Flores Pulau Tujuhbelas Marine Nature Reserve

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Flores Nature Reserves with 0 Comments

Flores

Pulau Tujuhbelas Marine Nature Reserve

Riung 17 Islands Marine Nature Reserve

Pulau Tujuhbelas Marine Nature Reserve, Riung 17 Islands Marine Nature Reserve, Cagar Alam

General
Pulau Tujuhbelas Marine Nature Reserve comprises a small archipelago and the surrounding marine waters, north of Flores. Although the reserve is called seventeen islands the archipelago consists of more than twenty islands encompassing an area of 11,900 ha.
The coral reefs off the islands form the main attraction of the reserve. The reefs are still ok, but the fishlife is extremely poor due to heavy fishing.
The islands in the reserve are not permanently inhabitated. Most of the bigger ones are hilly with some mangrove patches near the coast. Vegetation is poor and consists of grass with only a few trees. Pulau Ontoloe harbours a big roost of Kalong. Around Riung on Flores, from where you may access the reserve, a small number of Komodo Dragons occur.
Access
The area can be visited by boat from Riung. Riung is most directly accessed by bus from Bajawa.
Accommodation
* Riung
o Homestay Triana
o Losmen Nur Ikhlas
o Hotel Mandiri
Addresses
KSDA, Riung.

List of Mammals (1 species)
Species Red Data Book Cites
Acerodon macklotii App II

List of Fish (3 species)
Species Red Data Book Cites
Acanthurus mata
Cheilinus undulatus
Pomacanthus annularis

List of Reptiles (2 species)
Species Red Data Book Cites
Eretmochelys imbricata Critically Endengered App I
Varanus salvator App II

The Seventeen Island Sea Garden in Riung on the north coast of the island Flores is known for its beautiful coral gardens. The Seventeen Island Sea Garden is an untouched underwater paradise. The blue waters envelop clusters of paradisiacal atolls which provide quiet and peaceful surroundings for multitude of colourful fish. There are 24 islands in total, with plenty of idyllic white sand beaches for swimming, and a multitude of coral species and sea creatures to discover. Natural Attractions Riung Bay has a dry climate and exotic sea life. The beaches and mangrove forests shelter sea creatures like prawns and crabs, as well as monkeys and bats. The reefs of the “Seventeen” Islands are very healthy, with a variety of hard and soft corals and lots of colourful fish. Principal Places of interest Batang Kolong Batan Kolong is a small island west of Riung Bay bordered by coral reef of depths up to ten meters. Here you can see the unusual “see rose”, a unique organism resembling the shape and colour of a rose flower. Layer upon layer of red hair tendrils anchored to a rock pulsate to the rhythm of the underwater currents. A type of sponge common to the area attracts the big scale tortoise. There are rock pillars in the eastern part of the bay, some of which are covered by the acropora genus of coral. Meja (Copper Island) This locality is an underwater heaven. Rocky outcrops are decorated by the table shaped acropora coral and giant sea fans, bringing a kaleidoscope of colour to the shallower waters. There are schools of Dakocan fish, sedentary rock dwellers of this watery paradise. Tanjung Toro Padang This is the western limit of the Seventeen Islands Sea Garden, where acropora coral and soft coral predominate. The adjacent hills are inhabited by a species of monitor lizard known locally as Mbou, which is closely related to Komodo, the Mbou have a flatter belly, a brighter colour and a more ferocious appearance. They often visit villages to pray on chickens or goats. Tangil (Ruton Island) Here the underwater corals are dominated by the long branches of the acropora Formosa coral. Divers will find termokolih, caused by a strong gradient of water temperature between the warmer surface and the radically cooler depth of just one metre. Those who are fortunate may see whales cruising the waters to the west of Tangil and the north of Pulau Pata. These whales often visit the seas surroundings Flores. During the monsoon season the warmer water attracts them to the Gulf of Riung. Bampa Timur (The Three Islands) This island is so-names because from a distance it looks like three separate islands. Closer it becomes obvious they are hilltops, separated by sand and piles of seaweed. On the southern side of Bampa Timur, at a depth of around ten meters, divers may come across red sea roses similar to those found around Batang Kolong, made of collection of eggs of the Hexabranchus Sanguineus. Pulau Sui Sui is the name given to a type of vegetable that originated from the atoll of Sui and the mainland village of Nangamese. However poor cultivation methods by the local residents have led to its demise. There are a great variety of rock types and fish in the waters around this island. On the western side of Sui the table shaped acropora coral grows profusely amongst the many undersea gaps and ravines. Such steep ravines as these are rare and sought out by divers. Sui is the perfect spot for using your underwater camera. Pulau Wire This island is situated directly in front of Kampung Oting Bajo, a village to the east of Nangamese. All along the beach there are groups of mangroves and some sedimentation clouding the water, but at the dive location there are plenty of acropora coral and fish, with only very few currents. Beyond ten meters depth there is no more coral, but many varieties of fish can be seen. Pulau Untelue The largest island in Riung Bay is located in the west near Tanjung Toro Padang. The undersea gardens are nothing special here. However, amongst the mangroves on the west side of Untelue live thousands of fruit bats. Quiet by day, at dusk they become more active. Monkeys eat the mangrove fruit, and soaring eagles build their nests at the top of the tallest trees. Sipau Strait (Selat Sipau) This strait is situated between the southern side of Untelue Island and the northern coast of Flores. The exotic scenery and wildlife are well worth a visit, and can be viewed from a boat cruising through the mangroves that line the strait. Many monkeys hang from the mangrove branches. The water is warm and usually tranquil. The sandy sea-bed is carped by seaweed. Timur Laut Lainjawa Here the waters are rich witch a variety of sea-life. The Napoleon Fish (Cheilinus Undulayus) is about a metre in length. Even larger are the giant sea-eels (Kerondong) which can grow to two meters in length with heads measuring up to ten centimeters in width. Although most of the coral is dead, at a depth of three meters there are plenty of surgeon fish (Ikan Butana) and angel fish (Kambing Kambing). Wongkoroe This island lies between Untulue and Toro Padang. Above a depth of three meters corals grow profusely in a colourful sea-garden. Multi-branched acropora corals extend deeper to around ten meters. There is also a sand spit some ten meters in width. Pata Island (Pulau Pata) This island is situated right in front of Nangamese, only two hundred meters from the village bridge. Coral covers the sea-bed of the southwestern quadrant of the island. In the north branched Acropora coral are plentiful at a depth of around three meters. A fantastic sight here for divers is the sea floor, that plunges into the depths at an angle of 45 degrees. Barrier Reef (Karang Penghalang) To the north and east of Riung Bay a barrier reef offers a dive drop with coral tables right down the wall. Barracuda are often seen here, and there is a wreck. Two Island (Pulau Dua) Other Barrier reefs are found to the north of Two Islands (Pulau Dua). Dolphins and yellow-tail fish inhabit this area. The yellow-tail is popular as a seafood dish amongst the local villagers. Seasons The Flores Sea is quietest for two periods during the year, April-June and September-November. Visitors to this area are advised to take preventative medication against malaria. Use a good mosquito repellant and take a mosquito net with you.

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