Located on the eastern coastline of Sumatra, in the Jambi province of Indonesia, Berbak National Park is the largest unperturbed swamp forest area of Southeast Asia. It was given the status of a National Park by the minister of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia in 1992.
Berbak National Park is situated on the Eastern Sumatran lands. This area is covered with alluvial soil, making it a very fertile place. It is largely a flat region, spread in an area of 1,627 km2. A number of meandering rivers run through this place. Some of the area is covered by freshwater swamp and the rest is a peat swamp forest. This national park has muddy coast and a small fringe of mangrove forest on its eastern borders, while the Benu river forms its southern boundary.
Vegetation and Fauna
This peat swamp forest has the largest number of palm tree species, 23 in total. Some of these species have been declared as endangered ones. This includes the Johannesteijsmannia altifrons and Lepidonia kingie. Shorea genus rainforest trees are also found here in abundance.
Berbak National Park is also the home for some endangered animals such as the Sumatran Tiger and Malayan Tapir. The Sumatran Rhinoceros have not been spotted in this forest for some years, but there is a possibility that they may be existing in small numbers in some areas of the park. The bird species found here include Chinese Egret, Lesser Adjutant Stork, many species of Kingfisher and White-winged Wood Duck amongst 250 others. Malaysian Giant Turtle, Batagur Turtle and Saltwater Crocodile are some of the native reptiles of this forest.
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