Muara Angke Nature Reserve

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Java West Nature Reserve with 0 Comments

Muara Angke Nature Reserve




Muara Angke, Muara Angke Nature Reserve, Cagar Alam

Muara Angke Nature Reserve

This small (25 ha) reserve is located at the mouth of the Sungai Angke near Kapuk on the north coast of West Java in Jakarta province. The area consists of mangrove forest, remnant of a vegetation which was formerly common on the north coast of Java, but now, almost totally, has been converted into shrimp farms and rice paddies.

There are several buses from Jakarta to Muara Angke. Get off at the west end of Jalan Pluit Karang and walk the last 100 meters to the reserve’s entrance.

Proyek Taman Nasional Laut Kepulauan Seribu, Jl. Salemba Raya 16, Jakarta.
PHPA Dinas Kehutanan DKI Jakarta, Jl.. Rasuna Said, Kuningan.

Suaka Margasatwa Muara Angke (SMMA-Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve), in the north of the city.

It is a coastal nature and wildlife protection zone left behind by the Dutch colonial government, which by the decree of the Governor General of the Netherlands East Indies dated June 17, 1939, determined an area of only 15.40 hectares for this purpose.

With the discovery of various unique and rare wildlife species in the area, a ministerial decree in 1998 declared its wildlife reserve status, with a forest area of 25.02 hectares in the coastal zone of Jakarta Bay and the mouth of the Angke River.

Based on a study by the Institute of Mangrove Research and Development (IMReD), SMMA is a mangrove forest still found today along the bay, serving as the habitat of wild animals, particularly birds. Data indicates the existence of 76 bird species, of which 17 are protected and 50 others endemic, with 10 migratory birds for company.

Uniquely, an endemic bird of Java Island not found in other regions, bubut Jawa/Sunda or coucal (Centropus nigrorufus), is among the other species in the reserve,-÷ said Resijati Wasito, a staffer of Jakarta’s Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA).

The bird, eating insects and grains, belongs to the category of endangered species in the world. A BirdLife International study in 2001 mentioned Muara Gembong, Cangkring, Muara Cimanuk, Sidoarjo and Cilacap as its Java habitats, in addition to Muara Angke.

According to Resijati, who has been a ranger for almost 20 years, the waterbirds living in this zone include kuntul or egret (egretta sp), mandar batu or common moorhen (Gallinule chloropus), belibis or whistling duck (Dendrocygna spp) and pecuk ular or oriental darter (Anhinga melanogaster).

They can be observed at around 5 a.m. During the day they feed at other places. Muara Angke is also a feeding area for water birds from the Rambut Island Wildlife Reserve, Seribu Archipelago, and a resting spot for migratory birds,-÷ he noted.

Among the wild animal species there are the python (Python reticulates), cobra (Naja sputatrix), belang or striped snake (Bungarus fasciatus), biawak or monitor lizard (Varanus salvator) and macaque (Macaca fascularis).

There are five groups of monkeys in Muara Angke, comprising five to 15 individuals per group,-÷ said Irin, a guard working since 2000.

He noticed that the primates, frequently gathering around the guard post and entrance gate, number about 60 and rising as many female macaques are carrying babies,-÷ Irin added.

Jakartans have reason to be proud of the rich resources of vegetation in SMMA. It is a muddy marsh forest where 42 plant species grow, 11 of which are under the mangrove family such as pidada (Sonneratia caseolaris), bakau (Rhizopora spp), nipah (Nypa fruticans) and Api-api (Avicennia marina).

Damaged facilities

Visitors can watch wildlife behavior and vegetation by walking along pathways in the form of hundreds of meters of wooden bridges less than 1.5 meters wide. The paths above muddy soil have become more rickety each year. With the rainy season and floodwater from Angke River inundating the forest, many are broken and just gone. The guard post and information station also needs renovation,-÷ complained Resijati.

A tower, 17 meters high, has also been built for animal observation. Unfortunately, however, several rungs of its ladder are worn out and rusty, a real danger for people who may wish to climb it. At present, visitors are not allowed to use the tower due to its poor condition.

