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Category Archive: Kalimantan Island


Kumai – City on The Water of Sekonyer

The word Kumai comes from the phrase “kembali ke pangkuanku”, in the Bugis language. It means “return to my lap”. Kumai was once part of the Kutaringin Monarchy. It was originally lead by Pangeran Bendahara, who later gave Kumai to Muhammad Cik, Kumai’s village leader. Cik then gave his position to Amsar, who was chosen to be regent of Kumai.

There are many historical places in Kumai. This is because it was a base for Indonesian fighters to attack the Dutch and also Japanese. The tragedy happened on January 14, 1946. Many warriors were killed there, but they could maintain their base. To commemorate the battle, the government has built a monument and a park there. The name of the park is “Taman Bahagia”. It is located in Sei. On Tendang and on every January 14, people celebrate in the park to remember Kumai’s warriors. The Kobar regent always attends.

Kumai District is the largest district in the West Kotawaringin regency, and is divided into three subdistricts, namely Kumai, Pangkalan Lada and Pangkalan Banteng. Those districts are about 4.456 km², and have been mutually agreed upon by the Local House of Representative (DPRD). The Regent at that time, H Abdul Razak signed the region regulation about the district forming in plenary meeting forum of council. The final result was a long process from various solutions with the first plan. The modification happened either from the name of district and opinion about Kumai which was intended by government to divide into four political districts plus one regional political district of coastal area.

In that plenary meeting, seven factions of council supporters had agreed and accepted the Raperda (Regional government meeting) dividing Kumai District into the specified Regions. “By saying ‘Bismillahirahmanirrahim’, we express to accept the Raperda become the Region regulation about regional forming of Pangkalan Lada district and Pangkalan Banteng, while Kumai as main district” said Sumanto, S.E, chief of Army Fraction of Republic Indonesia police. Regent of West Kotawaringin at that time, H Abdul Razak after signing the region regulation explained, the result of formula and agreement between regency government and DPRD have specified two new districts as a part of Kumai district. He said “By forming two new districts, we expect that it can support the public service in governance affairs, development issue and social affairs.”

The capital of Pangkalan Lada district is Pandu Senjaya (ex Pangkalan Lada SP 4). The district is initially proposed as a Center for Kumai, covering seven counties, namely Makarti Jaya, Pangkalan Lada, Pandu Senjaya, Lada Mandala Jaya, Sumber Agung, Sungai Rangit Jaya and Purba Sari. Karang Mulya is the capital of Pangkalan Banteng District (ex Natai Kerbau SP 4). The easternmost initially is proposed by as East Kumai covering eight counties. These are Desa Mulya Jadi, Pangkalan Banteng, Karang Mulya, Marga Mulya, Arga Mulya, Amin Jaya, Sido Mulya and Kebun Agung. At that time, the Regent hoped, if two new districts could have the larger ones opportunity in existing exploiting the potency of resources.

Kumai has total area about 2.921,00 km². On the north side, the Kumi is adjacent to the Arut Utara district. Seruyan regency is to the East, Java Sea to the South, and Arut Selatan to the West.


North: plain and kinds of land/ground which hold up to erosion Center: raddle, lake and bog. South: bog, alluvial which has many aqueous/water.

There are 2 seasons in Kumai, namely dry and rain season. The temperature is about 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, the mount inclination is about 0 to 100 m and 0 to 80%.


There are 39.086 people living in Kumai. Kumai has 155 RT (neighborhood administrative unit) and 23 RW (residence administrative unit).
The capital of Kumai District is Kumai. It is divided into 3 sub districts and 14 regions. The sub districts are Kumai Hulu, Kumai Hilir and Candi and the regions are Sei. Cabang, Teluk Pulai, Sei. Sekonyer, Batu Belaman, Pangkalan Satu, Kubu, Sei. Bakau, Sei. Bedaun, Teluk Bogam, Keraya, Sebuai, Sei. Kapitan, and Bumiharjo.

Ethnic backgrounds
The majority of the people are Malay and Banjarese. The others are Maduranese, Javanese, Bugisnese, Sundanese, Dayaknese, Chinese and some foreign citizens (volunteers, researchers and tourists).

