My very first vlog. Regular Wednesday... :)
Komodo National Park lies in the Wallacea Region of Indonesia, identified by WWF and Conservation International as a global conservation priority area. The Park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores at the border of the Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTP) provinces. It includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totaling 603 km2 of land. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2,321 km2. (Click on the map to enlarge - 70kB)
Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. The park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), first discovered by the scientific world in 1911 by J.K.H. Van Steyn. Since then conservation goals have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both marine and terrestrial.
There are presently almost 4,000 inhabitants living within the park spread out over four settlements (Komodo, Rinca, Kerora, and Papagaran). All villages existed prior to 1980 before the area was declared a national park. In 1928 there were only 30 people living in Komodo Village, and approximately 250 people on Rinca Island in 1930.
Geology: The islands in Komodo National Park are volcanic in origin. The area is at the juncture of two continental plates: Sahul and Sunda. The friction of these two plates has led to large volcanic eruptions and caused the up-thrusting of coral reefs. Although there are no active volcanoes in the park, tremors from Gili Banta (last eruption 1957) and Gunung Sangeang Api (last eruption 1996) are common. West Komodo probably formed during the Jurasic era approximately 130 million years ago. East Komodo, Rinca, and Padar probably formed approximately 49 million years ago during the Eocene era.
Climate: Komodo National Park has little or no rainfall for approximately 8 months of the year, and is strongly impacted by monsoonal rains. High humidity levels year round are only found in the quasi-cloud forests on mountain tops and ridges. Temperatures generally range from 170C to 340C, with an average humidity level of 36%. From November through March the wind is from the west and causes large waves that hit the entire length of Komodo island’s west beach. From April through October the wind is dry and large waves hit the south beaches of Rinca and Komodo islands.
The terrestrial ecosystems are strongly affected by the climate: a lengthy dry season with high temperatures and low rainfall, and seasonal monsoon rains. The Park is situated in a transition zone between Australian and Asian flora and fauna. Terrestrial ecosystems include open grass-woodland savanna, tropical deciduous (monsoon) forest, and quasi cloud forest.
Due to the dry climate, terrestrial plant species richness is relatively low. The majority of terrestrial species are xerophytic and have specific adaptations to help them obtain and retain water. Past fires have selected for species that are fire-adapted, such as some grass species and shrubs. Terrestrial plants found in Komodo National Park include grasses, shrubs, orchids, and trees. Important food tree species for the local fauna include Jatropha curkas, Zizyphus sp., Opuntia sp., Tamarindus indicus, Borassus flabellifer, Sterculia foetida, Ficus sp., Cicus sp., ‘Kedongdong hutan’ (Saruga floribunda), and ‘Kesambi’ (Schleichera oleosa).
Reptiles: The most famous of Komodo National Park's reptiles is the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis). It is among the world's largest reptiles and can reach 3 meters or more in length and weigh over 70kg.
Other than the Komodo Dragon twelve terrestrial snake species are found on the island. including the cobra (Naja naja sputatrix), Russel’s pit viper (Vipera russeli), and the green tree vipers (Trimeresurus albolabris). Lizards include 9 skink species (Scinidae), geckos (Gekkonidae), limbless lizards (Dibamidae), and, of course, the monitor lizards (Varanidae). Frogs include the Asian Bullfrog (Kaloula baleata), Oreophyne jeffersoniana and Oreophyne darewskyi. They are typically found at higher, moister altitudes.
Mammals: Mammals include the Timor deer (Cervus timorensis), the main prey of the Komodo dragon, horses (Equus sp.), water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), wild boar (Sus scrofa vittatus), long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus lehmanni), the endemic Rinca rat (Rattus rintjanus), and fruit bats. One can also find goats, dogs and domestic cats.
Birds: One of the main bird species is the orange-footed scrub fowl (Megapodius reinwardti), a ground dwelling bird. In areas of savanna, 27 species were observed. Geopelia striata and Streptopelia chinensis were the most common species. In mixed deciduous habitat, 28 bird species were observed, and Philemon buceroides, Ducula aenea, and Zosterops chloris were the most common.
The marine area constitutes 67% of the Park. The open waters in the Park are between 100 and 200 m deep. The straits between Rinca and Flores and between Padar and Rinca, are relatively shallow (30 to 70 m deep), with strong tidal currents. The combination of strong currents, coral reefs and islets make navigation around the islands in Komodo National Park difficult and dangerous. Sheltered deep anchorage is available at the bay of Loh Liang on Komodo’s east coast, the South East coast of Padar, and the bays of Loh Kima and Loh Dasami on Rinca.
