The Papua Insects Foundation
Foja Mountains (Gauttier Mountains)
The eastern part of the northern mountain range of Papua are the Foja or Gauttier Mountains. It is an almost unexplored area which seems very promissing for endemic faunistic founds and probably has a very high biodiversity. The area is a part of a large complex of national parks, together with the Mamberamo and Rouffaer Reserves. The large river of Mamberamo actually cuts the northern mountain range in two and forms the border between the eastern Foja Mountains and the western Van Rees Mountains. The highest mountain in Foja is 2193 meter. In this almost undisturbed area are hardly any villages of importance. At the base of the Foja Mountains, near Mamberamo River, is Dabra (formerly Batavia-bivak), a place where expeditions used to camp and still in use by recent expeditions. In the north, in the Mamberamo River complex, is Lake Rombebai, the largest lake of Papua.
No people have been at higher altitudes in the Foja Mountains before the expedition of November 2005, not even the local tribes, because they believe that these "holy grounds" are inhabited by "evil ghosts". This means that the Foja Mountains have an undisturbed ecosystem, which is very interesting for ecologic and faunistic research. Animals, not used to any humans in this area, didn't show fear to the researchers of last expedition, a real paradise!
Base of map by onearth.jpl.nasa.gov (modified with geographic names by Papua-Insects)
for an empty map with clear view click here
The area escaped from a disaster, since the plans of a hydroelectric power plant have been canceled. However, oil companies still have interest to explore the northern Mamberamo area in search for oil and pilot research (drilling) already took place. Let's hope that in the future the meaning "national reserve" not also means a reserve for minerals. The whole area needs a firm protection against economic exploration, including drilling and logging.