The Lore Lindu National Park is a huge forested protected area in the districts of Donggala and Poso in Central Sulawesi, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1978.
The Park, located south of the town of Palu, covers an area of 2,180 square km with altitudes ranging from 200 to 2,300 meters above sea-level (asl) and harbours lush forests filled with spectacular wildlife. The vast range of altitudes gives way to the existence of multiple ecosystems, including lowland tropical forest, sub-montane forest, montane forest, and sub-alpine forests at altitudes over 2,000 meters above sea level.
This nature reserve provides habitat to almost every species of mammal and birds on the island, over 50% of which are endemic to Sulawesi, including the Babirusa: a bizarre pig-like creature with 4 huge tusks, the Mountain Anoa: a dwarf buffalo, and the Pygmy Tarsier: the world’s smallest primate, barely the size of a rat.
Aside from its rich wildlife and picturesque landscapes, the Lore Lindu National Park contains over 400 granite megaliths in the Bada Valley, varying in size from just a few centimeters to 4.5 meters tall, the largest found in Indonesia. Various archaeological studies have dated the monuments from between 3000 BC to 1300 AD.
The park’s boundaries are marked by the Palolo Valley in the north, the Napu Valley to the east, and the Bada Valley to the South. The western boundary is defined by a row of narrow valleys, collectively known as the Kulawi Valley. The Pololo, Napu, Lindu and Besoa valleys were once lakes, but are now only partially filled with sediment. Lake Lindu is the only large lake still remaining today. There are 117 villages in and around the park, belonging to the Kaili, Kulavi and Lore ethnic groups.
Lore Lindu was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978, and was formed through the unification of three existing reserves: The Lore Kalamanta Nature Reserve, the Lake Lindu Recreation and Protection Forest, and the Lore Lindu Wildlife Reserve.
Deforestation of the park is still a problem as a result of illegal logging and land encroachment for agricultural activities, and poses a large threat to Lore Lindu. Management is still working on improving law enforcement of the areaandraising awareness of the importance of forest preservation.