In the North of the Park water temperature ranges between 25 – 29°C. In the middle, the temperature ranges between 24 and 28°C. The temperatures are lowest in the South, ranging from 22 – 28°C. Water salinity is about 34 ppt and the water is quite clear, although the waters closer to the islands are relatively more turbid.
Indonesia is the only equatorial region in the world where there is an exchange of marine flora and fauna between the Indian and Pacific oceans. The three main ecosystems in Komodo National Park are seagrass beds, coral reefs, and mangrove forests. The Park is probably a regular cetacean migration route.
Komodo National Park includes one of the world's richest marine environments. It consists of forams, cnidaria (includes over 260 species of reef building coral), sponges (70 species), ascidians, marine worms, mollusks, echinoderms, crustaceans, cartilaginous and bony fishes (over 1,000 species), marine reptiles, and marine mammals (dolphins, whales, and dugongs). Some notable species with high commercial value include sea cucumbers (Holothuria), Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), and groupers.
While most visitors enter Komodo National Park (KNP) through the gateway cities of Labuan Bajo in the west of Flores or Bima in eastern Sumbawa, the departure point for your trip is actually Denpasar, Bali.
For more information please contact: =]
Komodo Marine National Park Office
Jl. Kasimo Labuan Bajo
West Flores, East Nusa Tenggara 86445
Ph. +62 385 41004 Fax. +62 385 41006
No doubt about it, the Raja Ampat is definitely the richest place for fish, that I have ever been. Dr G.R.Allen
" I was like a five-year-old, seeing a reef for the very first time. I was awestruck, held by the incredible power of this richest reef. We must, with all available resources, preserve the beauty of Raja Ampat. This may be the last frontier. Michael Aw
"I love the people, I love the diving, It's super!! I've never been for a second time to the same dive destination but now
I'm thinking about going back for the third time!! Should I say more?" Peter van Dalen
(Taken from www.iriandive.com)
Raja Ampat Island is the most western district of the Indonesian province of Papua. Raja Ampat consists of an area surrounding four major island off the western coast of Birds Head Panisula of New Guinea Island. The western half of which is Indonesia and the eastern half, Papua New Guinea. The province was called Irian Jaya, and its a cluster of over 1500 small Islands.
Raja Ampat is the most bio-diverse location in the world more than 3000 species of fishes and over 300 species of corals have been identified here, in a single one and half hour dive you can identified more than 282 fish species and more than 400 species. Till this very day the area is virtually unexplored and unknown due to its size. This area as there are still many remnants of WW II.
The Roughest seas and decreased visibility in the Raja Ampat area are from mid-June until the end of August. During the rest of the year, the sea is mostly very smooth whit good visibility.
Dive sites in Raja Ampat Island:
At a Glance Irian Diving
It is easiest to fly through to Sorong via Jakarta or via Singapore. Merpati, Pelita and Lion/Wings Airlines operate daily flights from Jakarta to Sorong (with stopovers in Ujung Pandang/Makassar and/or Manado), whereas Silk Air operates regularly from Singapore to Manado. Daily flights to and from Sorong by Airlines Merpati, Lion/Wings or Pelita.
Raja Ampat Island have several accommodations whit traditional design, and there many boat you can rent for a stay. If you using dive operator they will arrange for your base came.
Raja Ampat islands have a very diverse topography with steep mountain shores and deserted white sand beaches. Explore the land on foot. Use a boat to move from one dive site to another dive site.
There are several restaurants and cafes throughout Sorong. Try their specialties: traditional irian foods!
There are many traditional souvenirs made from wood.
You can visit gorgeous waterfalls, ancient burial sites, bat caves and stunning waterways breathtaking limestone landscapes and Manta ray spotting and bird watching.
An estimated 50 to 100 million people around the world switched off their lights for Earth Hour in 2008, and global landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Rome’s Colosseum, the Coke billboard in Times Square and Jumeirah Hotel in Dubai darkened for one hour.
In 2009, Earth Hour aims to reach 1 billion people around the world in more than 1000 cities involving business, government and the community in the world’s largest global action on climate change on 28 March 2009.
