Sebaran Spasial dan Karakteristik Habitat Buaya Air Tawar Irian (Crocodylus novaeguineae Schmidt,1928) di Taman Nasional Wasur
Majid, Ajid Abdul
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Rawa BIRU lake is the biggest lake in Wasur National Park (WNP) and it is a habitat for Irian freshwater Crocodile (Crocodylus novaeguineae). Now adays, their population become decreasing and it caused by hunting, a less data about their habitat and not enough knowledge about their dispersion in every parts of the lake. If this condition still happened, the existence of Irian freshwater Crocodile will threatened and more over they will be extinct so for prevent this situation we need management action. therefore it needs a study about habitat characteristic of Irian freshwater Crocodile and their dispersion in every parts of the lake as a referention and consideration for the next management action. The research was conducted in Rawa Biru lake, SPTN III Wasur, WNP, Merauke, Province of Papua, during April-May 2008 (Rainy season). This research is based on exploration method and taking samples for habitat, which is consist of cover, water and foods potential. Data of spatial dispersion using transect method and GPS (Global Positioning System) through around the edge of the lake. Besides, data of traditional knowledge, habitat disturbance and management using observation and interview methods. Irian freshwater Crocodile use vegetations like tebu rawa (Hanguana malayana) and rumput pisau (Pandanus sp) around the lake as a place to nesting, basking, covering and searching the foods. The nest have a shape like a mound, it was made from leaf manures of tebu rawa and rumput pisau, leaves and branches of pulai (Alstonia scholaris) and branches of Sagu (Metroxylon sagu) with length about 1,8-2,1 meters, width 2,1 meters and height about 60-75 centimeters, it lies under the stand. There also find a little mudhole and resting place of female crocodile closed by the nest. The breadth of basking place was influenced by body size, number of individual and utilizing intensity. In upper part zone of Rawa Biru lake (North side of the lake/kali mati) was found 4 crocodile, nesting and active basking places. Upper part zone is far from the village and it still far from human disturbance. One of the most common food of crocodile is sembilang fish. Middle part zone of the lake get a disturbance from human in the form of calladium plantation (Thyponium sp) upon roots of tebu rawa and rumput pisau, heavy traffic of boat also disturbance from human. It was found 1 mujahir fish and 3 long-neck turtle as crocodile's foods. In the lower course zone (South side of the lake/people called it was head of the lake) does not find any foot print or track of crocodile, it caused by lower course have the near distance from the village and it already get disturbance from human like back and forth of the boat and often using as a place to searching fish and along tome ago it was used as place to crocodile hunting. Irian freshwater Crocodile using Rawa Biru lake and vegetation under it as a places to nesting, basking, covering and searching their foods. Dispersion of their nesting and basking places in every zone of Rawa Biru lake was influenced by human disturbance and supply of their foods. Keyword : Rawa Biru lake, Irian freshwater Crocodile, habitat, dispersion, disturbance.