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Tanjung Puting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tanjung Puting National Park is a national park in Indonesia located in the southeast part of West Kotawaringin Regency in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan (Central Borneo). The nearest main town is the capital of the Regency, Pangkalan Bun. The park is famous for its orangutan conservation.

Geography

The park is composed of 416,040 hectares of dryland dipterocarp forest, peat swampforest, heath forest, mangrove and costal beach forest, and secondary forest.[3]

Despite being a protected National Park, approximately 65% of the park’s primary forest is degraded. It is the loss of natural habitat that is the greatest threat to the wildlife. Friends of National Parks Foundation is an Indonesian NGO that has been working to restore the habitat in the Pasalat and Beguruh regions of the park since 1997. It also operates a conservation education centre in Pasalat.

Four research centers have been established within the park for the study and rehabilitation of orangutans and other primates. Camp Leakey, founded in 1971 with assistance from the Leakey Foundation, was the first of these centers. It was here where Dr. Birute Galdikas began her career studying the behavior of rescued and orphaned orangutans that were reintroduced into the wild. Her research was highlighted as the cover article of National Geographic in October 1975. Dr. Galdikas is now considered one of the world’s leading experts on orangutan behaviour and is the founder and president of the Orangutan Foundation International.

Ecology

The park was set aside in the 1930s by the Dutch colonial government for the protection of the orangutans and proboscis monkey, and was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and a national park in 1982.

In addition to orangutans and proboscis monkeys, the park is also home to gibbons, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, wild boars, porcupines, and Sambar deer. The park also features many reptiles, including crocodiles, monitor lizards, and pythons, birds, including hornbills and kingfishers, and insects, such as the giant Bornean butterfly. The Pondok Ambung Tropical Forest Research Station was established in 2005 for the study of all wild species found in the Park.[4]

Today Tanjung Puting National Park is a popular ecotourism destination, with many local tour companies offering multi-day boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centers. The park was home to 105,000 people as of 1997.[3] The park was heavily damaged by fires in 1997 and 1998, and today remains threatened by illegal logging, illegal mining, and forest clearing for agricultural uses.

Conservation efforts by Indonesian NGO Friends of the National Parks Foundation is leading towards a slow but progressive reforestation of damaged areas. Their reforestation work has seen the planting of thousands of saplings in the area to recreate habitat for the endemic wildlife in the area.

Photo : Leonardus Nyoman (www.FloresExoticTours.com)

Text : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanjung_Puting

Ruteng, the capital of the Manggarai district, is located at the foot of a high mountain range and in the center of a complicated network of valleys, which flow into the largest  rice-producing areas of Flores. Besides, the area around Ruteng is an important Indonesian coffee-producing area.

Due to its high altitude, Ruteng offers a pleasant, cool climate for relaxing. The mainly Catholic town is comparatively large, with supermarkets, various shops, and a soccer stadium. A lively market located towards the south of Ruteng is a central meeting point for people from the surrounding villages.

When driving into Ruteng you will certainly notice the red chapels of the Ruteng Cathedral, standing proudly in the town’s center. If you want to have an inside look, ask for the friendly pastor who is happy to show you the cathedral.

Long-standing traditions are still very much present in Ruteng, e.g. Caci: a whip fight which is an important element of traditional ceremonies. It is therefore often performed during the marriage of the wealthier and more influential Manggaraians. If you would like to experience such a ceremony, just visit the local market and ask the people there. Try to find someone who can translate your questions into the local language to avoid misunderstandings.

In Kampung Ruteng (or Ruteng Pu’u), which used to be an important ritual site, you can see a nice example of Manggaraian ‘compang’, a village center with the typical stone altar. The village is four kilometers north of Ruteng.

