Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti Forest

Here are pictures of Lesser Birds of Paradise that live in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari regency. It is part of lower montane forest of Arfak mountains. These Birds of Paradise are active in the mornings and in the afternoons. They become the main attraction for visitors who want to explore the biodiversity of West Papua.
Birding in Manokwari
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

Lesser Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) in West Papua of Indonesia
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Arfak range
The above pictures were made by Andre Aquino. I guided him and his friend Jens Wirth on a 4 day/ 3-night hiking, bird and wildlife watching in Arfak range. Because there was no guesthouse, we stayed in a basecamp.
Birdwatching tourism has become an alternative income generation for local villagers who live near the forest. When they see that they can get positive benefits from the forest through ecotourism, they will preserve their forest.
In addition to the Lesser Birds of Paradise, tourists who go trekking and camping in the forest can watch other birds such as Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Butcherbird, Mimic Meliphaga, Blyth's Hornbill and a lot more.
The Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains is the natural habitat of cuscus possum, dragon tree lizard, bandicoot and snakes. 
If you are interested in traveling to Indonesia for watching paradise birds in Susnguakti forest, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Snorkelling Tours in Raja Ampat

written by Charles Roring
I organize snorkelling tour for visitors who are interested in seeing coral reef and tropical fish in Raja Ampat islands. The duration of the tour can be 3 days to 1 week covering important coral reef areas in Waigeo, Kabui bay, Mansuar dan Kri islands, Arborek, Piaynemo and Wayag. A motorized boat will be used to explore remote snorkeling sites and small islands around Waigeo. Life jackets will be provided in the boat.
Snorkeling and Sightseeing Tour

There are a lot of fish that live in this region. Some of them include: Raja Ampat Scorpionfish, Tasselled Wobbegong, Freckled Hawkfish, Pink Anemonefish, Orange skunk Clownfish, Moorish Idol, Diagonal Sweetlips, Giant Trevally and a lot more. There are also other marine creatures such as burrowing clam, Christmas Tree Worm and Sea Stars which we can see in shallow waters. 
Orange-skunk Anemonefish

Raja Ampat regency is located in bird's head region of West Papua province of Indonesia. There are 1,577 coral reef fish species that have been recorded by Marine Biologists.

Safety Guidelines for Snorkelers

  • Snorkeling Gear - Every snorkeller has to practice safe snorkeling. The rubber of snorkeling mask has to elastic so that it can provide water-tight seal that prevents sea water from leaking into the eyes. A good snorkel pipe has got valve that closes when a snorkeller freedives into deeper water. Sea water will not flow into his or her mouth while he or she is in the water. When the snorkeller returns to the sea surface again, the valve will open to allow air to flow into the mouth again. Wearing a good pair of swim fins will help snorkeler to swim fast easpecially when there is current. 
  • Most often, snokeller will encounter small jellyfish and stinging hydroid (that looks like sea plants). There are also venomous fish such as lionfish, catfish, and scorpionfish. Snorkeler has to avoid being in direct contact with them! The warm water of Raja Ampat sea makes everyone thinks that a long wet suit as not necessary. Most snorkelers in Raja Ampat wear shortie wet suit, bikini or simple swim trunks. Unfortunately, these snorkeling suits have got their downside. A snorkeler will suffer from skin burns when he or she is stung by, for instance, pink soft coral. I personally used to be stung on my right stomach by stinging hydroid when snorkeling in southern coast of Waigeo. I felt burn and itchy immediately. I stayed at a homestay of villager at that time. Back to my room, I applied kayu putih oil on my skin. It helped reduce the itchiness that lasted for around 3 days. I continued to apply the oil until the itchiness disappeared.

Land Tour

In addition to snorkeling and sightseeing boat tour, I will also include hiking trips in the forest for tourists who want to see tropical birds such as Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Magnificent Fruit Dove or the beautiful Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) and Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra).