Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park
Bukit Barisan Selatan area was declared as Wildlife Sanctuary in 1935, and become a National Park in 1982. Initially the size of the park was 356,800 hectares . But actual current park area calculated using GIS is approximately 324,000 Ha.
BBSNP is located on the tip of the south-west region of Sumatra. Seventy percent of the park are (249,552 hectares) fall under the administration Lampung Barat District and Tanggamus District, both are part of Lampung Province. The rest of the park covers 74,822 hectares (23% of total park area) is in the Kaur District of the Bengkulu province. Sumatera Selatan is also important for the park borders overlaps with province's border.
BBSNP contains some of Sumatra's last protected lowland forests. It is extremely rich in biodiversity and is home to three of the world's most endangered species: the Sumatran elephant (fewer than 2000 survive today), the Sumatran rhino (total global population: 300 animals and declining rapidly), and the Sumatran tiger (total global population around 400 animals).
The BBSNP has been included in the Global 200 Ecoregions, WWF's ranking of the Earth's most biologically outstanding terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. The park has been highlighted as a priority area for Sumatran Rhino conservation through WWF's Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS). In addition, IUCN, WCS and WWF have identified the BBSNP as "Tiger Conservation Unit I" (Wikramanayake, et al., 1997), the most important forest area for tiger conservation in the world. Finally, on 2002, UNESCO has selected this area for nomination as a World Heritage Cluster Mountainous Area together with the Gunung Leuser and Kerinci Seblat National Park.
Unfortunately, loss of habitat because of forest conversion into settlements, cultivation and plantations have become the major threat to the park and it's endangered species survival. Illegal encroachment for coffee, pepper, and other agricultural plantations has gradually entered the park and contributed to a substantial loss of habitat. The clearing of forest in BBS also increases another serious to the endangered species: poaching.
The overall goal of the Bukit Barisan selatan National Park project is to ensure stable or increased population of Sumatran Rhinos, Elephant and Tigers.
The objectives are :
- Halt encroachment and illegal logging trends within the park and its surrounding.
- Decrease incidences of wildlife poaching
- Establish eco-friendly livelihoods for community groups and increase incomes through a Conservation Conscious Community Network (3CoNet).
- Educate and increase awareness among decision makers, law enforcers, and general public about biodiversity conservation and legislation concerning BBSNP
- Review spatial plans and relevant forest policies of Lampung Barat and Tanggamus Districts so that they are in line with Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park's conservation