Our Beautiful World

Karo Province, Sumatra, Indonesia 
Its People and its beautiful Nature
Part II - Its Nature

working on this project, Sunday August 29th 2010
arbeider med dette prosjektet, søndag 29. august 2010

Some of these animal/bird photoes are taken outside Sumatra, but they are all more or less common to the area.

The best way to experience the jungle is to go trekkingwith the chance of spotting various wildlife
as well as some beautiful spots like waterfalls and swimming pools.

Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com

Blue-banded Kingfisher Alcedo euryzona


This kingfisher is largely restricted to lowland forested rivers and, as such, is suspected to have undergone a rapid and continuing population decline as a result of significant losses in the extent of this habitat throughout its range.

It is generally sedentary on rocky or slow-flowing streams and larger rivers running through forest (usually humid
evergreen, but also back-mangroves and mixed dipterocarp-dominated forest), most commonly in the lowlands,
but ascending locally to at least 1,250 m . It is predominantly piscivorous, also consuming crustaceans, insects
and small reptiles. Breeding has been recorded from February-June.

Huge areas of lowland forest were removed from the range of this species during the 20th century.
For example, rates of forest loss in the Sumatra, where they, as per 1998, lost lost almost 30% of its 1985 cover,
owing to a variety of factors, including the escalation of illegal logging and land conversion, with deliberate targeting
of all remaining stands of valuable timber including those inside protected areas, plus forest fires.
Its occupation of hill streams, however, provides some hope that it will survive in this relatively secure habitat.
Text for this bird: BirdLife International (2001).
Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/09/2010

Diard's Trogon, Harpactes diardii

Poring Hot Springs, Sabah, Malaysia - Sep, 2005
© Leif Gabrielsen

This species is considered Near Threatened, as it is likely to be declining moderately rapidly owing to the wholesale clearance of lowland forest habitats throughout its range.

Range & population: Occurs in the Sundaic lowlands, from peninsular Thailand, Sabah, Sarawak
and Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore (formerly), Kalimantan and Sumatra, Indonesia and Brunei.

Ecology: This species occurs in the middle and lower storeys of primary and logged evergreen forests in
lowlands and hills. It is mainly found below 600 m, although there are records up to 1,200 m on Borneo.
It has also been recorded from peatswamp forest, luxuriant secondary forest and even cocoa plantations.

Threats Rates of forest loss in the Sundaic lowlands have been extremely rapid, owing partly to the
escalation of illegal logging and land conversion, with deliberate targeting of all remaining stands
of valuable timber including those inside protected areas. Forest fires have also had a damaging effect
(particularly in 1997-1998).
BirdLife International (2010) Species factsheet: Harpactes diardii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/8/2010

Further down this page I am writing more about illegal logging and also about trade
with wild animals and birds. But sometimes I wonder whom to blame.
We, in the socalled industrialized world, are spending a lot of time and money to prevent
rainforests from disappearing around the world. But do we think what we have done
to the forests in Europe and North America? When we had the time to help the socalled
poorer nations, that is - when they were colonized by us - then we took out what we could
of their riches. Now when almost nothing is left, and they themselves want to get some
kind of benefit from it, we we do what we can to stop them.
Why don't we help those people, so they don't have to empty the woods for timber and animals,
but still can have enoug left over for a moderate living?

When rich people of the 'West' say they are willing to pay unbelievable amounts of money for
animals that are just outside your own doorstep, and you mother is sick and your brother
needs money to go to school - see why it is easy to be temptated to do 'wrong things?
When we scream loudly about all the bad habits we think they are doing there, why instead don't we think
how we can help those people? Well, I'm jmust asking.

Greater Yellownape Picus flavinucha
Alternate common name(s): Greater Yellow-naped Woodpecker, Large Yellow-naped Woodpecker

Fraser's Hill, Malaysia - Jun, 2004
© Tan Chin Tong

The Greater Yellownape, Picus flavinucha, is a species of bird in the Picidae family.
It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand,
and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical
moist montane forests.

