East Timor is a paradise of diverse environments and a varied wildlife. Here you will have the joy of watching the gigantic domesticated water buffalo, the large spread of irrigate rice paddies and the beauty of jungle
vegetation witnessed in the abandoned Portuguese colonies from the 1500s. The coral reefs covered by the Pacific and Indian Oceans are a melting pot for marine creatures, and joy of discovering box fish, scorpion fish and giant frog fish is unmatchable. The adventure becomes realistic when one visits Timor-Leste's first national park -Nino Konis Santana National Park. The national park was created with purpose to preserve the community's natural wealth.
Nino Konis Santana National Park includes the entire eastern tip of Timor-Leste safeguarding 123,600 hectares of land and seascapes which are home to nationally and globally significant species and habitats. These also include extensive treasure of coral reefs and some of the largest remaining examples of tropical lowland and monsoon rainforest in the region. The positioning of Atauro between Timor, Wetar and Alor is of great biogeographic importance in terms of the origin and composition of its fauna.
The initiative to protect Timor-Leste's natural and cultural heritage which is globally significant, holds importance. It marks a significant event of the culmination of six years of work by the Government, local communities and civil society with support from the international community.
Wildlife in East Timor includes the cuscus (a species of marsupial), monkeys, deer, civet cats, snakes, and crocodiles. The importance of Timor-Leste's forests is it homes threatened and restricted range species of the Timor and Endemic Bird Area. This national park holds an estimated of 100 and more critically endangered species of yellow-crested Cockatoos, and other threatened species such as Endangered Timor Green-pigeon.
The most striking fact is that at Nino Konis Santana National Park, one can find an unbroken succession of habitat right from coastal and marine life to lush green forests, which is a rare experience from any other place in the world.
Timor-Leste's first community-based Protected Area Network is seen in the national park which will eventually ensure protection and sustainable management of many more areas of terrestrial and marine biological and cultural significance.