Kumai Language (Coastal Language) is the daily language of Kumai. It bears similarities to Banjar language, because some of the residents originated from Banjar. Being a Port city an host to many immigrants, the languages in Kumai are highly varied.

Points of interest
Tanjung Puting National Park
Tanjung Puting National Park is a conservation area that provides a protected system of life. It protects a large variety of plants, animals and their associated ecosystems. It is the largest protected area of swamp forest in South-East Asia.

Tanjung Puting first received a level of protection in 1935 and was officially designated as a Wildlife Reserve in 1939. In 1982, it was declared a National Park.

The Park was established primarily for the protection of the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), and its formation was instigated and aided by the efforts of Dr. Birute Galdikas and Orangutan Foundation International. When this area become a national park, Tanjung Harapan moved to the other side of the Sekonyer river (across the original area). The original width of the park was 3,000.4 km². In its new location, it increased to 4,150.4 km².

The Park receives aid from Orangutan International Canada and it is recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations. Tanjung Puting occupies most of the peninsula between Teluk Kumai and the Seruyan River and consists of varied habitats including peat and freshwater swamp forests, lowland tropical rainforests and heath forests. The Park is drained by several black water rivers emanating from the northern and eastern parts.

Tanjung Puting National Park is famous primarily because of two primates: the Orangutan and the Proboscis Monkey (endemic to Borneo). At Camp Leakey, research is conducted on Orangutans, Gibbons, other animals and ecological processes. Orangutans are also rehabilitated and returned to the wild from this Camp. Since 1971 over 200 Orangutans have been returned to the wild as part of Dr. Birute Galdika’s Orangutan Research and Conservation Project.

The park is divided into 4 areas, each highlighting a different set of natural resources. They are:

1. TANJUNG HARAPAN. This area was developed for the ecotourism and hosts the information center, guest house, watcher tower and camping ground. By travelling along the edge of the river, you will see the nipah formation, screw pine and bog forest, and then you can do tracking and bird watching. We can enter to the center of TNTP information to get the information from the officer. We can stay in guest house. There are 3 rooms for 6 people and home stay are divided into 4 houses in Sekonyer countryside by 8 rooms for 16 people with reasonable ticket. You can buy the souvenir from TNTP that are typical souvenir like T-shirt, key hanger, sticker, painting of orangutan and orangutan statue.

2. PONDOK TANGGUI. This is a special place which representing the existence of pre-wild and adolescent Orangutan. It is host to various kinds of animals like deer, pig, rangkong bird (Rhinoceros), Raja Udang bird and Sesep Madu bird. During journeys from Tanjung Harapan to Pondok Tanggui, you pass through the habitats of the Bekantan Monkey and the Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus dan Tomistoma schlegelli) along the journey.

This area is devoted to the research and rehabilitation of adult Orangutan. It is suitable for visiting the place to see the Orangutan rehabilitation both for pre-wild or wild. Beside that, you can enjoy the Owa-owa, Bald Eagle, Sesep Madu bird, and Hornbill (Enggang) or Rangkong.

This area is located alongside a white sand beach. The working and maintenance huts are located here, along with guest houses, an information center, shelter, watch tower, camp ground, dock and is the location of various other tourist activities.

Bugam Raya
(Kubu Beach, Bay of Bogam, Keraya and Sungai Umbang which residing in one band). This countryside is one of Kumai district administratively, sub-province of West Kotawaringin, is very easy to reach. From Pangkalan Bun, we can walk in the land pass. The road is covered by asphalt, which has width about 122 km². The distance is about 28 km or 1 hour travelling by vehicle.

The scenery during the journey from Pangkalan Bun to Kubu is miserable. The situation is very desolated and hot, particularly the view in the left and in the right side are predominated by the grassland (Imperatacy Lindrica, called alang-alang in Indonesia). Likely it can represent the condition of Kalimantan now. Kubu Countryside is located in coastal area, as a result, majority of resident of this countryside have living as fisherman.

Bay of Bogam
It is a beautiful and a fascinated bay. The distance from Pangkalan Bun to the Bay of Bogam is about 50 km or about 2 hours traveling by using vehicle.

