TEMPO.CO, Situbondo - The Baluran National Park in Situbondo, East Java, will be closed to tourists from June 26 to June 30 following 4th Annual Baluran PLN Birding Competition.
The Birding Competition itself will kick off on June 27 and run until June 29. The competition will be divided into two categories: bird watching and photography. As many as 70 teams will compete, and each team is scheduled to compete in the bird watching competition. Meanwhile, the photography competition will consist of 25 participants. All of them will battle for a total prize of Rp80 million (US$8,000).
Head of the Birding Competition committee Sutadi, said the activity is aimed at promoting the tourism potential of the national park often nicknamed Afrika van Java and to collect additional data about the types of birds in the park.
Before the competition was initiated in 2010, the Baluran National Park was only able to collect data on 155 types of birds. However, after the 2012 competition, the park gathered data on 196 bird species. The two newest bird species discovered in 2012 are the Ruddy Kingfisher (Halycon coromanda) and a species of bird often found in shrubs.
The Baluran National Park was established on March 6, 1980. The 25,000-hectare park is considered to contain the most complete national park because it consists of almost all types of vegetation such as savanna vegetation, mangrove forests, seasonal forests, beach forests, lower mountain forests, swamps, and forests that are green throughout the year.
There are 444 species of flora and 26 living mammals in Baluran. The banteng (Bos javanicus)is the mascot of the National Park located along the border of Situbondo and Banyuwangi.