Photo: Leonardus Nyoman, www.FloresExoticTours.com

Text : www.florestourism.com

Lego-lego Dance at Takpala Village — Alor Island (by Leonardus Nyoman)

Sikka Natar-Sikka Regency-Flores island

Indonesia

The village of Sikka (natar means ‘village’ in the local language), with its pleasant sea view on the south coast, is one of the first places of Portuguese influence and Catholic missionary activity in Flores. Therefore this is a place to take a leap into the past and learn about Sikkanese history, such as the colonial era.

The former center of the Kingdom of Sikka features a big church, which was built with the support of Jesuit priests in 1899. Its inside walls are nicely decorated with local ikat motifs. During the rule of the Sikkanese royal palace, the church was not only a place to hold Holy Communion, but was also used for the inauguration of new kings.

If by any chance you happen to be in Sikka Village at Christmas, you may witness a lasting example of Portuguese influence in the church: Toja Bobu, a dance-drama which was brought to Sikka by the Portuguese, and that is traditionally performed on the 26th of December. In brief, the story is about a beautiful, young princess being courted by many men with all kinds of occupational backgrounds who all eagerly want to marry her. For the luxury loving, spoiled princess, however, these wooers are not wealthy enough; so she finally marries a rich nobleman. Unfortunately, the performances are rarely held nowadays. The Sikkanese Sanggar Gere Bue, a cultural workshop group, tries to fight the loss of this old cultural tradition by reviving Toja Bobu and interpreting the performance in a modern way, without losing its originality.

Sikka Village has been, and still is, one of East Flores’ most important and famous weaving centers. Be prepared to be beleaguered by women who, of course, would like you to acquire a piece of their artwork. As in other villages, visitors to Sikka also have the opportunity to see – by pre-arrangement and for a fee – the complete steps of ikat-weaving, including the dyeing of the threads with natural colors.

Text: www.florestourism.com,

photography: Leonardus Nyoman

Riung Marine Pak - Riung 17 Islands

Ngada-Flores island-Indonesia

The sub-district of Riung, located to the north of Bajawa, is famed for its beautiful coral gardens. The coast and the surrounding area of the town of Riung have become a national conservation area, and were even given the status of a national park and named Pulau Tujuhbelas, or ‘Seventeen Islands’. In fact, the national park consists of more than 20 small and larger islands. The local people, though, have named the area ‘Riung Seventeen Islands’, a label that is easy to remember as it refers to the personification of a beautiful 17-year-old girl and also Indonesian Independence Day on the 17th of August. 

Island life

The national park area is inhabited by various exotic species, e.g. the Timor deer, hedgehogs, monkeys, ferrets, the Timor monitor lizard, marsupials, and partridges. The large variety of birds, such as eagles, white herons, black storks, partridges etc, make the area a great spot for bird watching. 

Even a moderate-sized species of a Komodo dragon named Mbou is said to exist in some regions such as Torong Padang, where it has been spotted in particular seasons only. It has hardly ever been encountered by either the conservation management or tourists. 

The marine park status has been established to preserve the area’s underwater world. The Seventeen Islands area encompasses a rich coral-reef ecosystem where you can count up to 27 different species of coral. The Riung waters are home to plenty of exciting animals, ranging from marine mammals such as dolphins and whales to various colorful fish.  The crystal-clear water makes it a perfect place for swimming, snorkeling, and underwater photography.

The biggest island is the hilly Ontoloe,  which is covered with short grass and a few trees, as well as fringed with mangroves. On the north coast of Ontoloe, you can observe the famous large fruit bats, called ‘flying foxes’, flying over the mangrove trees. 

A visit to Kalong, the ‘Flying Fox Island’, gives you the opportunity to see these fascinating animals as they fly into the sunset. The island of Bampa Barat is a temporary home to several fishermen, who sometimes sell their catch of the day directly from the boat.

If you plan to see the national park, you should also take some time for visiting Riung Village (Riung), as it offers you the possibility of unique cultural encounters. Lively celebrations of the Ngada people’s traditional hunting and boxing is just one part of their manifold cultural life.

Text : www.florestourism.com

Photo: Leonardus Nyoman (leonardus.nym@gmail.com)