Conservation of the Mesangat wetland, East Kalimantan
Target species for conservation
Project news & updates
- A new movie about a crocodile field study trip to Danau Mesangat is now availabe on the Southeast Asia Campaign YouTube Channel, including tomistoma, Siamese crocodile, Malaysian giant turtle and more!
- Read a report by Agata Staniewicz ‘Diet and demography of Tomistoma schlegelii in Mesangat Lake, East Kalimantan, Indonesia’ (June – September 2011)
- Stay informed with Agata Staniewicz’s blog ‘Crocodiles in Mesangat Lake’, daily updates from the field
- You can find images of Tomistoma and Siamese crocodile under the resources menu on the website
Heavy logging from the 1970s until early 1990s turned the pristine peat swamp forests of Mesangat Lake into degraded secondary forest, invasive shrubs, and open water. Subsequent agricultural use by poor families of transmigrants eradicated much of the remaining forests not burnt during 1997-98 conflagrations. Invasive plants have choked existing waterways, hampering subsistence fisheries. In 1997, the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group located healthy populations of a Critically Endangered and Endangered crocodile species the Siamese crocodile and Tomistoma. Along with several rare and endangered turtle (Orlitia borneensis) , stork (Cicionia stormi), and wild cat (Prionailurus planiceps) species. By 2008, conversion to plantation agriculture (oil palm) was underway. Fortunately, development by a local oil palm company were suspended, and based on an initiative by the Yayasan Ulin (Ironwood Foundation), approximately 6000 hectares were set proposed for permanent conservation. By 2009, surveys had begun the process of acquiring information relevant to long-term conservation management for five Endangered species of wildlife. Yayasan Ulin has also undetaken the task of seeking to rebuild and stabilize the local economy, based on principles of sustainable use. Yayasan Ulin has now assembled an informal team of local and international biologists and social scientists to tackle this daunting challenge.
- To acquire a long-term «rights of use land title», under Indonesian law, or a permanent land lease to provide the to enhance the potential for long-term conservation management of both Lake Mesangat and its connected wetlands.
- Publish long-term conservation management plans for the combined Mesangat Wetland and Kenohan Suwi areas.
- Conservation of Critically Endangered and Endangered species and management of harvested species and invasive exotics.
- Development of long-term participative school conservation programs, including natural history education, and quarterly conservation awareness town meetings to establish channels for a permanent dialogue.
- Establish local economic benefits from disciplined and structured use of wetland resources; long term planning to stabilize income and encourage sustainable livelihoods.