Fraser's Hill, Malaysia - 2003
© Paul Huang

Large, olive green woodpecker with prominent yellow-crested nape and throat. Dark olive green with grey underparts. Crown brownish and flight feathers chestnut barred with black. Bill often looks whitish.
And, extremely difficult to find information about this bird somewhere.

The Orang Utan - Forest-man,
Pongo abelii

You will find a lot of different animals in this part of Sumatra: Orangutan, Thomas Leaf monkeys,
Black Gibbons, White Handed Gibbons, the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran elephants, clouded leopards,
marbled cat, crocodile, sun bear and the Sumatran Rhinoceros.
To day, however, most of then are only visible in The Gunung Leuser National Park, which lies in Karo-land.

Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com

The orangutans are the only exclusively Asian living genus of great ape.
They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping nests
each night from branches and foliage. They are generally not aggressive and live a mostly solitary life foraging for food.
They are the largest living arboreal animals with longer arms than other great apes. Their hair is typically reddish-brown,
instead of the brown or black hair typical of other great apes.

Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found only in rainforests on Borneo and Sumatra.
There are only two surviving species, both of which are endangered: the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
and the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii).
The word "orangutan" comes from the Malay words "orang" (man) and "(h)utan" (forest); hence, "man of the forest".

Young Orang-Utan In Bukit Lawang, Gunung Leuser National Parc, Nord Sumatra
Photo: Michaël CATANZARITI

GNU Free Documentation License

An orangutan's standing height averages from 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m). On average, an orangutan weighs between
73 to 180 pounds (33 to 82 kg). Males can weigh up to 250 lb (110 kg) or more.
Orangutan hands are similar to humans' hands; they have four long fingers and an opposable thumb.
Their feet have four long toes and an opposable big toe. Orangutans can grasp things with both their hands and their feet.
The largest males have an arm span of about 7.5 ft (2 m).

(C) http://www.solcomhouse.com/orangutans.htm

Orangutan habitat destruction due to logging, mining and forest fires, as well as fragmentation by roads,
has been increasing rapidly in the last decade. A major factor in that period of time has been the conversion of vast
areas of tropical forest to oil palm plantations in response to international demand (the palm oil is used for cooking,
cosmetics, mechanics, and more recently as source of biodiesel). Some UN scientists believe that these plantations
could lead to irreparable damage to orangutan habitat by the year 2012.
Some of this activity is illegal, occurring in national parks that are officially off limits to loggers, miners and plantation
development.There is also a major problem with hunting and illegal pet trade.
Text on the Orangutan from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orangutan

White Handed Gibbon, Hylobates lar
Lar Gibbon

Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com

The White-handed gibbon, like the gorilla, chimpanzee and orangutan, is an ape, not a monkey.
They share with the great apes (gorilla, orangutan and chimpanzees) several features: a large brain, a flat face
with shortened jaws, a more or less upright posture, a broad chest and no tail.

Gibbons are very small and lightweight. They have a small, round head, very long arms (the arms are longer than the legs), and a short, slender body. Gibbons have lightweight bones. The long forearms which assist it in suspensory behavior. Gibbons are arboreal; they spend most of their lives in trees.

Gibbons are covered with light-colored to very dark brown ( or black) dense hair on most of their body (except their
face, fingers, palms, armpits, and bottoms of their feet). Fur is extremely dense, providing protection from rain.
One square centimeter of skin has over 2,000 individual hairs (13,125 per sq. in.) compared to 900 hairs per sq. cm
. for Old World monkeys.

Some species of gibbons have a white face ring, a band of white face completely surrounding their jet-black face.
Snout is not protruding; nostrils are more widely spaced and more lateral than Old World Monkeys.
Small jaws with long canine teeth.

The white-handed gibbon is found in different parts of southeast Asia, the countries of Burma, China, Indonesia,
Malaysia, North Sumatra, and Thailand. This species is found in old growth tropical rain forests, semideciduous
monsoon forests and tropical evergreen forests. They prefer the covered closed canopy but during feeding may
climb to highest emergent crowns of trees or descend to clumps of bamboo and low bushes, or to drink.

