Kepulauan Seribu is one of Indonesia’s marine nature conservation areas and it is located 45 km north of Jakarta.
The 78 coral islands, both large and small, with an average altitude of not more than 3 m asl, form a chain. Hundreds of years ago, the islands were formed upon colonies of dead coral. These colonies initially grew on shallow sea beds; their upper layers breached the surface and were weathered. Later, pioneer plants such as bushes and several tree species began to grow on the coral. The surface of the islands is quite different from soil-covered ground, and this is reflected in their diverse plant and animal life.
In general, the plants that grow in the Park are dominated by coastal species like coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), pandan (Pandanus sp.), cemara laut (Casuarina equisetifolia), cangkudu (Morinda citrifolia), butun (Barringtonia asiatica), mangrove (Bruguiera sp.), sukun (Artocarpus altilis), ketapang (Terminalia cattapa), and kecundang (Cerbena adollam).
Sea vegetation commonly found in the Park consists of seaweed divisions like Rhodophyta, Chlorophyta and Phaeophyta as well as classes of sea grasses like Halimeda sp., Padina sp., Thalasia sp., Sargasum sp., and Caulerpa sp.
The dominant animals in the Park include 54 sea biota species which form part of the coral reef ecosystem, 144 species of fish, 2 species of giant clam, 6 species of sea grass, sea worms of various colours and 17 species of coastal bird.
This Park forms a hatching site for hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), and green turtle (Chelonia mydas). The hawksbill turtle is an endangered species and is rarely found in other waters. These turtles are bred on Pramuka Island. This activity is aimed at recovering the turtle population, which had almost reached extinction. Breeding activities include egg hatching in a semi-natural way and caring for the baby turtles till they are ready to be released into their natural habitat.
Most coastal areas of this Park are surrounded by mangrove forest, where iguanas, golden ring snakes and pythons can be found.
The Kepulauan Seribu chain is a place of enchanting natural beauty. The symphony of calls of the creatures on these small green islands, combined with the sound of thundering waves and golden sunshine at dusk bring a sense of calm and tranquillity to all those who visit the Park.
Interesting locations and attractions:
Pramuka, Semak Daun, Kelapa, and Panggang Islands: turtle breeding, observing animals, and marine tours.
Pramuka, Opak, and Karang Congkak Islands: wreck diving.
Panjang, Putri, Pelangi, and Perak Islands: marine tours organized by a private company.
Semut, Karang Congkak, Karang Kroja, Kotok Besar, Kotok Kecil, and Gosong Laga Islands: diving and snorkelling.
Kepulauan Seribu is located 45 km north of Jakarta.
For those wishing to take a marine tour around the islands, a boat leaves every day from the Jaya Ancol Marina Jakarta. The journey time is 1-2 hours. Muara Angke-Pramuka Island, about 2.5 hours by ferry.
Best time of year to visit: March to August
Temperature: 21° – 34° C
Rainfall: 3,000 mm/year (on average)
Altitude: 0 – 2 m asl.
West season: November – February
East season: May – August
Geographical location: 106°25′ – 106°37’E; 5°23′ – 5°40′ S
Source: The Ministry of Forestry, Republic Indonesia