4 Natural Heritage Sites To Visit In Indonesia
Take it or leave it. Indonesia has the best destination to visit. More than 17,500 volcanic island is situated in the country. Previously Indonesia has been ranked the 4th beautiful country in the world perhaps with stunning road views to explore and captivating destinations to visit. The chilly beaches, cascade waterfalls, and the beautiful smoking volcanoes make it a tourist friendly for adventurers. The fact is that Indonesia has more to offer when it comes to Eco-tourism destinations. The intention of every traveler is to have a great time and if you are looking for a place to go, you better think of Indonesia. Our list below will be of a guide for that magical moment that you have crave for.
Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park, located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, is composed of three major islands (Rinca, Komodo, and Padar) and numerous smaller ones, all of them of volcanic origin. Located at the juncture of two continental plates, this national park constitutes the “shatter belt” within the Wallacea Biogeographical Region, between the Australian and Sunda ecosystems. The property is identified as a global conservation priority area, comprising unparalleled terrestrial and marine ecosystems and covers a total area of 219,322 ha. The dry climate has triggered specific evolutionary adaptation within the terrestrial flora that range from open grass-woodland savanna to tropical deciduous (monsoon) forest and quasi cloud forest. The rugged hillsides and dry vegetation highly contrast with the sandy beaches and the blue coral-rich waters.
The most remarkable inhabitant of Komodo National Park is the Komodo Lizard, Varanus komodoensis. These giant lizards, existing no-where else in the world, are of great scientific interest, especially for their evolutionary implications. Most commonly known as ‘Komodo Dragons’, due to its appearance and aggressive behavior, the Komodo Lizard, is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2 to 3 meters. The species is the last representative of a relic population of large lizards that once lived across Indonesia and Australia. As well as being home to the Komodo dragon, the Park provides a refuge for many other notable terrestrial species such as the orange-footed scrub fowl, an endemic rat, and the Timor deer. The rich coral reefs of Komodo host a great diversity of species, and the strong currents of the sea attract the presence of sea turtles, whales, dolphins and dugongs.
Lorentz National Park
Lorentz National Park is located in Indonesia’s Papua Province, along the ‘Pegunungan Mandala’ range, whose Puncak Cartenz (4884 m asl) is the highest peak in Southeast Asia. The property covers an area of 2.35 million hectares, making it the largest conservation area in Southeast Asia and stretches for over 150 km from Irian Jaya’s central cordillera mountains in the north to the Arafura Sea in the south.
Designated as a National Park in 1997 under Decree of the Minister of Forestry the property contains an outstanding range of ecosystems, representative of the high level of biodiversity found across the region. It is one of only three tropical regions in the world that have glaciers and its mosaic of land systems ranges from snow-capped mountain peaks to extensive lowland wetlands and coastal areas. The property also contains fossil sites, a high level of endemism and the richest biodiversity in the region.
Thirty-four vegetation types and 29 land systems have been identified within the property along with some 123 recorded mammal species, representing 80% of the total mammalian fauna of Irian Jaya. Mammals recorded include two of the world’s three monotremes; the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), and the long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijinii) a New Guinea endemic. In addition it is also home to a large number of restricted range (45) and endemic (9) bird species. The property has remarkable, cultural diversity, with seven ethnic groups, maintaining their traditional lifestyles. The highland, communities include the Amungme (Damal), Dani Barat, Dani Lembah Baliem, Moni and Nduga, whereas in the lowlands there are Asmat, Kamoro and Sempan.
Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra
The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS), Indonesia comprises three widely separated National Parks; Gunung Leuser (GLNP), Kerinci Seblat (KSNP) and Bukit Barisan Selatan (BBSNP), and covers a total area of 2,595,124hectares, constituting one of the biggest conservation areas in Southeast Asia. The site is located on Bukit Barisan range and holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species.
The biodiversity of the property is exceptional in terms of both species numbers and uniqueness. There are an estimated 10,000 species of plants, including 17 endemic genera. Animal diversity in TRHS is also impressive, with 201 mammal species and some 580 species of birds, of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemics. Of the mammal species, 22 are endemic to the Sundaland hotspot and 15 are confined to the Indonesian region, including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan. Key mammal species also include the Sumatran tiger, rhino, elephant and Malayan sun-bear.
The TRHS includes the highest volcano in Indonesia, Gunung Kerinci (3,805 m asl) along with many other physical features of exceptional natural beauty, including; Lake Gunung Tujuh the highest lake in Southeast Asia, numerous other volcanic and glacial high-altitude lakes, fumaroles, waterfalls, cave systems and steep rocky backdrops. Both Gunung Leuser National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park contain frontages to the Indian Ocean, making the altitudinal range of the TRHS extend from the highest mountains on Sumatra to sea level. All three protected areas in the TRHS exhibit wide altitudinal zonation of vegetation, from lowland rainforest to montane forest, extending to sub-alpine low forest, scrub and shrub thickets and covering an astounding diversity of ecosystems.
Ujung Kulon National Park
Ujung Kulon National Park, located in Banten Province on the extreme south-west tip of the highly populated island of Java, has the best and most extensive lowland forest remaining on the island. The property, including the Ujung Kulon peninsula and several offshore islands retains its natural beauty and possesses a very diverse flora and fauna, demonstrating on-going evolution of geological processes since the Krakatau eruption in 1883. The Krakatau volcano as part of the formation of the property, is the most well known and studied of all modern volcanic eruptions, due primarily to the devastating effects (36,000 people killed) registered throughout the northern hemisphere. The property is globally significant as the last and most important natural habitat of the critically endangered, endemic, single-horned Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) along with several other species of endangered plants and animals. Ujung Kulon is believed to sustain the last viable natural population of this species, estimated at approximately 60 individuals. It is not known how this compares to historical densities, but is a critically low figure from the point of view of species survival and viable genetic diversity.Other notable mammals in the property include carnivores, such as leopard, wild dog (dhole), leopard cat, fishing cat, Javan mongoose and several species of civets. It is also home to three endemic primate species; the Javan gibbon, Javan leaf monkey and silvered leaf monkey. Over 270 species of birds have been recorded and terrestrial reptiles and amphibians include two species of python, two crocodile species and numerous frogs and toads.