It is a coast which has many people visit it, because it is very beautiful. It is located in Keraya countryside about ± 57 km from Pangkalan Bun or about 2,5 hours travelling by vehicle.

Sungai Umbang
It is a coast which has many mangrove trees. it is very beautiful and many people visit it.

Patih Mambang Waterfall
It is a waterfall from hilly land and field, and the water emitting a stream of into the sea. It is located in countryside Keraya. Besides the waterfall, in this countryside we could also for noted a coast which is used to diving and as well as surfing and also for fishing.

White Sand Beach (Sei. Cabang)
It is a coast, which has clean white sand. It is located in Sei. Cabang countryside. It is used as a place for green turtle conservation. It was built by FNPF (Friends of Nation Park Foundation) that is a foundation which focused in conservation.

Based on the data that we could found, in this area (Sei. Rengas), there are hidden treasures in the ground. We do not know anything about what kind of treasures are hidden there, because there is no authentic data.

Cannon colonization in Kubu

There are some historic omission, that is war cannon which used for colonization epoch of Dutch colonial at that time.

George A. Winke’s mauseloum (Sei. Kapitan)
It is a mausoleum of Dutch soldier who was in a kapiten (captain) position, he was dead and buried in that countryside. So, that countryside is referred to Kapitan countryside.


The Orangutans of Indonesia Primates in Sumatra and Kalimantan

The orangutans are two species of great apes known for their intelligence, long arms and reddish-brown hair. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, they are currently found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, though fossils have been found in Java, Vietnam and China. They are the only surviving species in the genus Pongo and the subfamily Ponginae (which also includes the extinct genera Gigantopithecus and Sivapithecus). Their name derives from the Malay and Indonesian phrase orang hutan, meaning “man of the forest”. The orangutan is an official state animal of Sabah in Malaysia.

The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is the rarer of the two species of orangutans. Living and endemic to Sumatra island of Indonesia, they are smaller than the Bornean Orangutan. The Sumatran Orangutan grows to about 4.6 feet tall and 200 pounds in males. Females are smaller, averaging 3 feet and 100 pounds.

Compared to the Bornean Orangutan, the Sumatran Orangutans possess a lighter and longer pelage, a longer face, a smaller stature, and flanges that are covered in small white hairs.

Compared to the Bornean Orangutan, the Sumatran Orangutan tends to be more frugivorous and especially insectivorous.Preferred fruits include figs and jackfruits. It also will eat bird eggs and small vertebrates. The Sumatran Orangutans spend far less time feeding on the inner bark of trees.

Wild Sumatran Orangutans in the Suaq Balimbing swamp have been observed using tools. An orangutan will break off a tree branch that’s about a foot long, snap off the twigs and fray one end. It then will use the stick to dig in tree holes for termites. They’ll also use the stick to poke a bees nest wall, move it around and catch the honey. In addition, orangutans use tools to eat fruit. When the fruit of the Neesia tree ripens, its hard, ridged husk softens until it falls open. Inside are seeds that the orangutans love, but they are surrounded by fiberglass-like hairs that are painful if eaten. A Neesia-eating orangutan will select a five-inch stick, strip off its bark, and then carefully collect the hairs with it. Once the fruit is safe, the ape will eat the seeds using the stick or its fingers. Although similar swamps can be found in Borneo, wild Bornean Orangutans have not been seen using these types of tools.

NHNZ filmed the Sumatran Orangutan for its show Wild Asia: In the Realm of the Red Ape; it showed one of them using a simple tool, a twig, to pry food from difficult places. There is also a sequence of an animal using a large leaf as an umbrella in a tropical rainstorm.

The Sumatran Orangutan is also more arboreal than its Bornean cousin; this could be because of the presence of large predators like the Sumatran Tiger. It moves through the trees by brachiation.

The Sumatran Orangutan is more social than its Bornean counterpart. Groups of these orangutans gather to feed on the mass amount of fruiting on the fig trees. However adult males generally avoid contact with other adult males. Rape is common among orangutans. Sub-adult males will try to mate with any female, though they probably mostly fail to impregnate them since mature females are easily capable of fending them off. Mature females prefer to mate with mature males.

