In undisturbed conditions, peat-swamp forests are fire resistant. Even during the dry season the ground will remain wet. These forests can be inaccessible and challenging for people as it is very hard to walk through the swampy environment. This is why in the 1990s illegal loggers dug canals in the peat swamps of Sabangau to gain easier access into the forest and extract timber.
Canals in the forest are like small rivers, but with devastating consequences. All the water that’s lost through these canals drains the forest making the habitat very dry. This is particularly dangerous in the annual dry season and even more so during the years that are affected by the El Niño phenomenon, which causes hotter and drier conditions.
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