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Geography of West Flores

Geography of West Flores


General information about Nusa Tenggara (NT)
“Nusa Tenggara” in English means “southeastern Island” and refers to the string of islands comprising the lesser Sunda islands laying just to the east of Bali. Nusa Tennggara is divided into two administrative provinces of Indonesia – East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara:
  • Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) or West Nusa Tenggara has its provincial capital at Mataram, the capital city of the island of Lombok. NTB’s major islands are Lombok and Sumbawa. The current population of NTB amounts to around 4 million people with a total land area of 19,708 km2
  • Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) or East Nusa Tenggara has its provincial capital in Kupang, the capital of West Timor. NTT’s major islands are Flores, Sumba, West Timor and the small group of islands near Komodo. The current population of NTT is around 4 million with an area of 46,137 km2
map-geography
The provinces that comprise Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) – East Nusa Tenggara

General information about Flores
Flores is administered as a part of the province of NTT (Nusa Tenggara Timur). The island of 14,300 km2 is subdivided into 7 regencies:
  • West Manggarai (Manggarai Barat). Capital: Labuan Bajo
  • Manggarai. Capital: Ruteng
  • Ngada. Capital: Bajawa
  • Nagekeo. Capital: Mbai
  • Ende. Capital: Ende
  • Sikka. Capital: Maumere
  • Flores Timur (East Flores). Capital: Larantuka

The regencies of West Manggarai, Manggarai, Nagekeo and Ngada are grouped as West Flores. East Flores is comprised of Maumere and Flores Timur. The regency of Ende resides in Central Flores.

Kelimutu
flores
The multi-colored lake of Kelimutu volcano, near Ende
A young woman of Flores wearing locally made hand-woven textiles
District of West Manggarai with there sub districts. The houses give an impression of the population allocation.
The regency of West Manggarai and its sub-districts

West Manggarai (Manggarai Barat)
The regency of West Manggarai is subdivided into 7 districts and 121 sub-districts. Labuan Bajo is the regional capital of West Manggarai.

Coordination of West Manggarai: 
8o.14’ to 09o.00’ south latitude
119o.21’ to 120o 20’ east longitude

West Manggarai is the regency covering the westernmost area of West Flores, located within the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. In 2003, West Manggarai was elevated to the status of a regency in recognition of its role as an important gateway to Flores.

With the establishment of the regional administration in Labuan Bajo transportation access to Labuan Bajo - by land, sea and air - continues to be enhanced. Numerous economic and tourism developments are now in an advanced planning stage or under construction in West Manggarai.

The Komodo dragons which are indigenous to the regency are a tourism icon of West Manggarai. Komodo was named a World Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977 and was added to the list of World Natural Heritage Sites in 1991. It was declared a National Park by the Goverment of Indonesia in 1990. The Park’s land area is 603 km2 while the total size of the park, including sea areas, is 1,817 km2.
For more information Komodo National Park

West Manggarai occupies an area of 9,450,000 km2 (land and sea).162 islands are contained within the boundaries of West Manggarai, 84 of which are part of the Komodo National Park. Only 17 of West Manggarai islands are inhabited. Because of the world renowned reputation of Komodo, the rich local marine environment and the natural beauty of the region both the regional and national governments of Indonesia have acknowledged the strong tourism potential development of West Manggarai.

spiderweb rice field
komodo. dragon
Lingko or spider web rice fields are unique to Flores and are based on intricate traditional land rights systems
Komodo dragon – Varanus komodoensis

Population:
  • West Manggarai has a total population of 190’286 (2005 census)
  • The female population amounts to 96,735 people, comprising 51% of the total population of the Region
  • In the period between 1995 and 2005, the average annual population growth rate was estimated at 2.87%. The highest rate of population growth occurs near Labuan Bajo, the Regency’s capital
  • From the period of 1995 to 2005, due to population growth and migration, the population density has increased from appromimately 46 persons/km2 to 65 persons/km2 (2005)
  • Population demographics by age:
    • 39% between 0 and 14 years
    • 56% between 15 to 64 years
    • 5% aged more than 64 years
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Flora
Approximately 250 nautical miles to the west of West Manggarai, running down the Bali Straits separating Bali and Lombok, lays the famous Wallace-line. Named after the famous 19th century English explorer Alfred Russel Wallace, this line forms a rough demarcation separating two very different ecosystems; delineating the flora and fauna found in Asia from Oceania. On the eastern side of the Wallace Line is a typical Asiatic tropical ecosystem. While on the western side, a drier climate prevails. The indigenous people, fauna and flora on the eastern side of the Wallace Line conform to Australian-Melanesian motifs. The landscape of Nusa Tenggara is typically savanna, rather than the verdant tropical rainforests that dominate on the western side of the Line.
For more information about tectonic “Geology”

Specific in West Flores
West Flores' natural environment is highly varied and boasts to a wide range of landscapes. West Flores is home to savannas: plain woodlands; mountainous tropical rain forests; costal forests; mangrove zones; marine environments; and a range of mountain, hills and ravines. The general climate is dry with monsoonal wind influences. At the higher elevations in mountain areas the climate is more humid.

Different factors such as topography, altitude, soil, and vegetation come into play creating a range of microclimates:

  0 - 500 m above sea level: Savanna woodland dominated by palm trees and grasses
  0 - 500 m above sea level: Deciduous forests where trees shed their leaves during the dry season. Trees found in this climate tend to be more resistant to the stress that accompanies an annual drought cycle.
  500 -700 m above sea level: The quasi-cold forests are found on mountain ridges and high pinnacles. These areas are generally shrouded in clouds or fogs, displaying temperatures that are cool and humid all year long. The diversity of vegetation is less than that found in the rainforest communities of Kalimantan, Java and Sumatra. A range of bamboo species can also be found in these elevated forest areas of West Flores.
Fauna
The indigenous Komodo dragons live on the islands of Komodo and Rinca. The terrestrial fauna include a variety of diversified birds, reptiles, wild buffalos, wild boars, deer, several species of monkeys, spiders and more.

The waters surrounding Komodo National Park are home to one of the richest marine environments in the world.