This species is threatened for a several reasons. These gibbons are hunted for meat in some areas.
Live capture for the pet trade also poses a serious problem. In many Asian countries, it is "fashionable" to own
your own primate, and this has led to the death of many gibbons either at the time of capture or during transport.
The final, and greatest, threat to the gibbon is deforestation. Rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate
due to logging and agricultural, leaving forest species with an ever smaller region in which to live.
Some efforts are being made to save these primates, such as national parks and reserves, but they are not very effective.

Gibbon populations are decreasing; they are threatened with extinction. There are estimated to be about 79,000 lar gibbons (the white-handed or common gibbon). Lar gibbons retain only 10% of their original habitat in protected reserves.

Life span is 30 to 40 years.
Text and pictures (except the first picture) for the white handed gibbon: www.zooschool.ecsd.net

Sumatran Tiger

A young Sumatran tiger at the Ragunan Zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia. Deforestation on the Indonesian
Island of Sumatra is triggering conflicts between humans and endangered tigers.
Photo: Reuters and
Allianz SE

Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is a subspecies of tiger found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Recent genetic testing has revealed the presence of unique genetic markers, which isolate Sumatran tigers from
all mainland subspecies. About 400-500 wild Sumatran tigers were believed to exist in 1998, but their numbers have
continued to decline.

Photo: http://www.tigertrust.info/sumatran_tiger_tiger.asp

The Sumatran Tiger is the smallest of all surviving tiger subspecies. Male Sumatran tigers average 204 cm (6 feet, 8 inches)
in length from head to tail and weigh about 136 kg (300 lb). Females average 198 cm (6 feet, 6 inches) in length
and weigh about 91 kg (200 lb). Its stripes are narrower than other subspecies of tigers' stripes, and it has a more
bearded and maned appearance, especially the males. Its small size makes it easier to move through dense rain forests.
It has webbing between its toes that, when spread, makes Sumatran tigers very fast swimmers.
It has been known to drive hoofed prey into the water, especially if the prey animal is a slow swimmer.

Photo: http://www.tigertrust.info/sumatran_tiger_tiger.asp

The Sumatran tiger is only found naturally in Sumatra. Its habitat ranges from lowland forests to sub-mountain
and mountain-forests, including peat swamp forests. Much of its habitat is unprotected, with only about 400
living in game reserves and national parks. The largest population of about 110 tigers lives in Gunung Leuser National
Park. Another 100 live in unprotected areas which are being converted for agriculture.

Photo: http://www.tigertrust.info/sumatran_tiger_tiger.asp

Deforestation resulting from the production of palm oil is a major threat to the Sumatran Tiger. The reserves also do not
provide safety, as many tigers are killed by poachers each year despite conservation efforts. According to the Tiger
Information Centre and the World Wildlife Fund there are no more than 500 remaining Sumatran Tigers in the wild,
with some estimates considerably lower.
Text about the tiger: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumatran_Tiger

The Elephants from Tangkahan

Buluh River Tangkahan
Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com

But before we visit the elephannts, where are Tangkahan?
Tangkahan is a small village on the border of Gunung Leuser National Park located in North Sumatra.
It is situated at the junction of 2 rivers, the Buluh River and the Batang River.

Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com

There are 7 trained elephants at Tangkahan which are available for jungle trekking though their
primary role is to patrol and protect the National Park from illegal activities like animal poaching
and illegal logging. These elephants were original troublesome elephants that were involved in
destroying fields and houses in surrounding villages. Now they serve to protect not only the villages
but other elephants in the wild.

Elephants bathing in the river
Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com

Junction of Buluh and Batang river at Tangahan
Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com

Where has my mummy gone?
Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com

Lake Toba. View across to Tuk-Tuk Peninsula
Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com

Lake Toba, the largest lake in South East Asia, and the deepest in the world, was formed 75,000 years ago after
an earth splitting volcano eruption. It is the largest and deepest volcanic crater lake in the world. It's 906 meters
above sea level with an average depth of 450m. The lake has an island in the middle called Samosir.
Lake Toba is in the centre of the homeland to the Batak people.

Near the northern part of Lake Toba you will find this thrilling waterfall, Sipisopiso, 110 m high.
Courtesy: http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com


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