Individuals or groups wishing to visit or conduct activities in the wildlife reserve should report to the Jakarta BKSDA office on Jl. Salemba Raya, Central Jakarta, next to the campus of Persada Indonesia University-YAI. After obtaining permits, be sure to carry binoculars to make observation easier. Guidebooks on birds or the zone are also available in the office.

The bus terminal at Grogol is the most convenient place from which to reach Muara Angke if one chooses to use public transportation. From downtown Kota some buses also ply the route to the reserve.

Visitors should stop in front the entrance of Pantai Indah Kapuk (housing complex), before going by bicycle taxi or walking about 500 meters to the gate of the sanctuary.

Private cars may drive to the gate directly from the complex.

Bambang Parlupi, Contributor, Jakarta

List of Birds (102 species)

Species Red Data Book Cites
Accipiter soloensis App II
Acridotheres javanicus
Acridotheres tristis
Acrocephalus arundinaceus
Acrocephalus stentoreus
Actitis hypoleucos
Aegithina tiphia
Alcedo atthis
Alcedo coerulescens
Alcedo euryzona Vulnerable
Alcedo meninting
Amaurornis phoenicurus
Anas gibberifrons
Anhinga melanogaster Lower Risk
Ardea cinerea
Ardea purpurea
Ardea sumatrana Lower Risk
Ardeola speciosa
Artamus leucorynchus
Bubulcus ibis
Butorides striatus
Cacomantis merulinus
Caprimulgus affinis
Casmerodius albus
Centropus bengalensis
Centropus nigrorufus Vulnerable
Charadrius alexandrinus
Charadrius javanicus Lower Risk
Chlidonias hybridus
Chlidonias leucopterus
Chrysococcyx basalis
Cisticola juncidis
Collocalia esculenta
Collocalia linchi
Copsychus saularis
Crypsirina temia
Dendrocopos macei
Dendrocygna javanica
Dicrurus macrocercus
Dupetor flavicollis
Egretta alba
Egretta garzetta
Egretta intermedia
Elanus caeruleus App II
Eudynamys scolopacea
Fregata andrewsi Vulnerable App I
Fregata ariel
Gallicrex cinerea
Gallinula chloropus
Gallirallus striatus

Geopelia striata
Gerygone sulphurea
Halcyon chloris
Halcyon sancta
Hirundo rustica
Hirundo tahitica
Hydrophasianus chirurgus
Ibis cinerea Vulnerable App I
Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
Ixobrychus sinensis
Lalage nigra
Lanius schach
Leptoptilos javanicus Vulnerable
Lonchura leucogastroides
Lonchura punctulata
Merops philippinus
Merops superciliosus
Mesophoyx intermedia
Mycteria cinerea Vulnerable App I
Nectarinia jugularis
Nycticorax nycticorax
Oriolus chinensis
Orthotomus sepium
Orthotomus sutorius
Pachycephala grisola
Padda oryzivora Vulnerable
Passer montanus
Pernis ptilorhynchus App II
Phalacrocorax niger
Phalacrocorax pygmaeus
Phalacrocorax sulcirostris
Picoides canicapillus
Picoides macei
Plegadis falcinellus
Poliolimnas cinerea
Porzana cinerea
Porzana fusca
Prinia familiaris
Prinia flaviventris
Prinia subflava
Psittacula alexandri App II
Pycnonotus aurigaster
Pycnonotus goiavier
Rhipidura javanica
Streptopelia bitorquata
Streptopelia chinensis
Sturnus contra
Sturnus melanopterus Lower Risk
Threskiornis melanocephalus Lower Risk
Treron vernans
Tringa hypoleucos
Zosterops palpebrosus


* Acrostichum spp.
* Avicennia spp.
* Calamus spp.
* Cordia spp.
* Excoecaria aggalocha
* Ficus benjamina
* Hibiscus tiliaceus
* Nypa fruticans
* Rhizophora spp.
* Saccharum spp.
* Sonneratia acida
* Spondias pinnata

