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The Kehje Sewen Rainforest in East Kalimantan is rich in diverse species of flora and fauna that live in harmony, side by side. It is hard to not be amazed by the magnificence and beauty found within this ecosystem, and rarely-seen species that pop up from time to time, like the black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa). 

The black-tailed godwit, a large wader bird, was first seen foraging around Camp Lesik in the shallows of the Pehpan River. This migratory bird, which searches for aquatic food using its long and thin beak, also has long legs to allow it to thrive in both mud and sand. The base of the black-tailed godwit’s abdomen is white, while its tail has distinct black colouring, as its name suggests.

A black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) foraging in the Pehpan River

It feeds primarily on small shrimp, snails, worms, and insects that it forages for in muddy areas along rivers or lakes. It usually lives in the regions of northern Europe and Asia, but is known to migrate southwards to Australia and New Zealand during northern winters. Due to its limited distribution on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, it is rare - and lucky - for our teams to encounter flocks of this bird species in the thousands. 

Visits from this rare guest around Camp Lesik are one indicator that the Kehje Sewen Forest is in good health, and that it is a significant location for migratory birds. Hopefully, Camp Lesik will continue to be an important stopover for the black-tailed godwit and other migratory birds.

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