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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cabang Panti Research Station (SPCP)

Cabang Panti Research Station (SPCP) is located in Gunung Palung
National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia (1°13’ S, 110°7’ E).
Established in trail system encloses approximately 2,100 ha inside the
90,000 ha national park. The research station was established in the
mid 1980s, and research has been conducted there almost continuously

The 15 km2 research area is accessed by a network over 60km of labeled
trails that form a grid through seven forest types. These forest types
are defined by soil and elevation and are alluvium (along the Air
Putih creek), freshwater swamp, peat swamp, sandstone, lower granite,
upper granite, and montane. Cabang Panti experiences an average
annual rainfall of 4266mm and daily average high temperatures of

The national park was selectively hand logged in the early part of
this century, but the research site remains relatively pristine, with
only occasional illegal hunting or logging by the local population.
The park is home to all of Borneo's vertebrate species, except for
the endangered Sumatran Rhinoscerous. Researchers have recorded rare
species such as the clouded leopard, Malaysian sun bear, proboscus
monkey, and orangutans.

As an area of research, Cabang Panti provides an excellent opportunity
to compare species in different habitat types. The habitat types
listed above are contiguous, and because of this there is very little
difference in rainfall, latitude, seasonality, and predation
pressure. Since the National Park is located near the coast, the
elevation gradient is compressed and researchers can easily collect
data in several different upland habitats.

Established in 1985, Cabang Panti has been the site of almost
continual research. It was abandoned for several years in the early
2000s due to illegal logging in the area. However, In 2007, Dr. Andrew
Marshall of University of California, Davis returned to Cabang Panti
to re-establish research activities. The abandoned buildings were in
bad shape, and were torn down. Completely new facilities have been
built, and Dr. Marshall resumed monitoring of long-term phenology
plots and the ongoing census of vertebrate populations across the
site. Primary construction of facilities was completed in late 2007.
The new buildings and staff support research activities for both long-
and short-term projects.

Two long-term research projects are being conducted at the site. Dr.
Marshall’s project concerning the effects of temporal and spatial
variation in forest productivity on populations of two primate
species, and Dr. Cheryl Knott’s project on orangutan behavior and
ecology. Dr. Knott also directs Yayasan Palung. Both projects provide
jobs to assistants and staff from the surrounding area. The presence
of the long-term projects ensures that Cabang Panti research station
will continue to be maintained, and will always be available to new

This writing assisted by Loren Bell who research in Cabang Panti.

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