* Long-tailed macaque – Macaca fascicularis

* Indonesian Teal – Anas gibberifrons
* Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker – Dendrocopos macei
* Common Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis
* Blue-eared Kingfisher – Alcedo meninting
* Blue-banded Kingfisher – Alcedo euryzona
* Small Blue Kingfisher – Alcedo coerulescens
* Collared Kingfisher – Todirhamphus chloris
* Sacred Kingfisher – Todirhamphus sanctus
* Plaintive Cuckoo – Cacomantis merulinus
* Asian Koel – Eudynamys scolopacea
* Sunda Coucal – Centropus nigrorufus
* Lesser Coucal – Centropus bengalensis
* Red-breasted Parakeet – Psittacula alexandri
* Glossy Swiftlet – Collocalia esculenta
* Island Collared-Dove – Streptopelia bitorquata
* Zebra Dove – Geopelia striata
* Slaty-breasted Rail – Gallirallus striatus
* White-breasted Waterhen – Amaurornis phoenicurus
* White-browed Crake – Porzana cinerea
* Watercock – Gallicrex cinerea
* Common Moorhen – Gallinula chloropus
* Common Sandpiper – Tringa hypoleucos
* Javan Plover – Charadrius javanicus
* Whiskered Tern – Chlidonias hybridus
* White-winged Tern – Chlidonias leucopterus
* Oriental Honey-buzzard – Pernis ptilorhyncus
* Black-winged Kite – Elanus caeruleus
* Chinese Goshawk – Accipiter soloensis

* Oriental Darter – Anhinga melanogaster
* Little Cormorant – Phalacrocorax niger
* Yellow Bittern – Ixobrychus sinensis
* Cinnamon Bittern – Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
* Black Bittern – Dupetor flavicollis
* Black-crowned Night-Heron – Nycticorax nycticorax
* Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
* Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea
* Great-billed Heron – Ardea sumatrana
* Purple Heron – Ardea purpurea
* Great Egret – Casmerodius albus
* Intermediate Egret – Mesophoyx intermedia
* Javan Pond-Heron – Ardeola speciosa
* Striated Heron – Butorides striatus
* Black-headed Ibis – Threskiornis melanocephalus
* Milky Stork – Mycteria cinerea
* Lesser Adjutant – Leptoptilos javanicus
* Lesser Frigatebird – Fregata ariel
* Christmas Island Frigatebird – Fregata andrewsi
* Golden-bellied Gerygone – Gerygone sulphurea
* Long-tailed Shrike – Lanius schach
* Mangrove Whistler – Pachycephala grisola
* Racket-tailed Treepie – Crypsirina temia
* Pied Fantail – Rhipidura javanica
* Common Iora – Aegithina tiphia
* Oriental Magpie-Robin – Copsychus saularis
* Asian Pied Starling – Sturnus contra
* Black-winged Starling – Sturnus melanopterus
* Pale-bellied Myna – Acridotheres cinereus
* Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
* Pacific Swallow – Hirundo tahitica
* Yellow-vented Bulbul – Pycnonotus goiavier
* Bar-winged Prinia – Prinia familiaris
* Oriental Reed-Warbler – Acrocephalus orientalis
* Clamorous Reed-Warbler – Acrocephalus stentoreus
* Common Tailorbird – Orthotomus sutorius
* Olive-backed Sunbird – Nectarinia jugularis
* Scaly-breasted Munia – Lonchura punctulata
* Southern Black-headed Munia – Lonchura atricapilla
* Java Sparrow – Lonchura oryzivora

* Water Monitor – Varanus salvator

Protecting the Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve: West Java

Protecting the Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve: West Java

The morning sunshine is unable to penetrate the thick pidada trees (Sonnieratia caseolaris) in Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve. If you keep quiet, you can hear strange kro-wak, kro-wak-÷ calls coming from the thick mangroves (Nypa fruticans). If you remain still and pay close attention to the mangrove’s stems, you will be able to spot the source of the calls; a white breasted water hen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) with its gray plumage and striking white face, throat and breast -∙ hence its name. The bird rummages through the mangroves and wades in the water, where it forages for food.

