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National parks

This is the list of the national parks of Indonesia. Of all the national parks, 6 are World Heritage Sites, 6 are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and 3 are wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar convention. A total of 9 parks are largely marine. The first group of five Indonesian national parks were established in 1980. This number increased constantly reaching 41 in 2003. In a major expansion in 2004, nine more new national parks were created, raising the total number to 50.

National park

Karimunjawa National Park, also Karimun Jawa National Park, is a national marine park designated in the Karimunjawa archipelago, Jepara Regency, Central Java, Indonesia. It lies 80 km north west of Jepara, Central Java in the Java Sea. The national park was formally declared as Marine Protection Area in 2001. Based on popular local myth, this archipelago was discovered by Sunan Nyamplungan, the nephew of Sunan Kudus who is one of the Wali Sanga.

Karimunjawa is also a tourist attraction popular for its white sandy beach, pristine coral reefs, challenging treks through the hills, the pilgrimage to Sunan Nyamplungan Cemetery, and the customs and traditions of the Karimunjawa community.


The Karimunjawa archipelago lies from 5°49’ - 5°57’ South Latitude and 110°04' - 110°40' East Longitude in the Java Sea, north of Java. It is about 120 km from Semarang, the capital of Central Java Province; and about 80 km from the nearest town Jepara. Comprising of 27 islands, the Karimunjawa subdistrict is divided into three villages, namely Karimunjawa, Kemujan and Parang. The archipelago is under the administration of Jepara Regency, Central Java Province.
The geological formation in the archipelago is mostly dominated by quartz sand stone, gravel, mud, and clay. The topography of Karimunjawa Marine National Park is a wave of low land, with elevation ranging from 0–506 meters above sea level. Gajah hill is the Park’s highest point. Temperatures range from 30-31°C.

The biggest island in the archipelago is Karimunjawa Island. Towns or villages are located in Karimunjawa, Kemujan, Nyamuk, Parang, and Genting Island. The other islands are uninhabited.


Many researchers have been attracted to the marine biodiversity and pristine forest as well as the uniqueness of the Karimunjawa archipelago. During the Dutch colonial era, many Dutch botanists such as Teijsmann (1854), Koorders (1886), Schlechter (1910) and Dammerman (1926) came to the Karimunjawa archipelago.

Karimunjawa has five types of ecosystems: coral reef, seagrass and seaweed, mangrove forest, coastal forest and low land tropical rainforest. Fresh water is confined to a few small wells and forest streams in the islands.

Karimunjawa's coral reefs are made up of fringing reefs, barrier reefs and several patch reefs. They have an extraordinary wealth of species: 51 genera with more than 90 species of coral biota and 242 species of ornamental fish. Two protected biota species, black coral (Antiphates sp.) and organ pipe coral (Tubipora musica), can be found here.

Other protected sea biota include the hornet helmet (Cassis cornuta), triton trumpet (Charonia tritonis), chambered nautilus, green shell (Turbo marmoratus), and six species of clam. Around Kemujan island, the wreck of the Panamanian ship Indono, which sank to the sea bed in 1955, is now a habitat of coral fish and is a popular site for wreck diving.


A total of 300 ha of mangrove forest covers the national park, and is the habitat for 13 genera and 32 species of mangroves, such as the Rhizophora mucronata. The lowland tropical forest covers an area of 1,285.50 ha. It provides habitat to a number of endemic species including the mythical dewadaru tree (Fagraea elliptica), setigi (Pemphis acidula) and kalimasada (Cordia subcordata).

The local people use these trees as raw material for souvenir handicrafts such as for tasbih, kris, or staffs. It is generally believed that the wood of the endemic dewadaru tree has a legendary power of curing diseases or snake bite wounds, protecting house from thieves, or prolonging life. Recently, the population of these three tree species has deteriorated because of the increased extraction.

There are about forty different bird species in the island, including the green imperial-pigeon, (Ducula aenea), yellow-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) and red-breasted parakeet (Psittacula alexandri). Some migratory birds are also found in this area, such as the common sandpiper and whimbrel. The lowland tropical rain forest is the natural habitat of the rare White-bellied Sea Eagle. The latest expedition report of the Indonesian Science Institute reveals that there are two endemic butterfly species, and these are the Euploea crameri karimodjawensis and the Idea leuconoe karimodjawensis.

The diversity of terrestrial animals of this Park is not as high in terms of numbers as that of the aquatic animals. However, it is still possible to see javan rusa deer (Cervus timorensis), sunda pangolin (Manis javanica), and the viper edor snake (Calloselasma rhodostoma). Several species of turtles lay their eggs on the islands, e.g. hawksbill turtle and green turtle.


Karimunjawa Marine National Park is one of the six marine national parks in Indonesia, and was among the first areas recognised as being important for conservation and marine biodiversity protection. It was formally declared a Strict Natural Reserve in 1986 and has since been declared one of the priority areas for the conservation of marine biodiversity in Southeast Asia. Then in 1999, the Ministry of Forestry established Karimunjawa archipelago as the Karimunjawa Marine National Park covering 111,625 ha. In 2001, an area of 110,117.30 ha was declared as Marine Protection Area (MPA).

Based on the functions, Karimunjawa National Park was divided into four zones: Sanctuary Zone (1,299 ha): A no-take zone consisting of Burung and Geleang Islands. Research and education is permitted.

Wilderness Zone (7,801 ha): Research is permitted and tourist activity is limited. It consists of Krakal Besar, Krakal Kecil, Menyawakan, Cemara Besar, Cemara Kecil, Bengkoang and part of Karimunjawa and Kemujan islands.

Utilization Zone (4,431 ha): Consists Menjangan Besar, Menjangan Kecil, Kembang, Kembar, Karang Katang, Karang Kapal, Parang, Karimunjawa and Kemujan.

Buffer Zone (98,093.5 ha): Comprises Karimunjawa, Kemujan, Parang, and Nyamuk. These islands are inhabited.

Due to the dynamic process of management, recent degradation and the degree of destruction, the current zones are no longer effective for management. The Karimunjawa National Park is now proposing a new zone management through a project that began in 2002 and is still ongoing.


The archipelago is accessible via flights from Semarang to Dewandaru Airport in Kemujan Island. There is also a regular ferry between Tanjung Emas port in Semarang and Jepara port to Karimunjawa island.

Menjangan Kecil, Menjangan Besar, Tanjung Gelam, Legon Lele, Genting, Kembar, Parang, Cemara and Krakal Islands are popular marine tourism destinations (sailing, surfing, water skiing, swimming, white sand beaches, diving), camping, cultural visits, deer and bird observation. The Bengkoang and Kemujan Islands are a camping site and a site for the Panamanian ship Indono wreck diving. The hills of Bukit Bendera, Bukit Gajah and Legon Goprak are used as tracking and marine tours.

Location map of Karimunjawa

All text in this article is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
Last revised on January 06, 2011
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