Site Nomination for Peat Site Profiles in Southeast Asia
Protected Area
Name of Site: Loagan Bunut Peat Swamp
Country: Malaysia
GPS Point: Latitude: -edit- Longitude: -edit-
Location & Access: Located in the upper reaches of the Sungai Bunut where Sarawak's largest natural lake is found. The local Berawan fishermen call this lake 'Logan Bunut'.
Total Area: 7000.00 hectare(s)
Background of Site: The peat swamp forest covers about 7,000 hectares which, together with the large lake, Loagan Bunut (650 ha), comprises the core zone for the site. The remainder of the park constitutes the broader buffer zone. The northern portion of the park comprises mainly swamp, and it is here that the Kerapah peat swamp forest is located. The central part of the park is characterized by alan (seringawan) forest over peat swamp and the southern sector by lowland mixed dipterocarp forest.

Loagan Bunut National Park (10,736 ha) protects a complex mosaic of wetland habitats. The lake is fed by the Tinjar and Baram Rivers but water flows fluctuate during the year and when the flow from these rivers drops sufficiently the flow in the Bunut River is reversed and the lake begins to drain. Commonly during a prolonged drought the lake dries up completely leaving a mass of hard sun-baked mud. This normally occurs two to four times a year, in February and in late May or early June/July

In addition to a small number of plant communities unique to Bornean peat swamp forests, the park supports the only freshwater floodplain in Sarawak, an oxbow lake, freshwater swamp forest, dryland forest, rivers and riverine forest.

The surrounding area of the National Park is covered with peat swamp forest and Mixed Dipterocarp Forest. The park is home to a considerable variety of birds; during the dry spells in February and May-June, darters, egrets, herons, bitterns, storks and broadbill arrive in huge numbers to feed on the trapped fish, whilst darters, egrets, herons, bitterns, eagles, swallows, stork, broadbill, malkohas, stork-billed kingfishers, magpies, robins, doves, bulbuls, racket-tailed drongos, pied hornbills and kites can be seen all year round. Mammals found in the park include barking deer, bearded pigs, sambar deer, argus pheasant, long-tail macaques, black banded langurs, lesser mouse deer, small-tooth palm civets, giant squirrels, provosts squirrels and Bornean gibbons. Reptiles and amphibians include many species of frogs and small lizards, dog-headed water snakes, a variety of tree snakes, and the occasional estuarine crocodile. There are also unconfirmed reports of false gavial crocodiles occurring in the lake.

There are a few villages within and surrounding the park but no permanent human populations or settlements exist within the core zone, and only a small population, including two longhouses of poor Iban migrants on the fringe of the park, lives in the buffer zone. They all depend on catching fish, gathering forest produce and growing crops within the park. Oil palm plantations at varying stages of growth have replaced the forest that once surrounded the park especially on the east and southeastern perimeters. Towards the southwest corner of the park is a log pond covering about 10 hectares that has restricted uses associated with it, and there is a petrol station adjacent to the pond. Under the National Parks Ordinance, the Berawan residents of Rumah Kajan Sigeh in Long Teru were the only local people accorded the right to fish, hunt and gather forest products in the park when it was established in 1990. Being indigenous to the area they are also allowed to continue farming on the land to which they have customary rights.

Significant Value of Site:
- Biodiversity


Abundance of plant diversity (506 species) – 173 peat swamp forest species, 227 mixed dipterocarp forest species, 106 riparian and alluvial species recorded.

There are 25,000 flying foxes, sambar deer, wild boar, barking deer, mouse-deer, monkeys; 18 species of frogs, 18 species of lizards, 92 species of birds, 70 species of fish and 231 moths and butterfly.
Designated use (status/legal classification):
- Watershed/Water Catchment|Permanent Forest Reserve

Major Issues: Increasing population in surrounding villages and pressure on the land together with an absence of enforcement have resulted in expansion of farming in the park and encroachment into additional high forest areas. Illegal timber extraction also still occurs from time to time.

Oil palm plantations at different stages of growth have replaced the cutover forest surrounding the park. Two private resort operators are located within the lake area and they feature fishing as one of the attractions in their advertising for the tourist market. However, several native fish species are at risk from competition with introduced species (cultivated in fish ponds) released into waterways. Lake reptiles have also proved to be at risk from drowning in fish nets and the over-fishing of food resources. In addition to violating the exclusive fishing rights of the Berawans, the private resorts discharge untreated waste into the lake. Land development activities contribute to accelerated deposition of sediment in the lake, and geo-chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides and other organic pollutants pose a growing threat.
Site Jurisdiction & Administration: Forest Department Sarawak
Sarawak Forestry Corporation
Peatland Type: Lowland
Management activities: a) Past
Loagan Bunut National Park, gazetted in 1990 and published to public on 29th August 1991, extends over an area of 10,736 hectares of which 650 hectares comprise the large lake that gives the park its name.

b) Current
The National Park is managed by Sarawak Forestry Corporation

c) Potential

Facilities & Activities Available on Site:
Institution Responsible for the Site:
Name of Organization: Sarawak Forestry Corporation
Postal Address: Sarawak Forestry Corporation
Lot 218, KCLD,
Jalan Tapang, Kota Sentosa,
93250 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Phone: +6082 610088
Fax: +6082 610099
Nominated by:
Name: Khairul Azwan Mohamad
Organization: GEC