Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Wildlife Watching in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat islands of Indonesia are mostly visited by scuba divers and snorkelers who want to see marine life. However, its tropical rainforest is also a good destination for wildlife watching. 
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Before the Covid-19 pandemic reached this region, I guided tourists to Waigeo island to watch birds of paradise. Bird watching is a popular activity among visitors who are interested in exploring wildlife in West Papua province of Indonesia. We did birdwatching inside its rainforest to see Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, Moluccan King Parrot, Red Cheek Parrot, Great-billed Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Blyth's Hornbill, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, and Western-crowned Pigeon. In coastal area, a lot of birds can be seen too. Some of them include Whimbrel, Radjah Shelduck, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Violet-necked Lory, Eastern Osprey, Moustached Tree Swift, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pied-Imperial Pigeon, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Willie Wagtail, Beach Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, White-breasted Woodswallow, Dusky Scrubfowl, Olive-backed Sunbird.
Sometimes, when walking in the forest, I and the tourists whom I guided saw cuscus possum, snake and soa-soa lizard. 
Raja Ampat, and mainland West Papua did not have huge animals like elephant, rhinoceros, and lion. 
Various colorful flowers such as Hibiscus and orchids can be seen in Waigeo. I used to see pitcher plants in the karst of Kabui bay. 
After exploring the rainforest, we usually did some snorkeling at the house reef of the guesthouse where we stayed. For marine life, Raja Ampat islands had the highest number of fish species in the world. 
Olive-ridley Sea Turtle
Turtle in Waigeo

When I was traveling to the north coast of Waigeo, I saw turtles. In the middle of the night, when I was about to sleep, a villager knocked the door of my room and said that a turtle was laying eggs. She came out of the sea and went to the beach to lay her eggs just behind the villagers' houses. So, she was exposed to the lights from the houses.  But she was not disturbed by the villagers so she continued laying her eggs. 
coral reef in Raja Ampat
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
I hope that the Covid-19 pandemic can be mitigated by the introduction of vaccines and strict health protocol under new normal so that in the near future, access to this beautiful archipelago for tourists can be opened again by the government. 
If you are interested in visiting West Papua to watch wildlife and enjoy snorkeling, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to my cell phone: +6281332245180.

Please, support this blog by visiting my online artshop where you could buy some of the drawings of paradise birds, reef fish or flowers that are printed on t-shirts, mugs, spiral notebook, tote bags, cell phone cases, tote bags and etc. at this link: Wildlife Art. Or you could also click the following artworks to see the shop.
a couple of dolphins jumping at the blue sea
Dolphins jumping at the blue sea

paradise bird drawing printed on t-shirt
Red-Bird of Paradise T-shirt

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