Ruteng Nature Reserve is the biggest rain forest in Flores. Located in west Flores with an area about over 32,000 hectares. On elevation between 800 MASL to 2345 MASL, Ruteng Nature Reserve is the Great home for floras and faunas of Flores. The main part of the Nature reserve is an area of cloud forest lies on the mountains Mandusawu.
As the largest rain forest, the nature reserve is very important to the people’s lives in western Flores especially to the East Manggarai and Manggarai regency. This is the center of biodiversity and a rainwater catchment area.
During the period of 1967 – 1992 a catholic missionary from Holland; Jilis A.J Verheijen collected specimens of Floras at Ruteng Nature Reserve.
There were 252 species of flowering and non-flowering plants found which included 94 families and 119 genera. Common plants are from the families Euphorbiaceae and Lauraceae. A total of 69 plant species were used by the surrounding community for treatment. At present, all specimens are collected and stored at the Leiden Museum in Netherlands.
For birds, Ruteng Nature Reserve is a ‘capital’ of Flores birds, to represent all habitat of Flores Birds. More than 100 species found in this area including Flores endemic birds such as Flores Scops-owl (Otus alfredi), Flores Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus floris), Flores Crow (Corvus florensis), Flores Lorikeet (Trichoglossus weberi), Flores Shortwing (Brachypteryx floris), Flores Flowerpecker (Dicaeum rhodopygiale), Wallace’s Scops-owl (Otus silvicola), Crested Heleia (Heleia dohertyi), Cream-browed Heleia (Heleia superciliaris), Thick-billed Heleia (Heleia crassirostris), Flores Minivet (Pericrocotus lansbergeiand), Bare-throated Whistler (Pachycephala nudigula), Brown capped fantail (Rhipidura diluta) and Flores Green Pigeon (Treron floris).
In Ruteng Nature Reserve also found any mammals and some of them are endemic such as Flores Giant Rat (Papagomys armandvillei), Flores long-nosed rat (Paulamys naso), Nusatenggara short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus nusatenggara). Other mammals: Long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Malayan Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura), Indonesian wild boar (Sus scrofa vittatus) and Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus)
There are hundreds of beautiful and potential places to visit in Ruteng Nature Reserve. For birding, you can visit Ranamese Forest, Gololusang, Pocoranaka, Banggarangga and Golo Pau. Cunca Rede waterfall, Ranamese and Rana Poja tropical lake, and Ranaka volcano are another destination to explore in this great park. You also can choose to hike to the top peak of Flores at Ranaka mount (2345 MASL) or to Pocolikang mount (elevation: unknown). As a protected area, hopefully all the beauty of the park will always exist and sustainable at the future.