Meta description: Teluk Cenderawasih National Park in West Papua is Indonesia’s largest national park from so many aspects. Curious? Let’s read about the park here!
As one of the world’s largest archipelago countries, Indonesia takes up the spot of the country with the fourth largest human population on the world and is home to a significant amount of global flora and fauna biodiversity. To ensure the preservation and longevity of such biodiversity, many national parks have been built across the country, where each of them is tasked with preserving their local biodiversity. So, in this article, we’d like to tell you about Indonesia’s largest national maritime park: Teluk Cenderawasih National Park from West Papua!
First established in 2002 by Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry, the national park is one of the largest national parks in Indonesia in terms of its area size. Spanning over 14.535 km2, the majority of the area’s biodiversity is marine life. The number of species within the local marine ecosystem is amazing; in fact, it can actually be considered a potential World Heritage Site due to its outstanding biodiversity.
Teluk Cenderawasih National Park in West Papua
So, how did this national park in West Papua come into being? Originally, the national park was first established as a marine nature reserve in 1990. Gradually, due to the significant level of biodiversity in Teluk Cenderawasih, the status was upgraded into the National Park designation by 1993 until its formal declaration as Teluk Cenderawasih National Park in 2002 by the Ministry of Forestry.
The preserved flora
Considering that this national park is mainly a maritime national park, it is out of the question that the majority of ecosystem variety in Teluk Cenderawasih National Park is dominated by marine life (although land ecosystem exists as well). Upon closer inspection, most of the biodiversity in the national park is related to the seas in West Papua.
In this regard, the forests in the national park are closely located to the sea along with the mangrove forests. Mangrove species are abundant in the coastal forests, such as Avicennia, sp; Rhizopora, sp; Bruguier asp; Baringtonia sp, and Soneratia sp.
Other than mangrove forests, many seagrass species can be found in the national park as well. Different seagrass species like Thalassia sp, Enhalus sp, Cymodeca sp, Siringodium sp, and Halpoilla sp can also be found in the national park.
The fauna biodiversity
If you might wonder why we put the corals’ section into this part, corals are actually animals! They are multicellular, eat other organisms for sustenance, have an internal digestive system, create embryos, and move by themselves.
What’s more amazing is that there are more than 200 species of corals in the Teluk Cenderawasih National Park alone! Differentiated into 67 different genera, the types of corals in the national park span from the blue coral colony (Heliopora coenela), soft corals (Sacroplyton sp) to reef slop zone corals like Leptoseris spp, Montipora spp, and Oxypora spp.
The fishes that live in the national park also have the same amount of species as the corals. With more than 200 species that have been identified thus far, there are butterflyfish, clownfish, damselfish, parrotfish, sharks (including whale sharks), and rabbitfish. Amazing, isn’t it?
If you like turtles, there are also many of them like in the national park! In the park, there are turtles like green turtle, hawksbill turtle, leatherback turtle, and the olive ridley turtle.
Marine mammals also live in the area (in case you’re wondering), such as blue dolphins, dugong, and blue whales.
Of course, the preservation attempt in the national park would’ve been impossible without the involvement of the people living in the area within Teluk Cenderawasih National Park! The preservation attempts involve the government, but the local society is also actively participating to ensure that the biodiversity in the national park remains preserved.
To ensure that the balance between the natural flora and fauna is accounted for, the local preservation body has attempted efforts in species inventory. To this end, the national park’s governing body, Major Hall of Teluk Cenderawasih National Park (BBTNTC), cooperates with different parties to ensure that all numbers of the park’s flora and fauna are identifiable.
Usually, these inventory attempts try to measure and identify each species’ type, population, habitat condition, endemicity, potential threats from other species, and many more. To do that, experts determine these characteristics by dividing the area into segmentations so that their population concentrations can be identified.
Apart from inventory, seagrass cultivation is also one of the main focuses of the national park’s activities. Seagrass can be a major source of income for the local population as well as a living habitat for the fauna in the park. Moreover, seagrass can absorb carbon emissions, which is very useful in helping the world prevent the bad effects of global warming!
From the explanation above, now we see how Teluk Cenderawasih National Park stands as not only the biodiversity pride of West Papua but also to the whole country. Let’s keep hoping that their preservation efforts will make great results for the world’s living sustainability!