Burung Hantu Elang  di Rangkasbitung mulai punah

JavaMagazine (Lebak) - Populasi burung hantu spesies elang di Rangkasbitung, Kabupaten Lebak, Provinsi Banten, mulai punah dan menghilang di habitatnya.

"Selama delapan tahun terakhir burung hantu tidak ditemukan lagi di pohon-pohon besar," kata Jumhedi (45), warga Cimanggu, Desa Rangkasbitung Timur, Kecamatan Rangkasbitung, Kabupaten Lebak, Kamis.

Ia pun sudah tidak mendengar lagi suara merdu burung hantu pada malam hari. Padahal, semasa kecilnya, hampir setiap malam mendengar suara burung hantu elang di pohon-pohon besar.

Namun, saat ini burung hantu di Rangkasbitung punah akibat kerusakan hutan yang menjadi habitatnya.

Menurut dia, burung hantu yang biasanya tinggal di pohon-pohon besar di permukiman warga maupun hutan desa. Namun, masyarakat saat ini tidak menemukannya lagi.

Burung hantu adalah kelompok burung yang merupakan anggota ordo strigiformes. Burung itu termasuk golongan burung pemangsa daging (karnivora) dan merupakan hewan malam (nokturnal). 

"Dengan menghilangnya burung hantu itu, maka kita merugi karena tanaman padi petani sering diserang hama tikus. Tikus adalah salah satu makanan burung hantu," ujarnya.

Ia mengatakan, sekitar 1980 hingga 1990-an dirinya masih mendengar suara merdu burung hantu di Rangkasbitung, namun dalam beberapa tahun ini menghilang.

Burung hantu di tengah masyarakat masih dianggap sebagai pembawa tanda buruk. Suaranya sebagai pertanda akan terjadi musibah bencana alam atau kematian.

"Selama ini kami merindukan suara merdu burung hantu. Namun, kini menghilang," katanya. 

Sukur (40), warga Pasir Kongsen Rangkasbitung, menyatakan dirinya sejak kecil setiap malam mendengar suara burung hantu bersahutan mulai pukul 21.00 hingga 04.00 WIB. 

"Jika burung itu bersuara, maka suasana kampung sepi, dan merasa ketakutan pertanda akan terjadi bencana," katanya.

Kepala Bidang Kehutanan, Dinas Kehutanan, dan Perkebunan, Kabupaten Lebak, Asep Mauladi, membenarkan populasi burung hantu di Rangkasbitung kini punah karena pada malam hari sudah tak terdengar suara merdu hewan tersebut.

"Dahulu di kawasan pemakaman warga dan hutan lindung masih terdengar suara burung hantu pada malam hari. Akan tetapi, sekarang sangat prihatin dengan menghilang di habitatnya," katanya. (Een).

Yogyakarta vespa collector to visit Italy by land

JavaMagazine  ( Jakarta) - After four years of planning to visit Italy, 37-year-old Andy Leeano, a resident of Wirosaban village in Yogyakarta, has decided to make a solo trip to the European nation on his 51-year-old Vespa scooter starting Friday.

Andy will start from Yogyakarta`s North Square on Friday (June 1) through Bandung (West Java) and Purworejo (Central Java) as the first stage of his 27,000-kilometre journey to Italy. 

From Bandung, Andy will head for Jakarta and then Merak seaport in order to cross the Sunda Strait and reach Sumatra Island. Then he will proceed to Melaka in Malaysia through Dumai, Riau province (Sumatra).

"Travelling by sea from Dumai to Melaka, Malaysia, will be the only inter-country journey by sea. The rest of the way to Italy will be by land," said Andy, who was born in West Sumatra province on April 19, 1975.

From Malaysia, Andy will travel through Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey before he reaches the European continent, and finally his destination in Italy.

Initially, Andy had planned to traverse China, but he cancelled it due to the extreme weather that he would have face on an icy path at an altitude of 4,000 feet for a distance of 1,100 kilometres.

"Vespa scooter cannot go through that way, so I decided to take another path," he said. 

Andy will ride a dull-coloured Vespa scooter.

"The Vespa`s colour is not original, but its spare parts are still authentic," he explained.

According to Andy, the trip will cost around Rp980 million, or more than US$104,000, which he has obtained from various sponsors.

"It will take about six months to reach Italy, or even up to one year, because there are obstacles on the way," he said.

Regarding his preparation, Andy said: "I have prepared myself as well as my vehicle for about one year."

Andy has equipped his scooter with a camera and spare parts.

The Vespa will also have an extra fuel tank, with a 29-litre capacity, apart from its original fuel tank that can hold only seven litres.