Interval birth rates for Sumatran Orangutan were longer than the Bornean ones and are the longest reported interval birth rates among the great apes. Sumatran orangutans give birth when they are about 15 years old. Infant orangutans will stay close to their mother for up to three years. Even after that, the young will still associate with their mother.

Both orangutan species are likely to live several decades; the longevity estimate can span for more than 50 years, with the oldest captive orangutan, Ah Meng, being born in 1960.[6] Nonja, thought to be the world’s oldest in captivity or the wild at the time of its death, died at the Miami MetroZoo at the age of 55.

The average of the first reproduction of P. abelii is around 12.3 years old with no indication of menopause.

In 2002, the World Conservation Union put the species on the IUCN Red List with critically endangered status. A survey in the Lake Toba forests, found only two habited areas, Bukit Lawang (defined as the animal sanctuary) and Gunung Leuser National Park.The survey estimated only 3,500 orangutans still live on Sumatra in 2002. Baby orangutans are often captured and sold as highly prized pets. In order to catch the babies poachers normally have to kill the mother first to prevent her from protecting her baby.

The Bornean Orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the slightly smaller Sumatran Orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia.

The Bornean Orangutan has a life span of about 35 to 40 years in the wild; in captivity it can live to be 60. A survey of wild orangutans found that males are typically 75 kg (165 lb) and 1.2-1.4 m (4-4.7 ft) long; females averaging 38.5 kg (82 lb) and 1-1.2 m (3.3-4 ft) long

There is evidence that there was gene flow between the geographically isolated Bornean Orangutan populations until recently. The Bornean and Sumatran Orangutan species diverged 1.5 – 1.7 million years ago. This occurred well before the two islands (Borneo and Sumatra) separated. The two species of orangutan are more distantly related than the Common Chimpanzee and the Bonobo. Despite the difference, the two orangutan species were only considered subspecies until as recently as 1996, following sequencing of mtDNA.

The Bornean Orangutan has three subspecies:
* Northwest Bornean Orangutan P. p. pygmaeus – Sarawak (Malaysia) & northern West Kalimantan (Indonesia)
* Central Bornean Orangutan P. p. wurmbii – Southern West Kalimantan & Central Kalimantan (Indonesia)
* Northeast Bornean Orangutan P. p. morio – East Kalimantan (Indonesia) & Sabah (Malaysia)

The population currently listed as P. p. wurmbii may be closer to the Sumatran Orangutan (P. abelii) than the Bornean Orangutan. If confirmed, abelii would be a subspecies of P. wurmbii (Tiedeman, 1808). Regardless, the type locality of pygmaeus has not been established beyond doubts, and may be from the population currently listed as wurmbii (in which case wurmbii would be a junior synonym of pygmaeus, while one of the names currently considered a junior synonym of pygmaeus would take precedence for the taxon in Sarawak and northern West Kalimantan). To further confuse, the name morio, as well as various junior synonyms that have been suggested,[1] have been considered likely to all be junior synonyms of the population listed as pygmaeus in the above, thus leaving the taxon found in East Kalimantan and Sabah unnamed.

The Bornean Orangutan lives in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests in the Bornean lowlands as well as mountainous areas 1500 m in elevation. It lives at different heights in the trees and moves large distances to find trees bearing fruit. Its diet consists of fruit as well as shoots, bark, mineral rich soil and bird eggs. It also eats insects but to a lesser extent than the Sumatran Orangutan.

The Bornean Orangutan travels on the ground more than its Sumatran counterpart. It is theorized this may be in part because there is no need to avoid the large predators which only exist in Sumatra such as the Sumatran Tiger.

The Bornean Orangutan is more solitary than the Sumatran Orangutan. Two or three orangutans that have overlapping territories may interact for small periods of time. Males and females generally come together only to mate. Rape is common among orangutans. Sub-adult males will try to mate with any female, though they probably mostly fail to impregnate them since mature females are easily capable of fending them off. Mature females prefer to mate with mature males.

Newborn orangutans nurse every 3 to 4 hours, and begin to take soft food from their mothers’ lips by 4 months. the first year of its life the baby clings to its mother’s abdomen by entwining its fingers in and gripping her fur. Babies stay with their mothers until they are about 8 or 9 years old and have a long childhood compared to other apes.