The Papua Insects Foundation
Raja Ampat Islands
The Raja Ampat Islands are rather large islands northwest of the Birdshead Peninsula. The four largest islands are Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool, with wealthy nature and rather undisturbed forests. Waigeo is famous for its biodiversity in birds, Salawati is known from some important butterfly species, but little is known from Batanta. Misool is rather well known because of the many naturalistic visits in the past. The fauna is for the greater part papuan, but there are definitely some moluccan elements, rather expected considering the vicinity of the Moluccan Islands like Halmahera and Seram. The island Gebe takes a peculiar place in this region. Its fauna is for the greater part Papuan, but it belongs politically to the Moluccas.
The largest city in the neighbourhood is Sorong, at the northwest point of the Birdshead Peninsula. It is an unpleasant place to be, with it's oil industry, dirty harbour, cleared coastline and backland. The city is crowded and noisy with busy (taxi) traffic. In the wide surrounding the results of large scale logging are still visible, with erosion of the red coloured soil causing trouble. It is, however, the place to be when you have to go to the Raja Ampat Islands. Motorized longboats take you where ever you want to go to the nearby islands, but Misool should be reached by larger long distance boats.
Base of map by onearth.jpl.nasa.gov (modified with geographic names by Papua-Insects)
for an empty map with clear view click here