Way Kambas

Site description (2003 baseline):

Site location and context
Located on the eastern coast of Lampung province around 60 km north-east of Bandar Lampung. This area has an elephant training center and one of the most popular tourist destination in Lampung.This area is described to has the real lowland forest, with maximum elevation 16 m asl.

Key biodiversity
Although the habitat was disturbed, this site still supports high number of biodiversity and regarded as the main destination for birdwatchers. This area has a great value for threatened species and breeding colony of storks.The restricted-range bird species Sumatran Drongo Dicrurus sumatranus which has widely distributed in Sumatra is difficult to find in this site. List of birds in this area summarised in Parrot & Andrew (1996), that list 314 species (315 species with Aviceda jerdoni, see Holmes (1996). A compilation by Colijn (1999) listed 319 species of birds.This area is known as the easiest place to see Storm's Stork Ciconia stormi and White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata.Stork breeding colony on swamp forest near the coast in the southern part of the park, with more than 200 Milky Stork Mycterea cinerea and 25 Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilus javanicus, recorded on July 1999. Two other breeding sites of Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilus javanicus also reported in 1990s (Holmes 1996). Flock of Milky Stork Mycterea cinerea (up to 300 birds) also seen feeding on the mudflat at northern part of this park. One bird of Storm's Stork Ciconia stormi frequently seen flying (including since forest fire in 1997), and this area at least support one pair of this species.White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata still frequently seen (event after forest fire), with population estimate around 60-90 birds in 1982, 20-30 birds in 1991, 20-50 birds in 1993, 24-38 birds in 1995 (Tim Ekspedisi Cairina Scutulata 1991, Megantara 1993, Tim Ekspedisi Cairina Scutulata 1995). Important to note that in 1970s this species was common in swamps and open areas in Lampung (Holmes 1997), it is extinct now (Holmes & Noor 1995). The population inside the park is probably isolated by genetic. There is no information about breeding population near this park, or posibility for genetic exchange. This species in 1980s still observed at some area at Tulang Bawang and Mesuji River (Lambert 1988), but unobserved in South Sumatra between 1988-1989 (Verheugt 1993). With intensive development, and forest fire in 1997, it is predicted that the population outside conservation area is extinct. It caused by extinction of nesting treeThe forest birds of Way Kambas is very rich, although maybe it is caused by intensive study of this area. Beside that, the wetland and coastal habitat also give contribution to the bird list in the park. No other site in Sumatra have 4 species of nightjars including Bonaparte's Nightjar Caprimulgus concreatus. This park also supports 7 species of scops-owl, all species of Sumatra hornbills (9 species), 12 species of kingfishers, 12 species of bulbuls, 19 species of babblers. Also records of Crested Partridge Rollulus rouloul, Crested Fireback Lophura ignita, and one highland species Ferruginous Partridge Caloperdix oculea.Rare migrant species also found along the coastal area of the park including Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata, Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus (the most common wader species during 1988-1989 with the highest count of 521 birds).Forest fire in 1997 might be significant for stork population in the park although more detail assesment is needed.

Non-bird biodiversity: Lowland mammals in this area include Aonyx cinerea, Callosciurus prevostii, Catopuma temminckii, Cervus unicolor, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, Elephas maximus, Felis bengalensis, Hystrix brachyura, Neofelis nebulosa, Panthera tigris sumatrae, Tapirus indicus.This area also supports high number of primates including Hylobates agilis, Hylobates syndactylus and Presbytis cristata. Reptiles including Crocodylus porosus, Tomistoma schlegelii and Python reticulatus (Colijn 1999, Verbelen 2000)

Habitat and land use
Disturbed lowland evergreen forest (20%), freshwater swamp forest (10%), mangrove forest (5%), herbaceous swamp (5%), secondary grassland and secondary vegetation (60%) and tidal mudflat freshwater swamp forest. Small group of mangrove forest, and seasonal swamp has been disturbed by human activities. The tidal mudflat areas are rich with birds. Forest fired in 1997 damaged 8457.1 ha, comprise of 75% coarse grass, 12.38% swamp forest and 12.62% others.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Fires, firewood collection and illegal forest clearing. Elephant training centre has attracted too many visitors.The biggest threat is come from fire, mainly burning vegetation for grazing livestock.

Protected areas
Declared as Protected Forest in 1937 and the status has been changed as National Park (130000 ha) based on SK Menhut No. 444/Kpts-II/1989.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Way Kambas. Downloaded from on 24/09/2023.