Impacts of the 2015 fire season on peat-swamp forest biodiversity in Indonesian Borneo

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Authors: 
Mark E. Harrison, Bernat Ripoll Capilla, Sara A. Thornton, Megan E. Cattau and Susan E. Page
Book (published in): 
Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress
Venue: 
Kuching
Year: 
2016
Keywords: 
peat-swamp forest, biodiversity, fire, Indonesia, orangutan

Summary:

SUMMARY

Southeast Asia’s tropical peat-swamp forests (PSFs) are important for biodiversity conservation, but decades of peat mis-management, illegal logging and largely unrestricted agricultural development in Kalimantan has led to peat drainage in most areas and consequent fire vulnerability. This was highlighted in 2015, when a strong El Niño event led to extensive peatland fires, which reached their peak during August to October 2015. Thousands of square kilometres of peatland were burned, including fires in/around such important PSFs as Sabangau, Mawas, Katingan and Tanjung Puting. We consider the potential impacts of these fires on Kalimantan’s biodiversity. The huge...