The Papua Insects Foundation
The Star Mountains form a mountain range which crosses the border with Papua New Guinea, where it is continued with the name Victor Emanuel Range. It contains some of the highest mountains of New Guinea like Mount Juliana (Peak Mandala, 4700 meter) and Mount Antares (4170 meter). The most important villages are Abmisibil and Mabilabol (Oksibil).
The district is rather isolated without any roads connected to the coast or larger cities. Transport is only possible on foot and by airplane and the AMA flies rather regularly to both villages, Abmisibil and Oksibil.
Although the area is cultivated in a close range around the villages there are wide areas of primary forests at distance from those villages. The main danger for nature is the hunting on Birds of Paradise, not only by the local inhabitans, but also on a rather large scale by people from PNG who cross the border without any impediment.
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 more southern village Mabilabol is mentioned Oksibil by the Indonesians, a misinterpretation of the combination "Ok Sibil", which in fact means "River Sibil". Like in Abmisibil the area is rather cultivated near the village, but less intensive. Another striking feature in Mabilabol is that it is settled in a wide flat highland valley (at 1300 meter), similar to that of the Baliem Valley. At the edges of this valley and on the mountain slopes there are wealthy primary mountain forests.
From the insects which are collected during historical and recent expeditions we can conclude that the Star Mountains have striking different fauna components than in other areas in the Central Mountains.
- 1909 - 1911 The first English South New Guinea expedition by W. Goodfellow, A.F.R. Wollaston, G.R. Shortridge, W. Stalker, Capt. C.G. Rawling, E.S. Marshall and N.I.L.H.A. Cramer (by the British Ornithological Union). They came in touch with small mountain papuas. Capt. Schaeffer reaches Mt. Goliath (Mt. Yamin) (in 1911 he reaches at 3340 m).
- 1959 - Expedition to the Star Mountains with L.D. Brongersma and G.F. Venema. Lepidoptera are collected in Mabilabol (Oksibil).
- 2005 - Expedition of the Zoological Museum of Amsterdam and University of Cenderawasih to the Star Mountains, Abmisibil and Mabilabol (Oksibil), by Rob de Vos, Gerrit Withaar, Piet Zumkehr, Jaap Zwier, Tomas Lackner and David Mannering.