Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bird paradise at Pulau Rambut

Not all of us know about the bird sanctuary in North Jakarta. Well, it is not exactly in Jakarta, but off the mainland on Pulau Rambut, an island to the north. You can get there in less than half an hour by fishing boat from Tanjung Pasir, Tangerang.

However, because it is a wildlife reserve, the island is not open to the general public. Its use is restricted to conservation, scientific research, education, and guided tourism.

Visitors who want to visit this island should request a permit from the Jakarta Office of the Natural Resources Conservation Center.

Mangrove and wetland forests cover two-thirds of the total area. Its abundant vegetation and location make this island an ideal habitat for sea birds.

Forty-nine bird species have been identified as inhabitants of Pulau Rambut whose total bird population numbers about 40,000. Most are cormorants, egrets, and herons. Some species are classified as rare or endangered and are protected by law.

The best time to visit is from March to September. Beside enjoying the nice weather, during this period visitors can watch birds feeding their chicks with freshly caught fish. At present only one observatory tower is available, which can accommodate about 10 to 15 observers.

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