TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - At least 6,000 hectare of the savannah at Baluran National Park, East Java, is invaded by acacia trees (Acacia nilotica). Since the 1980, the invasion has been one of factors that disrupt population growth of Javan bulls (Bos Javanicus).
Emy Endah Suwarni, the Head of Baluran National Park said the rapid distribution of acacia is because the tree is easily reproduce, through its seeds that are blown away by the wind or spread by the birds.
“The acacia invasion hampers growth of grass which is the bulls’ main food,” said Emy.
Emy continued that the park is planning to cut down 1,250 hectare of acacia this year. The clearance will be done with help from private companies, since the park can only clear 300 hectare area per year.
“The budget is so small, about Rp200 million per year,” said Emy.
In addition to the clearance, Emy said, the park will also control the spreading by applying herbicide to the trees.
The bulls’ population continues to decline in Baluran. There were 320 bulls recorded in 1996 that steeply declined into only 34 bulls left in 2007. In 2011, the number decreased to 22 but rise again to 35 in 2013.