Wakatobi National Park
|Wakatobi National Park|
|Location||Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia|
|Governing body||Ministry of Forestry|
Wakatobi National Park is a marine national park in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. The name of Wakatobi is a portmanteau of the four main Tukangbesi Islands: Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. Since 2005 the park is listed as a tentative World Heritage Site.
Location and topography
It consists of four larger islands: Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko, as well as many small islands such as Tokobao, North Lintea, South Lintea, Kampenaune, Hoga and Tolandono. The highest elevation is 274 metres (899 ft) on Wangi-Wangi, followed by Lagole Hill (271m) on Tomia, Terpadu Hill (222 m) on Binongko and Mount Sampuagiwolo (203 m) on Kadelupa. The water depth varies, with the deepest parts reaching 1,044 metres (3,425 ft).
It is the third largest marine park in Indonesia. Jacques Cousteau is said to have called the Wakatobi islands – then known as the Tukangbesi islands: an “Underwater Nirwana”. Now a national marine park covering the entire Waktobi District, it comprises 1.4 million hectares, of which 900,000 host tropical coral reefs. Wakatobi has the highest number of reef and fish species in the world. The islands are form the largest barrier reef in Indonesia, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is the habitat of large and small fish species, dolphins, turtles and whales. The island group comprises 143 islands of which 7 are inhabited, counting a total population of around 100,000. Most notable are the Bajo communities, seafaring nomads who inhabit many of Indonesia’s remote islands.
Flora and fauna
Located in the Asia-Pacific World Coral Triangle, in the province of South East Sulawesi, the Wakatobi Islands offer clear waters and a rich bio-diverse underwater life. Wakatobi hosts 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species (of 850 globally), versus 50 in the Caribbean and 300 in the Red Sea.
Habitats found in the national park are mangrove forest, coastal forest, lowland swamp forest, riverbank vegetation, lowland rainforest, mountain rainforest and coral reefs. The Wakatobi Archipelago has 25 groups of coral reefs including fringing reefs, barrier reefs and atolls. A survey conducted in 2003 identified 396 species of coral belonging to 68 genera and 15 families. These include Acropora formosa, Acropora hyacinthus, Psammocora profundasafla, Pavona cactus, Leptoseris yabei, Fungia molucensis, Lobophyllia robusta, Merulina ampliata, Platygyra versifora, Euphyllia glabrescens, Tubastraea frondes, Stylophora pistillata, Sarcophyton throchelliophorum, and Sinularia species.
Conservation and threats
After the designation of the Wakatobi Marine Conservation Area in 1996, the Wakatobi National Park was established in 2002. It is managed by the Wakatobi National Park Authority (Balai Taman Nasional). In 2005 the park was listed as a tentative World Heritage Site. In 2012 it was included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
- Lestari Hutan Indonesia, retrieved 23 July 2010
- "World Heritage Tentative List: Wakatobi National Park". UNESCO. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Underwater Nirwana
- WWF: Rapid Ecological Assessment Wakatobi National Park, 2003, retrieved 23 July 2010
- Ministry of Forestry: Wakatobi National Park, retrieved 23 July 2010
- UNESCO: "Ecological Sciences for Sustainable Development", retrieved 22 October 2013
- The Nature Conservancy: Wakatobi National Park, retrieved 23 July 2010
Media related to Wakatobi National Park at Wikimedia Commons