Sembilang National Park
Sembilang National Park in the west part of Indonesia has the largest mangrove area, it comprises 77,500 hectare area. Other than mangrove, peat swamp ecosystem is the habitat for carnivore mammals and the mud delta of Banyuasin is an interesting place to watch eating behavior of migrant birds from Siberia. Sembilang National Park is a part of the largest swamp land which is formed by sedimentary rocks from Palembang. This area is categorized as a quarter formation consisting of alluvium and swamp sediments. This area is called Sembilang because it has many Sembilang fish (Plotosus canius). Administratively, it is part of Banyuasin district and has been a national park since March 19th 2003, when it was separated from the Berbak National Park in Jambi. The locations that can be visited are Semenanjung Banyuasin, Sembilang, Teluk Benawan, Teluk Sekanak, and Pulau Betet. The recreation activities include river cruising along the mangrove forest while observing animals, fishing, and observing migrant birds from Siberia and freshwater dolphins. From Palembang through Sungsang to the location by chartered motor boat for less than 4 hours. The national park is characterized by fingery drainage pattern with more than 30 rivers, in which most of the rivers are relatively in a natural condition and good in water quality.
Sembilang National Park represents several types of ecosystems from peatswamp forest, freshwater swamp forest and riparian forest in South Sumatra Province.
With a total area of about 77,500 ha, the mangrove forest in the Sembilang National Park is the largest mangorve forest in eastern part of Indonesia. The ecosystem extends to 35 km toward the land. The biodiversity of the mangrove species in this area is about 43 % (17 species) of all mangrove species found in Indonesia.
Some of the flora species found in the national park include bakau (Rizhopora mucronata), pedada (Sonneratia alba), bogem (Bruguiera gimnorrhiza), paku gajah (Acrostichum aureum), nipa palm (Nypa fruticans), beefwood tree (Casuarina equisetifolia), pandanus (Pandanus tectorius), sea hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus), tree palm (Oncosperma tigillaria), jelutung (Dyera costulata), menggeris (Koompassia excelsa), gelam tikus (Eugenia sp.), and Nepenthes ampullaria, which is usually found in the deep peat.
There are at least 53 species of mammals found in the park in which some of them consist of 5 primates and 7 cats; 16 reptiles, and 28 migrant aquatic birds.
Mammal; such as sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii temminckii), sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), siamang (Hylobates syndactylus syndactylus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa diardi), dan sambar deer (Cervus unicolor equinus); and sea mammals such as finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides), irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), and chinese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis).
Bird; such as milky stork (Mycteria cinerea), lesser adjuntant stork (Leptoptilos javanicus), black-headed ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus), oriental darter (Anhinga melanogaster), nordmann’s greenshank (Tringa guttifer), spot-brilled pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), storm’s stork (Ciconia stormi), white-winged duck (Cairina scutulata), asian dowitcher (Limnodromus semipalmatus), and blue-banded kingfisher (Alcedo euryzona).
Reptile-Amphibi; such as false gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), narrow-headed softshell turtle (Chitra indica), rainbow water snake (Enhydris enhydris), monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), puff-faced water snake (Homalopsis buccata), banded mangrove snake (Boiga dendrophila melanota); four-ringed toad (Bufo quadriporcatus), collett’s tree frog (Polypedates colleti).
Fish; such as canine catfish (Plotosus canius), red snakehead (Ophiocephalus micropeltes), tapah (Wallago leeri), climbing perch (Anabas testudineus), grouper (Epinephelus coioides), kissing gourami (Helostoma temminckii), barramundi (Lates calcarifer), eel (Monopterus albus), pickhandle barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda), and archerfish (Toxotes jaculator).