Kayan Mentarang National Park has an amazing and high-value biodiversity because there are much varieties of protected species and plants.
Kayan Mentarang National Park was first designated as Nature Reserve by Indonesian Minister of Agriculture in 1980. Later in 1996, the area was changed to National Park status, it was done at the urging of local community and recommendation from WWF so that the interest of local community can be accommodated.
This national park has the largest remaining primary and secondary forest area in the entire Southeast Asian region. The name of this national park Kayan Mentarang is derived from two important river names in this area, namely Kayan River which is located in the south of this area and Mentarang River in the north.
The park has an area of 1,360,500 hectares and is located in the northern part of East Kalimantan Province, precisely in Malinau, Nunukan and Bulungan districts, directly adjacent to Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia. Most of these areas are included in the District of Nunukan. The potential tourism of this National Park is Hulu Krayan, Hulu Pujungan, and Hulu Kayan / Datadian.
Plants that exist in this region include Ramin (Gonystylus bancanus), jelutung (Dyera costulata), agathis (Agathis borneensis), Ironwood (Eusideroxylon zwageri), rengas (Gluta wallichii), aloes (Aquilaria malacensis), aren (Arenga pinnata) , pulai (Alstonia scholaris), various types of orchids, palms, and semar pouches. In addition, there are also some types of plants that can not be identified because it is a new species in Indonesia.
Kayan Mentarang National Park has 8 species of primates, 100 species of mammals where15 species of are endemic and more than 310 species of birds with 28 species including Kalimantan endemic which have been registered by ICBP (International Committee for Bird Protection) as an endangered species.
In this region, there are rare mammals such as white forehead (Presbytis frontata frontata), sun bear (Helarctos malayanus euryspilus), leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), and bull (Bos javanicus lowi).
The rivers in Kayan Mentarang National Park are used for access to the area which is the Bahau River, the Kayan River, and the Mentarang River. Transportation used in the river is a long boat that is made of wood.
There are various cultures heritages around the area of the national park. Recorded approximately 21,000 people live in and around this national park area from various ethnic and language subgroups, known as the Dayak tribe. Around 50 villages and some tribes that are Dayak communities are located within this national park area. The Dayak tribe community such as Makasan, Kenyah, Kayan,Tagel, Punan, Lundayeh Badeng, Bakung, Saben and Makulit.
Local people are still dependent on the use of forests for their livelihoods, such as medicinal plants, timber, and animals hunting. Basically, local people manage natural resources traditionally based on variations of species.
Traditional natural resource management is essentially in line with the conservation of forests and wildlife. Unfortunately, traditional rules are often abused by irresponsible parties to take natural resources from the region. Not to mention the theft activities of the parties and the taking of forest products using modern equipment.
With so many things that could pose a threat to the sustainability of the forests, local people within and around the park are considered the most appropriate asset to preserve the natural resources in the park. The support of Local Government to maintain and manage the natural resources of Kayan Mentarang National Park can help the park remain sustainable.