– from www.thejakartapost.com –

Taka Bonerate National Park is well-known and was even listed as a conservation area by the Dutch in the colonial era.

Kompas.com reported that according to a map dated 1901, the area was named Tijger Eilanded or Tiger Islands. Nobody knows exactly how the name originated, but the Dutch was said to have changed the name to Taka Bonerate, which is derived from the local language.

“Taka means coral, bone means sand and rate means on top, so it literally means ‘vast coral over the sands’,” Asri of the Public Relations and Information Data Center of Taka Bonerate National Park told kompas.com on Aug. 31, during the commemoration of National Nature Conservation Day in Bitung, North Sulawesi.

Taka Bonerate, which is a marine reserve, is in the shape of a ring, commonly referred to as an atoll. It plays host to a special seagrass habitat and coral reef ecosystem.

The marine wealth of Taka Bonerate is dedicated to research, knowledge, education and to support cultivation, tourism and recreation.

UNESCO started to pay attention to the national park in 2015, when Taka Bonerate was listed as the core zone for biosphere reserves spanning the Selayar Islands regency. It was named the Taka Bonerate-Kepulauan Selayar biosphere reserve.

Up until today, the national park includes 18 small islands, five coral islets and 30 corals that form a ring or atoll.

There are seven inhabited islands in the area, namely Tarupa, little Rajuni, big Rajuni, big Latondu, Jinato, Central Pasitallu and East Pasitallu, which are inhabited by the Bugis and Bajo tribes.

“The Bajo tribe in Taka Bonerate is different from the other tribes of South Sulawesi. The Bajo people in Taka live on sand islands,” said Asri.

She added that according to local residents, Taka Bonerate had been visited by fishermen from other islands due to its fishery potential since colonial times.

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