Baluran National Park
MARINE PROTECTED AREA
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Baluran National Park is located in East Java, Indonesia. It has a relatively dry climate and consist of lowland forests, savanna, mangrove forests and hills, with Mount Baluran (1,247m) as its highest peak.
Baluran National Park is situated in the north-eastern extremity of Java close to the islands of Bali and Madura. The park is bordered in the north by the Madura Strait, and the Bali Strait in the east. In the west and south the outside banks of rivers Bajulmati (Wonorejo Village) and Klokoran (Sumberanyar Village) form the boundaries. BNP is a rough circle with the extinct volcano, Baluran, in its centre. Based on SK Minister of Forestry No. 279/Kpts.-VI/1997 on 23 May 1997 the total area is 25,000 ha. It consist of five zones: the Main Zone (12,000 ha), Wilderness Zone (5,537 ha divided in water = 1,063 ha and land = 4,574 ha), Intensive Utilization Zone (800 ha), Specific Utilization Zone (5,780 ha) and Rehabilitation Zone (783 ha).
The park is dominated by forest and savanna vegetation. The coastline is formed by irregular peninsulas and embayment. Near the coast are living coral areas, sandbanks, and mudflats. The peninsulas are covered with mangroves, while other parts of the coastline are covered with swamp forest. The volcano is covered with lowland and upland monsoon forest.
Around 1928, AH. Loedeboer, a Dutch hunter had a plantation concession area in Labuhan Merak and Gunung Mesigit. He noticed that Baluran has important role for large herbivores conservation. KW. Dammerman as Director of Bogor Botanical Garden, in 1930 proposed that Baluran should become a protected forest. In 1937 the Governor General of Dutch East Indies on 25 September 1937 established Baluran as Wildlife Preservation Area. This was re-established by Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister on 11 May 1962. On 6 March 1980 with the occasion of the World Strategic Conservation Day, it was declared a National Park by the Minister of Agriculture.
Baluran National Park has a typical monsoon climate with a long dry season. In Schmidt and Ferguson Classification, it belongs to type F. The temperature varies between 27,2°C – 30,9°C, humidity 77%, wind velocity 7 knot and the wind direction is influenced by strong south east wind. The rainy season lasts from November to April while the dry season last from April to October. The highest rainfall is in December and January, but all of them depend on the global condition.
Most of the soils in the national park are volcanic, derived from weathered basalt, volcanic ash, and intermediary volcanic rock. These soils are rich in minerals but poor in organic material, and have a high chemical but a low physical fertility. Most of these soils are very porous and do not retain water very well. The black soils, on which most of the savannas are found, are highly erodible and very muddy in wet seasons, but form deep cracks (a few centimetres wide and, some, more than 80 cm deep) in dry seasons. Many stream beds only contain water in the wet season, much water seeps through the very porous volcanic soils until it reaches the hardened underground lava-streams.
The marine soils are limited to some areas near the coast on the salt flats and in the mangrove swamps.
Baluran National Park has a radial water system. Kacip river flows from the caldera to Labuhan Merak Beach, Klokoran river and Bajulmati river form the border of the national park on the western and southern sides. Many stream beds form in the short wet season, but the water is absorbed in great quantity by the very porous volcanic ash, and after it reaches the hardened underground lava it comes to the surface in form of springs in the coastal areas (Popongan, Kelor, Bama, Mesigit, Bilik, Gatel, Semiang and Kepuh), downhill areas (Talpat spring), Air Tawar Bay and Sedano peninsula. In wet seasons the black soils are least permeable and water flows on the surface, forming many pools (particularly in the southern area from Talpat to Bama). In the long dry periods, those pools are often dry.
Baluran National Park is often referred to as the miniature of Indonesian vegetation types because almost all kinds of Indonesian vegetation can be found here. This includes mountainous rain forest on Mount Baluran, lowland monsoon forest, coastal forest, sea grass, and coral reefs, as well as the savannah that covers about 40% of the national park.
Coastal Baluran consists of black sand, white, small black coast stone, or rock bevel, depending on the area. The coastal vegetation is formed of Barringtonia which is growing between Pandean and Tanjung Candibang, and in Labuhan Merak, Pandanus tectorius) in Tanjung Bendi, Pemphis acidula in Air Karang, Acrophora, Porites lutea, Serioptophora histerix and Stylophora sp.
