Finding turtles at Meru Betiri national park
Have you seen turtles lays their eggs in the wild? It is an rarely found experience, but you can watch it directly in Sukamade beach, this is a remoted beach located inside Meru National Park Betiri.
Meru Betirin National Park (TNBT) located in the south coast of East Java, the area if this national park extends in two districts namely Jember and Banyuwangi in the east end with an area of 50,000 hectares. The name of the national park refered to the highest mountain inside it (Meru Betiri 1,223 masl).
There you can see the five species of sea turtles are often visited this beach, additionally we still can find Java tiger (reportedly). It also can be seen buffalo, leopard, deer, and various types of monkeys, peacocks, various eagles and hornbills. In addition, the flora here include Rafflesia zollingeriona and Balanphora fungosa. Beautiful landscape with charming beaches can be found in Green Bay. For those who are not satisfied with the adventure of watching turtles lay eggs can perform other activities, among others, exploring the woods around Bandealit and Mt. Gendong. You can also do rock climbing and rope climbing down a cliff in Bandealit coast.
This area is preserved in the form of protected areas since 1972. Until 1979 Sukamade turtle eggs are still hunted by local people. However, now the collection, removal of saplings, and catching turtles is strictly prohibited, because the green turtles are protected species. According to the research report WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the most common green turtle nesting in Sukamade. And from the data there is sometimes absent turtles for nesting for several years, but then returned again.
Turtles will avoid the beach if they find spotlight while they get to land. That’s why we must walk for along the beach to watch turltes lays their eggs. For the owner of a sedan type car, you should not have to do exploration in the jungle of Meru Betiri to Sukamade beach, because after entering the main gate post of Meru Betiri, the road is no longer paved. No longer a macadam road, but the road is full of pointy rocks. In fact, to get to Sukamade beach, travelers will pass seven rivers by knee-deep of adults, the water can be as high as jeep body when it’s rainy season.
There are 4 types of 6 species of sea turtles in Indonesia that usualy landing and laying on Sukamade beach, the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Slengkrah Turtle (Lepidochelys olivaceae), and the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriaceae) . Among the turtles are the most frequently landed were green turtles.
The facility in this location include: Guesthouse, Camping Ground is equipped with a pavilion for meeting rooms, shelters, street tourist trail, information centers, laboratories and workshop.
Another tourist attraction in Sukamade is the coastal mangrove forests located on the east coast estuary of Sukamade beach, the river can be used for canoeing while doing bird watching. Many birds such as Roko Roko, sea eagles, terns, sea birds that can be observed. Bird watching is usually arranged while waiting for sunset.
To head towards Meru BetirinNational Park can be reached via 4-lane road from both of Jember and Banyuwangi, are:
- Line-Ambulu Jember-Curahnongko-Bandealit (Meru Betiri Gateway of the West) at about 64 km can be reached in about 1.5-2 hours with vehicle two-wheeled or four.
- Line-Glenmor Jember-Sarongan-Sukamade (Meru Betiri Gateway of the East) along the 103 km can be reached within 3.5-4 hours with vehicle two-wheeled or four.
- Line-Jember- Geneng – Jajag -Pesanggaran -Sarongan-Sukamade with a long 109 km can be reached within 3.5 – 4 hours with vehicle two-wheeled or four.
- Line-Banyuwangi-Jajag Pesanggaran-Sarongan-Sukamade along 137 km can be reached within 5 minutes by motor vehicle