The Nature Reserves in East Java

"If one is fortunate to fly over East Java on a clear day it will be possilble to appreciate the abundance of natural forest and wild, mountainous terrain still in existence. The province now possesses eight official National Parks, protected areas for native flora and fauna.

ARJUNO-LALIJIWO RESERVE Situated between Surabaya and Malang, the reserve is dominated by the volcanic peaks of Mt. Arjuna (dormant) and the semiactive Mt Welirang, both towering more than 3,000 metres above sea level. The peak of Welirang is a source of sulphur and collectors travel a well worn path daily to the summit area of the mountain from the resort of Tretes. Wildlife includes deer and wild pig; forests are of hardy casuarina trees.

BROMO-SEMERU RESERVE The Bromo-Semeru massif covers some 800 square kilometres in the centre of the province, to the east of Malang. It is the largest volcanic region in East Java and contains the island's highest mountain, Semeru, rising 3,676 m above sealevel. The 10 kilometre wide 'sand sea' of Bromo has become East Java's most famous attraction. The reserve is home to quite a number of rare and protected plants; lake areas are frequented by a variety of waterfowl and wildlife includes deer and a few leopards.

NUSA BARUNG RESERVE Nusa Barung is an uninhabited island off the south coast of East Java and has been a nature reserve since 1920. The cliffs and shore are a haven for sea birds and edible birds nests built by swifts are also found here.

HYANG PLATEAU RESERVE The Hyang Plateau Reserve covers about 40,000 Hectares, including the summit of Mt Argopura (3,088 m). The area once contained an enormous population of deer, but their numbers have been reduced drastically in the past fifty years, Other types of wildlife include wild cats, pigs and jungle fowl.

MERU BETIRI RESERVE Meru Betiri, on East Java's south coast is best known for being the last place on the island where the Javanese tiger is still believed to exist. The last official report revealed that there were between three and five left. The extinction of this species, then, appears to be inevitable. Conservation efforts at Meru Betiri are concentrated for the most part on the turtle nesting beaches, particularly at Sukamade, where the turtles are monitored closely and their eggs protected Meru Betiri contains some truly magnificent natural rain forest.