Mangrove forests are present on the north coast and eastern parts of the national park, in Bilik, Lambuyan, Mesigit, Tanjung Sedano and in Kelor. Short mangrove that best grows on mud substrate, is found in Kelor and Bilik, including Avicennia, Sonneratia, Rhizopra species, Ceriops tagal and Rhizopora apiculata. Saline bog that is hairless approximately coming from mangrove forest cut away by pot is clean, there is in North Pandean, Mesigit, Westside Room and some other places. Some small trees which gros here for example Avicennia sp and Lumitzera racemosa with no lower plant.
Brackish forest hardly is taken a fancy to wild animal, because availability of fresh water during the year. The biggest brackish forest there is in Sungai Kepuh side Tenggara and smaller area in Popongan, Kelor, Bama in part East and Gatal in part of North-West. The vegetation here is Excoecaria agallocha, Syzygium polyanthum, and Buchanania arborescens.
Savanna grassland is a real fire climax by man activity influence. This distinguishable savanna is of two types, flat savanna and surging savanna. Flat savanna, grows on young stony alluvial terrain on an area of around 1,500-2,000 ha in south-east, around Plalangan and Beko. Dominant grasses in this area are Dichantium caricasum, Heteropogon contortus and Sorghum nitidum. Trees comprise Acacia leucophloea and Schleichera oleosa. Surging savannah grows above big rocky black land, over an area of ca. 6,000 ha in north and north-east. This there are grazing animals such as banteng Bos javanicus, buffalo Bubalus bubalis and also Rusa Deer Cervus timorensis.
Dominant grasses are Dichantium caricasum, Sclerachne punctata and Sorghum nitidum. Trees are Schleichera oleosa, Acacia leucophloea, and Zizyphus rotundifolia that grows wides spreading. The savanna always changes, as result of combustion, logging and shepherding by people around the forest. This situation takes place in long period. The change also happened with existence of invasive Acacia nilotica which before purposed for fire breaker. Spreading Acacia nilotica covers most of Bekol savanna, Curah Udang savanna and partly small of Kramat savanna and Balanan.
Located around Baluran Mount until 1200 up from sea level in high, they are the most virgin forest in Baluran caused by hard accessibility to reach there by human. The Mountainous Rain forest in Baluran might be the most important forest association belong to this function as a catchment area. From there, many spring water is available for animal needed especially when a long dry season came.
There are two monsoon forest types in Baluran, lowland monsoon forest and mountainous monsoon. Lowland season forest cover around of 1500 ha of Baluran area bordering with plantation forest, evergreen forest, and savannah at Bekol Kramat. While mountainous monsoon forest attending at mount Baluran, Mount Klosot and Pot Mount. Tress which are arranging lowland moonson forest like Zizyphus rotundifolia, Emblica officinalis, Aleucophloea sp, Tamarindus indica, Schoutenia ovata, Azadirachta indica, Acacia tomentosa, Talok Grewia eriocarpa and Schleichera oleosa. And mountainous monsoon are walnut Aleurites moluccana, Emblica officinalis, Homalium foetidun, Vitex pubescens, Dryopetes ovalis, and Casia fistula.
Sea grasses of Baluran are spread out on beaches with less waves, including Bama beach, Kajang beach, Balanan beach, Lempuyang beach and straight to the west until Bilik-Sijile beach and Air Tawar Beach. Sea grasses provide habitat for Milkfish Chanos chanos, squids and other fishes. Fishing often occurs in the area.
Coral reefs are found along Bama, Lempuyang, Bilik-Sijile, Air Karang, Kajang, Balanan and Kalitopo beaches. Baluran's coral reef includes edge corals with various kind of width and depths ranging from 0.5 to 40 meters. Corals species include Acropora Branching, Acropora Encrusting, Acropora Tubulate and Mushroom Corals.
There are about 155 species of endangered birds, including Hirundapus caudutus. Other endangered animals being protected are: Bos javanicus, Cuon alpinus, Muntiacus muntjak, Pavo muticus, Gallus sp., Felis pardus and Felis viverrina.
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