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Tangkoko National Park

Written By Rio Gonzales on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Tangkoko National Park is a flora and fauna conservation area on Mount Tangkoko, Bitung in the province of North Sulawesi. To visit this park, you will pass Batuputih Natural Park located between Batuputih Bawah subdistrict and the Tangkoko National Park itself at Batuangus.
The Batuputih Natural Park covers an area of  615 hectares and is a savanna suitable for camping, outbound activities and relaxation by the beach.  Since the Batuputih park is most visited by tourists, it is therefore also the best known, although it is only one of four conservation areas at Tangkoko
In addition to the Batuputih Park, Tangkoko also comprises the Tangkoko-Batuangus National Park with a total area of 3,196 hectares – covering Mount Tangkoko-Batuangus and its surrounding areas – which are the Duasaudara National Park with a total area of 4,299 hectares (covering Mount Duasaudara and its surrounding areas), and the Batuangus National Park with 635 hectares (located between the Tangkoko National Park and Pinangunian village.
Tangkoko National ParkThe Tangkoko-Duasudara nature preserve lies on the northernmost tip of the northern peninsula of Sulawesi, within the administrative province of Sulawesi Utara (North Sulawesi) at about 40km, or two hours driving from Manado.
Although named as one the Tangkoko-Duasudara nature preserve is actually two adjoining preserves. The Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve (4,446ha) was established in 1919 Total land area of both preserves, including the Batuputih and Batuangus tourism areas is 8,745 ha.
Tangkoko National Park – Home of the smallest monkey in the world, located at the foot of Dua Saudara Mountain, Tangkoko National Park is comprised of rolling hills and valleys with a variety of hardwood trees and unusual plant life.
The animal life is also quite varied, and one can often view Tarsius Spectrum (world’s smallest primate), black tailless monkeys, Maleo Birds, wild pigs and kuskus (marsupial family). Tangkoko Batuangus Reserve offers a suitable protective environment to help prevent these animals from becoming extinct.
Tangkoko is located in the northern sector of Bitung, and comprises an area of 3,196 Ha, and takes about 1.5 -2.5 hours to reach from Bitung or Manado, respectively. Please note that the road to Tangkoko is somewhat difficult and visitors are recommended to visit with a local tour operators to ensure a safe journey and to take advantage of an experienced guide who can assist in spotting the wildlife. Losmen (simple guesthouses) are available for overnight stays.


Physical Features
The topography is dominated by the two volcanic cones of Gunung Duasudara (1,351m) and Gunung Tangkoko (1,109m), which are linked by a ridge. A further volcanic cone, the active 450m Gunung Batuangus, lies to the south-east, while to the north-west lies the extensive Pata plateau. To the north-east the steep topography attenuates towards a coast characterized by alternating bays and rocky headlands.

Flora:
Tangkoko Rain ForestPredominant vegetation type is primary lowland rain forest which occurs around the three main peaks and on the Pata plateau up to 600m. Above 600m, sub-mountain rain forest displays physical changes in both structure and species composition. Canopy height and mean leaf size are smaller and bryophytes and ferns predominate in the under storey and on trees.
At higher elevations, around the crater rim and peaks of Gunung Tangkoko and Gunung Duasudara, a stunted bryophyte and epiphyte encrusted mountain forest occurs.Fig Tree – Tangkoko National Park In areas disturbed by landslides numerous ferns are present along with pitcher plants Nepenthes sp. and some genera such as Vaccinium spp. This forest type is particularly noteworthy for orchids.
Other notable vegetation types include coastal beach forest which predominates on sandy coastal ridges and is dominated by Calophyllum soulattri and Barringtonia asiatica. A Casuarina equisetifolia dominated secondary forest occurs on newly-exposed Palm Woka – Tangkoko National Parksandy and rocky parts of the reserve, such as on the Tangkoko crater walls and floor, on the slopes of the Batuangus ash cone and on the beach close to Batuangus cone.
Other vegetation types include secondary forest on the lower south-eastern slopes of Gunung Duasudara and areas of alang-alang Imperata cylindrica grassland in areas of both volcanic and anthropogenic disturbance (WWF, 1980).

Fauna:
The unusually high productivity of the lowland forest has resulted in a faunal composition with large numbers of relatively few species.
This is exemplified by the frugivores (fruit-eaters), particularly the endemic Celebes black macaque Macaca nigra, for which population densities of about 300 per sq. km have been recorded, although this may have declined over recent years (MacKinnon, 1991). Other endemic species include tarsiers Tarsius spectrum and phalangers; bear cuscus Phalanger ursinus and Celebes cuscus P. celebensis.
Avifauna is well represented with some 140 species recorded from the reserve by 1980. Of particular interest are the Sulawesi endemic rhinoceros hornbill Rhyticeros cassidix, which occurs in extremely high numbers, and maleo Macrocephalon maleo , for which two main nesting areas have been identified at Rumesung and Tiwo, as well as several smaller sites at Lagunde and on the slopes of Gunung Tangkoko.
The proposed marine component of the reserve includes a variety of habitats including well-developed coral reefs. Notable species include turtles; green turtle Chelonia mydas , leatherback Dermochelys coriacea and hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata , although these nest only occasionally .

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