Sembilang National Park is a national park covering 2,051 km2 along the east coast of Sumatera, Indonesia. The park is dominated by swamps as peat forests, like the neighbouring Berbak National Park, and both parks are Ramsar wetlands of international importance. The park is considered to have the most complex shorebird community in the world, with 213 species recoded, and supports the world’s largest breeding colony of milky storks. From Palembang to the Sembilang National Park needs one hour drive plus one and a half hour by boat and then one hour overland.

In the eastern part of the region there is a 45.000 square hectares Sembilang Wildlife Reserve. Sembilang National Park was setup in 2003 in southeastern Sumatera. Over 350,000 hectares of peat swamp, freshwater swamp and mangroves, the park is host to a few critically endangered Sumatran tigers. Sembilang is such a paradise for various kinds of protected birds like lesser adjutant stork, milky stork, spot billed pelican, wild duck, eagle, hornbill, etc. There are also two kinds of Sumatra crocodile, i.e. crocodilus porosus and tomistoma slegeli. In Sembilang river there also lives irrawadi dolphins and humpback dolphins.

Sembilang National Park with a total area of approx. 206 ha, is also one of the largest mangrove forests in the Indo-Malayan region and one of the widest mangrove zones in the world, in some areas extending inland up to 35 km. The mangroves provide feeding, nesting and roosting areas for many globally threatened species of wildlife, and are one of the most important stopover sites for migratory waders in the East Area Flyway (up to one million birds). The shallow mangrove zone in the area is highly productive, and more than 8.000 fishermen and their families find full time employment in the coastal fisheries.

About half of the park is covered by mangrove forests, while the rest is covered by peat swamp forest, lowland tropical forests, mud flats, freshwater swamp forests and riparian forests. The park provides habitat for 53 mammal species, including the endangered Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, Malayan tapir, agile gibbon and siamang, as well as the vulnerable Sunda clouded leopard, marbled cat, flat-headed cat, sun bear and southern pig-tailed macaque.

The rivers of the park are inhabited by over 140 species of fish and 38 species of crab, as well as the threatened Eurasian otter, smooth-coated otter, Malaysian giant turtle, Amboina box turtle, Asiatic softshell turtle, finless porpoise and Irrawaddy dolphin.Within the park is the largest breeding colony of milky storks in the world, and one of the largest colonies of lesser adjutant. Other threatened birds in the park include the Storm’s stork, white-winged duck, Nordmann’s greenshank and Far Eastern curlew. The total bird population of the park has been estimated to be up to one million, while during winter up to 100,000 migratory birds stop over for rest.

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