Bantimurung – Bulusaraung National Park
|Bantimurung - Bulusaraung National Park|
|Governing body||Ministry of Forestry|
Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park is a national park on south Sulawesi island of Indonesia. It contains the limestone hill of Maros Pangkep, the second largest karst area in the world after the one in South-Eastern China.
Located in Maros Regency, 50 kilometers to the north of Makassar (one hour drive) or just 20 kilometers from Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (30 minutes drive). The Karst formations most stand tall and steep at almost a 90 degree angle line both sides of the road from Maros city to Bantimurung up to Pangkajene Islands Regency.
There is waterfall with 2 caves, Dream Cave (one-kilometer long) on the left side and Stone Cave on the right side of the waterfall, (inner) tubing is also can be done.
First exploration of Bantimurung area was done by Alfred Wallace in July–October 1857. Later, he published his exploration result in a book "The Malay Archipelago" which attracted lots of researcher came to Maros. Then, in 1970–1980, there were five chosen conservation areas in Maros-Pangkep Karst, consisting of two nature parks (Bantimurung and Gua Pattunuang) and three wildlife sanctuaries (Bantimurung, Karaenta, and Bulusaurung). In 1993, The XI International Union of Speleology Congress recommended Maros-Pangkep Karst as world a heritage site. Five years after that, Environmental Seminar of Hasanuddin University (PSL-UNHAS) also recommended protection of Maros-Pangkep Karst.
Furthermore, in May 2001, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Asia Regional Office and UNESCO World Heritage Center held the Asia-Pacific Forum on Karst Ecosystems and World Heritage in Serawak, Malaysia which convinced Indonesia government to conserve Maros-Pangkep Karst. Finally in 2004, the Ministry of Forestry declared the allocation of 43,750 hectares of Bantimurung-Bulusaurung land for wildlife conservatory, nature park, conservation forest, limited production forest, production forest, as Bantimurung – Bulusaraung National Park.
Located in the transition area of Asia and Australia zone, the National Park has many unique animals collection, such as Sulawesi Moor Macaque (Macaca maura), the Red-knobbed Hornbill (Aceros cassidix, Penelopides exarhatus), cuscus (Strigocuscus celebensis), Sulawesi palm civet (Macrogalidia musschenbroekii), bat, and pot-bellied boar (Sus scrofa vittatus). Recently, in March 2008, staffs of Bantimurung – Bulusaraung National Park had documented the existence of Tarsius fuscus (the smallest mammalian) and they also found its nest inside the area. Among crustacean biodiversity in the karst area, there is one unique species called "spider crab" (Cancrocaeca xenomorpha) which is only found in Maros Karst cave.
Besides insectarium, butterfly breeding centers, managed by both the reserve administrator and residents serve complete the metamorphosis process of the butterflies. There are many butterflies around the waterfall such as Troides helena Linne, 'Troides hypolitus' Cramer, Troides haliphron Boisduval, Papilio peranthus adamantius and Cethosia myrana. Alfred Russel Wallace dubbed the place as the Butterfly Kingdom. During his exploration in 1857, Wallace found 256 butterfly species from Bantimurung area, different from previous report of Mattimu in 1977 who found 103 butterfly species inside the National Park with some endemic species are Papilio blumei, Papilio polytes, Papilio sataspes, and Graphium androcles.
Since the 1970s, butterflies already became export commodity from Bantimurung area. Not only sell to foreign countries, the local market also use this animals as materials for souvenirs, such as raw specimen, butterfly frame, key chain, and many other accessories. In 2010, about 600.000 tourists came to this conservatory site and the management of this National Park changed the purpose of this butterfly conservatory from extraction and exploitation into natural ecosystem for tourist attraction. However, some sellers still catch and use butterflies from its original habitat, not from breeding or farming production. To preserve this animal, Indonesia government through National Species Conservation Strategic Directions 2008–2018, included wide variety of butterfly as one of priority in insect group.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bantimurung National Park.|
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- Andi Hajramurni, The Jakarta Post, Makassar - Bantimurung: One of Indonesia’s fascinating tourist spots. August 04 2011