Ujung Kulon National Park is located at the westernmost tip of Java, within Banten province of Indonesia. It includes the volcanic island group of Krakatoa in Lampung province, and other islands including Panaitan, as well as smaller offshore islets such as Handeuleum and Peucang in the Sunda Strait. It is Indonesia's first proposed national park and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 for containing the largest remaining lowland rainforest in Java. After the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, many settlements in the park were wiped out and never repopulated.
Parts of today's national park and World Heritage site have been protected since the early 20th century. Krakatoa (or rather, the three minor islets which remain of it) was declared as a Nature Reserve in 1921, followed by Pulau Panaitan and Pulau Peucang Nature Reserve in 1937, the Ujung Kulon Nature Reserve in 1958, the Gunung Honje Nature Reserve in 1967, and most recently Ujung Kulon National Park in 1992. In 2005 the park was designated as an ASEAN Heritage Park.
The park encompasses an area of 1,206 km² (443 km² marine), most of which lies on a peninsula reaching into the Indian Ocean. The explosion of nearby Krakatau in 1883 produced a tsunami (giant wave) that eliminated the villages and crops of the coastal areas on the western peninsula, and covered the entire area in a layer of ash averaging 30 cm thick. This caused the total evacuation of the peninsula by humans, thereby allowing it to become a repository for much of Java’s flora and fauna, and most of the remaining lowland forest on the island.
Ujung Kulon stands as the last known refuge for the critically endangered Javan rhinoceros after poachers killed the last remaining rhino in Cát Tiên National Park of Vietnam, where a small population of 10 or less remained back in 2010. In Ujung Kulon the population has been estimated at 40-60 in the 1980s. Within 2001-2010 there have been 14 rhino births identified using camera and video traps. Based on recordings taken between February and October 2011, 35 rhinoceros have been identified, of which 22 were males and 13 females. Of these 7 were old, 18 adults, 5 youngsters, and 5 infant rhinos. Increasing from previous years, in 2013 there were 8 calves which 3 of them were female and 50 teenage and adult which 20 of them were female identifying using 120 video cameras functioning at night with moving sensor. It was accurate data, because every rhino has unique morphology as finger print, mainly skin wrinkles around the eyes.
By 2013 feeding areas of Eupatorium odoratum vegetation have been reduced from 10 locations comprising 158 hectares to just 5 locations comprising 20 hectares. Thus competition for feeding ground between the solitary Rhinoceros and Banteng also increased.
The park also protects 57 rare species of plant. The 35 species of mammal include Banteng, Silvery gibbon, Javan lutung, Crab-eating macaque, Javan leopard, Java mouse-deer and Rusa deer, Smooth-coated Otter. There are also 72 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 240 species of birds.
The status of crocodiles within the park is largely unknown- sightings are rare, but do occasionally occur. There are reports of the false gharial within the park, but these are not confirmed. In addition, the saltwater crocodile was historically present throughout Java's coastal river systems but is currently extinct within these regions. Small, isolated populations of the saltwater crocodile are reported to exist within Ujung Kulon but confirmation is needed.
The easiest way to get in is by purchase a tour from a resort in Anyer. The price will be around Rp 1.5 million-3 million depending on the length of stay. The price goes down if the number of the people joining the tour increases. It takes around 3-4 hours from Anyer to Peucang Island where the accommodation and national park office are situated.
The cheapest way to get here is by public transport. The journey can start from Kalideres bus station in the West Jakarta. The bus is green heading in the direction of Labuan. It takes 3 hours to arrive in Labuan from Kalideres bus station. From Labuan, the journey will continue to Sumur or directly to Taman Jaya the last point before Ujung Kulon National Park. In Labuan, a lot of touts telling you there is no bus to Sumur or Taman Jaya. They offer ojek (motorcyle transport) for the transport and off course more expensive than the bus. There are buses to Sumur every hour, but only one bus go directly to Taman Jaya every day. The bus to Taman Jaya leaves at noon around 12:00am, so it is better to leave Kalideres in the morning around 7:00 or 8:00am. The bus to Taman Jaya is not parking in the bus station. It usually park outside the bus station around 20 meters on the left side of the bus station. The bus will leave after full with the passengers. The journey to Sumur takes 3 hours and to Taman Jaya 4 hours. If you cannot manage go to Taman jaya, the trips suppose to be continued by Ojek from Sumur.
Get around in the park is mostly done with a help of a ranger or tour guide. The local ranger and tour guide know where to camp and where to find water. You can walk along the coastline with a breathtaking view and attractions, starting from Taman Jaya village to Tanjung Layar in 2 or 3 days. A guide or ranger is a must.
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