Wednesday, October 13, 2010

World Asset Tangkoko

MARKING tag (marker) inscribed ribbon-shaped guide path and altitude code, whether there are how many, scattered throughout the branches of trees in the lush nature preserve Tangkoko, Bitung, North Sulawesi. "It's the signs that made the investigators," said Frangki, one of four local guides who helped us find Sulawesi black ape (Macaca nigra) or called yaki in local languages. This nature reserve about 60 km from Manado or 20 km from the city of Bitung.

When the sun's rays do not show, I along with six fellow photographers on Celebes Exploring activities, celebrating 150 years Wallace Expedition led by National Geographic Indonesia and Sony Indonesia, moving slowly to find a new position yaki group down to the ground from peraduannya in trees. Besides us and the guides, in locations where gang yaki we found were two foreign researchers to follow the movement of yaki fun while noting all the doings of his behavior.

"The number of foreign researchers? Well, there are approximately six people in each season (per six months). Most of Europe," said Samson, another guide who often used by researchers. "If foreign tourists, could be thousands per year. They want to see yaki, Tangkasi, also typical of birds, endemic wildlife here," he said.

Tangkoko is popular among scientists. This is where Alfred Russel Wallace, a young British naturalist, never set foot around 1850s and was fascinated by maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) and hog deer (Babyrousa babyrussa). From the field research in the archipelago in the period 1860-1860, Wallace observed the spread of wildlife, and identify two biogeographic regions of India and Australia are very different. He divided the two groups of animals and draw a line east-west boundary, which until now known as the Wallace line, starting from the strait between Kalimantan and Sulawesi, continue south between Bali and Lombok.

In 1858, Wallace also wrote a collection of letters and papers that contain about the theory of evolution by natural selection (although not specifically stated so) to Charles Darwin in the UK (which by then had become well-known naturalist in England). The paper then spurred Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, which introduces a groundbreaking theory of evolution.

Unique Sulawesi Wallace reportedly visited three times. Wildlife in this area is a mixture or transition zone zoogeography of two regions, Asia and Australia. For conservation biology, the proportion of endemic species of Sulawesi are among the highest in Indonesia. Tangkoko own nature reserve is one of the houses are very important animals of Sulawesi. In the area of 8718 hectare conservation area is noted the existence of 26 species of mammals (10 species endemic to Sulawesi), 180 species of birds (59 endemic species and 5 endemic Sulawesi North Sulawesi), and 15 species of reptiles and amphibians.

Maleo and hog deer are charming Wallace is now rarely found in the Tangkoko, as well anoa (Bubalus depressicornis). The three species endemic to Sulawesi, is alleged to have become extinct due to hunting and habitat destruction. However, a number of other animals can still be found here. Yaki, Tangkasi (Tarsius spectrum), and the looming sulawesi or hornbill (Rhyticeros cassidix) are three of a number of animals that become magnetic charm Tangkoko.

I do not know how many scientists have been at home and abroad who have come for the sake of education, science, and research. When Tangkoko can say one of the centers of biological diversity is very important in the world, if the animals were extinct, not only Indonesia, even the world is lost.

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