Gunung Palung comprises c. 90,000 ha of protected forest surrounding a long extinct volcano on the coast of SW Kalimantan. Logging, followed by the planting of oil palms has isolated Gunung Palung from the remaining forest patches in Kalimantan. The park is rich in wildlife including an estimated 2,500 orangutans and includes eight different habitats as listed below;
- Mangrove forest near the coast.
- Peat swamp forest in the river floodplains.
- Freshwater swamp forest mixed in with the peat swamp forest but better drained.
- Mixed dipterocarp forest on the alluvial river flood plains
- Mixed dipterocarp forest on dryer sandstone soils up to 150m on the lower slopes of Gunung Palung.
- Mixed dipterocarp forest on granite soils 150-400m
- Agathis dominant hill forest on granite soils between 400-800m.
- Stunted Leptospermum dominated montane forest from 800m to the summit of Gunung Palung at 1,116m.
The park flora and ecology has been extensively researched starting with Dr Mark Leighton in 1983. Thanks to Tim Laman and George Weiblen based at the Cabang Panti Research Station in the 1990’s, over 60 species of figs have been recorded including several species new to Borneo; See
Ficus palungensis first described by Laman & Weiblen in 1998 is most closely related to Ficus acamptophylla and F. paracamptophylla.