With the additional fuel tank, he will need to refuel only every 1,000 km.

Andy will wear the Indonesian batik (cloth) and Blangkon (Javanese male batik headdress) in an effort to promote Indonesia in the foreign countries he will pass through.

Speaking about potential hurdles on the way, Andy said besides the extreme weather he would have to watch out for threats from wild animals and communal conflicts in some countries.

Despite the problems he might encounter during his long journey, Andy will ride on an ageing Vespa scooter and show his commitment to promoting his country in foreign countries. (Ag)

Indonesia mulling over single time zone

JavaMagazine (Jakarta) - In October 1928, a group of young men from several islands together made a pledge they would be united under one motherland, one nation, and one language: Indonesia. 

Eighty-four years later, Indonesia is considering merging its three time zones - GMT+7, GMT+8, and GMT+9 - into one single zone: GMT+8. The government is planning to use the new single time zone starting October 28, 2012.

The single time zone idea was brought up at the Tampaksiring meeting in Bali in May 2012 by the National Economic Committee (KEN), which suggested that a single time zone would help improve the country`s economic competitiveness and bureaucratic efficiency.

The Indonesian Committee for the Acceleration of Economic Development (KP3EI) hailed KEN`s recommendation and suggested the merging of the three time zones on October 28 this year. 

Speaking at a seminar on May 25, KP3EI spokesman Edib Muslim said a single time zone would be good for the economy, the education sector, and job opportunities.

"The time zone will improve our global competitiveness. The single time zone must begin on October 28, 2012, or otherwise Indonesia will lose ground," he added.

KP3EI has chosen October 28 because the date is historical for the Indonesian people, coinciding with the National Youth Pledge Day. Besides, October 28 will fall on Sunday this year, so it will be easier for the people to adjust to the new time zone.

The merging of Indonesia`s western, central and eastern standard times is expected to help increase the country`s gross domestic product (GDP), because there will be around 190 million people working at the same time.

Indonesia`s Stock Exchange (BEI), which is situated in Jakarta, is always an hour behind the bourses in Hong Kong, Shanghai (China) and Singapore, because Jakarta follows the Western Indonesian Time (WIB) or GMT+7.

Earlier, there was a suggestion that a single time zone be made operational starting August 17, 2012. However, Bank Indonesia advised that the public and business communities be familiarised with the single time zone plan for at least 90 days before it was effectively applied. 

Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan has also hailed the single time zone plan.

"It will be beneficial. Because, right now, the people in eastern Indonesia have to wait for two hours if they want to do trade or business transactions with their partners in western Indonesia. In two hours, we could do so many things," the minister said.

China uses a single time zone. Brazil also plans to merge its time zones to improve its business efficiency and effectiveness, as well as for security reasons.

"We are optimistic that if we apply GMT+8 throughout Indonesia, it will encourage the national economic acceleration programme and improve the people`s welfare," Gita said.

The GMT+8 time zone is also used by China, Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia.

However, not all agree with the single time zone plan. Former vice president M Jusuf Kalla, for instance, slammed the plan recently, saying that having a single time zone would be a mistake that could affect 200 million people in the country.

"It could create chaos. There is no objective reason to merge the time zones in Indonesia," Kalla said.

The conversion to a single zone, of GMT+8 or the Central Indonesian Standard Time, would force the 193 million residents of western Indonesia and six million residents of eastern Indonesia to change their life patterns drastically, he noted.

For example, Kalla added, the residents of western Indonesia would be compelled to begin their activities one hour earlier.

Kalla noted the time zone should be in line with nature. 

"In tropical countries, the sunrise is at 6 am, noon at 12 am and the sunset is at 6 pm," he said.

Given Indonesia`s natural conditions, it would be very illogical if the country, which extends over a length of 5,000 km, moves to a single time zone, Kalla added.

"In the whole world, no country extending over a total length of 5,000 km has a single time zone, except China, because China`s Communist party made this decision in 1949 for political reasons," he explained.

"The United States has nine time zones, while Australia has three time zones," Kalla pointed out.

Indonesia had a single time zone in 1942, because the Japanese occupying forces wanted to send a unified tribute to the Japanese emperor at 12 am, he said.

"Do we want to go back to Japan`s era?" the former vice president added.

According to Kalla, a single time zone has no impact on a nation`s productivity, trading, or capital market. He said it would instead waste more energy, because around 200 million people would have to get up an hour earlier and use more electricity. 

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa supported the single time zone plan, saying that it would positively affect the stock market, as well as the nation`s sociocultural aspects.

He, however, stated the government would wait for the public`s response before implementing the plan. (Le)

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