Bawean (Indonesian: Pulau Bawean) is an island of Indonesia located approximately 150 km north of Surabaya in the Java Sea, off the coast of Java. It is administered by Gresik Regency of East Java province. It is approximately 15 km in diameter and is circumnavigated by a single narrow road. Bawean is dominated by an extinct volcano at its center that rises to 655 m above sea level.
Its population as at the 2010 Census is about 70,000 people, but more than 26,000 of them (that is about 70% of the male population) were temporarily living outside, working in other parts of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia). As a result, females constituted about 77% of the actual population of the island, which is thus often referred to as the island of women (Indonesian: Pulau Putri).
The island territory is divided into two administrative districts, Sangkapura and Tambak. More than half the population (about 45,750) lives in the district of Sangkapura, centred on the town of that name located on the southern coast of the island. The island has rich nature with many endemic species, such as Bawean Deer which is only found on the island and is included to the IUCN Red List. There are several large underwater petroleum and gas fields around the island.
The island's name is believed[according to whom?] to originate from the Kawi (or Sanskrit) phrase ba (light) we (the sun) an (is) - thus: "having the sunlight". According to the legend, Javanese sailors wandering in the mist in 1350 named the island because they saw a glimpse of light around it; previously the island bore the Arabic name of Majidi. During the Dutch colonization in the 18th to the 20th centuries, the island was renamed Lubok, but the locals and even the Dutch continued to use the name Bawean. The Dutch name fell out of use in the 1940s.
Flora And Fauna:
The fauna of Bawean Island is generally quite similar to that of Java. Initially, most of the island was covered by rainforest, but as a result of human activity its area gradually declined and by the end of the 20th century was not more than 10% of the island. About 15% is occupied by the artificially planted Common Teak (Tectona grandis).
The local jungles are characterized by dense low understory with a predominance of ferns, bryophytes and orchids. The most common tree species are Ficus, Nauclea and Symplocos adenophylla. Some plant species do not occur in the nearby Java Island, such as Canarium asperum, Pternandra coerulescens, Pternandra rostrata, Champera manilana, Ixora miquelii, Phanera lingua and Irvingia malayana. Mangrove bushes occur in some coastal areas of the island, with the main species being Sonneratia alba, Rhizophora mucronata, Bruguiera cylindrica and Lumnitzera racemosa.
Tourism And Attractions:
Governments – both local and of Gresik – are attempting to appeal Bawean for tourists by advertising local natural attractions, which include the Lake Kastoba, hot springs Kebundaya and Taubat, waterfalls Lachchar and Patar Selamat, the caves in the central part of the island, sandy beaches and coral reefs on the coast. However, poor infrastructural development of the island, combined with its remoteness from Java, hinders the development of tourism here. In addition, some locals regard Kastoba as a sacred lake and protest visiting it by tourists.