Gunawardena, M., Kurt, F., Karanth, U., Lister, A., Menon, V., Riddle, H., Rübel, A. & Wikramanayake, E. (2008). "Elephas maximus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- Oyos Saroso H.N: Sumatran tigers nearly extinct in Way Kambas, in The Jakarta Post, 18 January 2011
- Oyos Saroso H.N.: Environment Watch: Govt to pump money into embattled national park in The Jakarta Post, 28 January 2011
- Save Indonesian Endangered Species Fund, retrieved 31 January 2011
- International Rhino Foundation: Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, retrieved 31 January 2011
- "In Way Kambas, saving the Sumatran rhino". October 22, 2013.
- Philip J. Nyhus, Ronald Tilsona and Sumianto: Crop-raiding elephants and conservation implications at Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia, in Oryx, Volume 34, Issue 4 (2000)]
- Oyos Saroso H.N.: Elephant movement leaves crops in danger, in The Jakarta Post, 31 July 2010
- Save Indonesian Endangered Species Fund: Way Kambas Elephant Conservation Centre, retrieved 31 January 2011
- Mayell, Hillary (June 26, 2002). "Painting Elephants Get Online Gallery". National Geographic News. National Geographic Society. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Elephant Art Photo Gallery". National Geographic Society. 2002. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Hospital built for elephants in Lampung". January 31, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Way Kambas National Park.|
- Way Kambas National Park: Habitat of the Sumatran Elephants — Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia
- Pictures of SRS, Way Kambas on the Rhino Resource Center