Taka Bonerate

Taka Bonerate National Park is a marine park which include the Takabonerate atoll islands, located in the Flores Sea, South of Sulawesi island, Indonesia, which consist of the atoll islands and surrounding marine area was granted national park protection status in 1992.

Taka Bonerate National Park is one of the most beautiful marine parks in Indonesia. Laying south-west of Selayar Island, the park has the third largest atoll in the world, after Kwajifen in the Marshall Islands and Suvadiva in Maldives.

Taka Bonerate National Park covering an area of 530.765 hectares,  the geographical location between 120o54' - 121o25' East and 6o16' - 7o06' South, water temperature 28o - 32o C, salinity 34 - 35 %, weather clearness 80 - 100 %, drifted oxygen 4,5 - 6,0 ppm, low-tide 1 - 1,5 m, wind speed 33 - 50 cm/second, rainy season Januari to March, dry season July to September.

The total area of the atoll is about 220.000 hectares , with coral reefs spreading over 500 km2, and comprises of more than 20 small island. Taka Bonerate used to be known as Tiger island and Gold reef. The park as paradise for dive lovers as the atoll which is rich in coral reef and seagrass ecosystem offering some very good wall diving. The atoll rises sharply about 2.000 m below the surface of water and was formed from a collapse of a huge volcano.

 The atoll is major ecological importance, with rich marine and bird life. The national park is considered to contain some of the world's highest marine biodiversity. According to the Indonesian Department of Forestry, the atoll has 261 species of coral, 295 species of coral fish, 244 species of mollusk and other species such as Hawks-bill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Pacific Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivaceae), and Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), and Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

The topography of the park is very unique, The atoll consist of a chain of islands of dry coral and a large flat sunken reef, forming a large number of islands. The coral islands are interspersed by narrow, deep, sheer-walled straits. On the coral flats there are small, deep pools surrounded by coral reefs. At low tide, dry land is clearly visible, dotted by water flooding into the small pools.

The plant species inhabiting the coastal are dominated by Coconut tree (Cocos nucifera), Pandan Laut (Pandanus sp.), Cemara Laut (Casuarina equisetifolia), and Ketapang (Terminalia catappa).

Among the more than 261  identified species of coral are Pacillopora eydouxi, Montipora danae, Acropora palifera, Porites cylindrica, Pavona clavus, Fungia consinna, etc. Most of the corals have formed either atolls (barrier reefs) or fringing reefs. They are all beautiful and in relatively pristine condition.

There are about 295 species of coral fish and several species of fish which are of high economic value for consumption like Grouper (Epinephelus spp.),  Skipjack (Katsuwonus spp.), Napoleon Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), and Surgeonfish (Acanthurus sp.)

Among the 244 species of mollusc are the Top Shell (Trochus niloticus), Horned Helmet (Cassis cornuta), Trumpet Triton (Charonia tritonis), Green Shell (Turbo marmoratus),  Fluted Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosa), and Pearly-chambered Nautili (Nautilus pompillius).

The native of the atoll are the Bonerate people. They traditionally trade for fishery sea products from the Bajau in exchange for freshwater and other land supply. The Bonerate are predominantly Moslem, although with strong elements of traditional beliefs.

They speak the Bonerate languages, a celebic language and like most languages of Indonesia part of the greater Austronesian languages. Their closest linguistic relations is with people in the neighbourinng Buton, Wakatobi, and Muna island in South-east Sulawesi. Most also speak Indonesian.

Declared by Minister of Forestry No. 92/Kpts-II/2001. February 26, 2001.