In 2009, millions of people from all walks of life will join together for Earth Hour and show the world that it’s possible to take action on global warming.
Come on Indonesia, join us for Earth Hour 2009, turn off your lights at 8.30pm Saturday 28 March and sign-up here at earthhour.org.
Tattoo is one of the most important symbol for Mentawai people, its reflect maturity, manhood and status. The art of this body painting inherit from their ancestor. The tattoos ink naturally made from leaf.
Among the surfers, Mentawai is the best place to fill their demand for challenges and natures beauty. The beaches offer one of the highest wave in the world, 3 to 4 meters, totally challenge your gut. Once you grounded your self in this hidden Paradise Island, next you will paddle out to the worlds best surf. Dont call your self Surfer if you havent ride Mentawais waves said most of the surfer to expressed their surfing experiences in Mentawai
Take flight from Sukarno Hatta air port, Jakarta to Tabing air port, Padang-west Sumatra (flight served every day)
Boost your taste with exotic and fresh sea foods that you can found in the local restaurants run by local people. If you are lucky enough, you can pick and cook your own sea food, but make sure you know the secret recipe/spices from Mentawais people. For those who are not sea food lover, you can find regular meals for your dining.
As the habitat for rare primate, the natural rain forest of Mentawai will be the perfect place for research or other educational purpose. Here, you can conduct research about
Photos Copyrigt : www.freelinesurf.com.au
Raja Ampat is the western island of Papua Island. The name of Raja Ampat based on the legend. This area had begun with 6 eggs that found by King Waikew in Waigeo Island. But from the 6 eggs, just 5 eggs had crack. The last was become an egg stone till now on.
From the fifth eggs that had cracked, the 4 eggs was become men who become King of four big islands that is Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool. While the one egg became a woman, had wash away and stranded in Biak Island. That woman was born a child named Gura Besi that known as the historical man of Raja Ampat, because of his heroic story.
The regency that formed based on the constitution number 26 in 2002, is the development of Sorong regency on 12 April 2003. This area has 46.000 km2. But, 85% of this area is archipelago area. There are 610 islands in this area. But most of them have no social life. This regency has 10 districts and 85 villages with about 48.707 men.
Geographically, this area has strategic location. Its boundaries is:
North side: Pacific Ocean
West Side: North Maluku
South side: Maluku Sea
East Side: Sorong Regency
For the fauna sector, Raja Ampat has rarely fauna, such as; red birds of paradise (Paradise Rubra), Wilson birds of paradise (Cicinnurs Republica), Maleo Waigeo (Spilocuscus Papuensis), and rainbow fishes. Hence, for the flora, Raja Ampat has many kinds of Orchids, Waigeo palm, ironwoods or black woods, 'keruing', 'ulin' woods, etc.
Because of its various nature profit, Raja Ampat will declared by Maritime Ministry Freddy Numberi as ancient regency, based on its location that not only rich of fishes, but also its sea herb and the pearl.
So, Raja Ampat is the one of the most exiting place to visit in Indonesia! Diving or sightseeing we can do in Raja Ampat! Because 90% of marine live can be viewed in Raja Ampat! So visit Raja Ampat and go scuba diving there!
If you want to diving in Raja Ampat, Click This Link!!! Dive in Raja Ampat!
The air, the sea and the earth in Gaza City are now occupied by the Israeli military. They occupy Gazans' minds, nerves and ears too. I have had 8 hours sleep since the beginning of this conflict; we can hear attacks almost every minute.
I think to myself, if one of us is injured or needs medical attention what will happen? Ambulances are finding it difficult to reach civilians, roads are blocked by rubble, Israeli forces in their path - you could bleed to death.
Hospitals are now running on back-up generators making life even more difficult for the doctors who are trying to cope with the influx of the injured. If fuel runs out for the generators, those on life-saving equipment will perish.
I heard a woman calling into a radio station today - ambulance services could not reach her and I guess she thought the radio station might be able to do something. She was wailing down the phone "our home is on fire, my children are dying, help me". I do not know what happened to her and her children - I do not want to imagine.
What is the international community waiting for - to see even more dismembered people and families erased before they act? Time is ticking by and the numbers of dead and injured are increasing. What are they waiting for?
What is happening is against humanity, are we not human?"The situation here is very difficult. They are shooting at Palestinian from everywhere, at all targets - military or not.