Clustered in a small archipelago chain that lies in the Makassar Strait near the equator, between Borneo and Sulawesi are Derawan, Sangalaki, Maratua and Kakaban. The islands have environmental significance as the biggest nestling ground for green turtles in Indonesia. The plankton rich water harbor a fantastic ecosystem , most of which is rarely explored.
Most dive sites are shallower than 20 meters with gently sloping reefs and shallows areas. The dive sites are famous for the large gathering of Manta Rays. Among the reefs of this archipelago is also habitat lots of very interesting critters, beautiful nudibranchs, hidden crab and shrimps an unusual fish such as ghost pipefish’s, scorpion fishes and more.
Kakaban islands has been declared a regional marine conservation area and ecologist haven thank to unique lake teeming with jellyfish.
Declared a game reserve in 1935 and National park in 1982, Tanjung Puting has several types of ecosystem: lowland tropical forest, dry land forest, fresh water swamps forest, mangrove forest, coastal forest and secondary forest.
The park is home to several endangered endemic species such as monkey ,maroon leaf ,sun bear, , clouded leopard and leopard cat. It has 220 species of orchids, hornbills, 2 species of crocodiles, and the much sought after Arwana ( dragon fish ). Tanjung Puting is best known for its Orangutans as it was the first orangutan rehabilitation centre in Indonesia. The centre has now located in three locations, known as Tanjung Harapan, Pondok Tanggui and Camp Leakey.
Declared by UNESCO as biosphere reserve, the park’s rich ecosystem also benefit the local human population. The wetlands act as a natural flood and erosion control, as well as a natural biological filtration system and encourage seasonal fish nurseries that are major sources of protein for the surrounding people. In addition, Tanjung Puting also yields a great variety of forest products such as honey, wax, aromatic wood and fibers for ropes and cloth.
Source : Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Republic of Indonesia.