Other water fowl can also be seen at the reserve; little black cormorants (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris), gray herons (Ardea cinerea), cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and even a rare javan coucal (Centropus nigrorufus) as Ani Suswantoro writes.

The reconstruction of a wooden bridge at the reserve began two months ago and is now complete, thanks to the hard work of Flora Fauna International (FFI) Indonesia in cooperation with Jakarta’s Natural Resource Conservation Center (BBKSDA).

Two architects from Central Java, Okky and Herman, helped us free of charge with the bridge design. The Department of Forestry financed the 843-meter-long bridge, which cost Rp 4 billion, from its 2007 budget. In the future, we hope to extend it to the protected forest,-÷ said Frank Momberg, FFI’s Asia-Pacific regional director of development.

The bridge is made of merbau and mengkirai woods, which will last more than 20 years. We implanted the poles into a solid base approximately three to four meters below the surface. We guarantee it will be long-lasting and sturdy,-÷ said Amri, the construction supervisor.

Visitors who wish to enter Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve must obtain written permission from the BBKSDA office on Jl. Salemba in Central Jakarta. But arrangements to issue letters on site to sightseers are currently being discussed.

Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve has many important roles; it is a natural scientific laboratory, a rainwater absorption area and an extraordinary recreational site.

Where else in crowded and hectic Jakarta can people stroll along a nicely built bridge, enjoy the morning breeze and admire nature’s beauty?

Visitors to the reserve are advised to walk slowly, remain quiet and avoid wearing brightly colored clothing in order to get the most out of observing the wildlife and minimize disturbances to the natural surroundings. Visitors are also advised to bring a camera and binoculars and to sit or crawl when observing animals at the reserve.

Volunteers from the wetland conservation non-governmental organization Jakarta Green Monster, Wawan and Erik, are always on standby at the reserve station to take visitors for a rubber boat ride through the surrounding forest.

When the propeller is strangled by submerged waste and chokes the engine, people can see first-hand how serious the waste problem here is. Hopefully, people will be prompted to care more for the reserve,-÷ said Hendra Aquan, from Jakarta Green Monster.

He added garbage at the reserve had been greatly reduced through regular clean-up campaigns conducted by BBKSDA and volunteers from FFI and Jakarta Green Monster, as well as students and members of the public concerned for the reserve. However, he said unless the habit of throwing garbage in the rivers is curbed, the condition would only worsen.

Angke is very important in many ways. The mangroves along the shore prevent abrasion and act as a tsunami defense and the fish use the mangroves as a breeding site.

It is also a valuable natural laboratory for students. Many birds forage and breed here. Kingfishers make their unique nests in mud mounds, others like the bar-winged prinia (Prinia familiaris), flyeater (Gerygone sulphurea) and the javan coucal build their nests in the shrubs or trees.

Considering Angke’s importance to nature and humans alike, it is imperative we safeguard it,-÷ said Ady Kristanto from the Jakarta Bird Watcher Community, who is also a Jakarta Green Monster volunteer.

Despite the uniqueness of Angke and the important role it plays, it still faces very serious threats due to water pollution.

Its position as the estuary of two rivers -∙ Angke River and Ciliwung River -∙ makes Angke a dumping ground for the never-ending flow of garbage. Worn-out mattresses and refrigerators, plastic bags, toys, baby diapers and all manner of other waste can be seen floating in the estuary.

Celebrities such as Nicholas Saputra, Indra Bekti and Abang Jakarta have joined in previous clean-up campaigns. We hope the presence of public figures (like these) will attract more public attention and care for Angke,-÷ Moberg said.

By rebuilding the bridge, FFI and all concerned parties hope more people will come and enjoy Angke, get the most out of it and feel a sense of belonging.

To anticipate the impact of a rush of visitors to the reserve, which would disturb the animals and peaceful surroundings, a quota system will be applied.

We will post a forest police officer at the entrance gate to monitor the situation. The officer will close the gate once the visitor quota is reached,-÷ said Jati, a BKSDA officer tasked with mangrove forest conservation in North Jakarta, Rambut Island, Bokor Island and Untungjawa Island.

A healthy and flourishing Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve would, of course, benefit all.

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