The Papua Insects Foundation
Papua is the western part of the island New Guinea and belongs politically to Indonesia. From 1828 till 1963 it was under control of The Netherlands as Dutch New Guinea. From 1963 the Indonesians first named it West Irian or Irian Barat. From 1973 it was named Irian Jaya and since 2000 it officially is named Papua. The part from the Birdshead Peninsula till East of Wandammen Peninsula is nowadays the Province of Papua Barat (West Papua), the eastern part till the PNG border is the Province of Papua.
Geography of Papua
The geography of Papua is dominated by several mountain ranges in the northern half and widely forested wetlands in the southern half. In the neighbourhood of large cities and villages the tropical rainforest is declining by logging, burning and polution, like everywhere in the tropics, but fortunately the island still is one of the most richest for what primary rainforest is concerned. Approximately about 70% of its surface is still untouched, and please let's preserve this treasure!
Click on an area on the map for detailed information
Important mountain ranges:
- Cyclop Mountains, in the northeast near Jayapura, with the highest peak 2158 meter.
- Jayawijaya Mountains (Central Mountain Range), in the centre of Papua, between the Sudirman Mountains (Snow mountains) and the Star Mountains. It has high snow covered peaks, like Peak Trikora (Mt. Wilhelmina) with 4730 meter. It includes a very important feature: the famous Baliem Valley.
- Sudirman Mountains (Snow Mountains), western part of the Central Mountain Range in Papua, with extremely high snow covered peaks, like Peak Jaya (Mt. Carstensz) with 5030 meter.
- Star Mountains, eastern part of the Central Mountain Range in Papua, with Mt. Antares as the highest peak (4170 meter) and others, like Peak Mandala (Mt. Juliana) with 4700 meter, Peak Yamin (Mt. Goliath) with 4595 meter and Peak David with 4581 meter.
- Van Rees Mountains, form the western part of the mountain range in the north of Papua. Mt. Dom is with 1430 meter a very modest highest peak.
- Foja Mountains (Gauttier Mountains), form the eastern part of the northern mountain range, with peaks of 2000 to 2193 meter high.
- Kobowre Mountains (Weyland Mountains) are the westernmost part of the Central Mountain Range. Highest peak is 3891 meter.
- Wondiwoi Mountains (Wandammen Mountains) on Wandammen Peninsula form a high mountain ridge running to the north. The highest peak is 2252 meter.
- Fakfak Mountains on Onin or Fakfak Peninsula form an isolated mountain range of volcanic origin, with the highest peak being 1619 meter.
- Arfak Mountains form the easternmost mountain ridge on Birdshead Peninsula. Mt. Mebo is the highest peak with 2940 meter.
- Tamrau Mountains in the Northwest of the Birdshead Peninsula, with Mt. Irau (2582 meter) and Mt. Kwoka (2452 meter) as the highest peaks.
Official National Parks:
- Cyclop Mountains Reserve
- Mamberamo-Pegunungan Foja Reserve
- Rouffaer Reserve
- Lorentz Reserve
- Dolok Island Reserve
- Swamp Biru and Wasur Reserve
- Wandammen Reserve
- Gunung Meja Reserve
- Supiori Island Reserve
- Northern Biak Island Reserve
- Western Waigeo Island Reserve
- Batanta Island Reserve
- Northern Salawati Island Reserve
- Danau Bian Reserve
Other protected areas are shown on this map of the World Wildlife Foundation:
(from: World Wildlife Foundation)
Islands belonging to Papua:
- North of the Cenderawasih Bay are the Schouten Islands Biak, Supiori, Yapen (or Serui), Mios Num and Numfor. North of these are the small Mapia Islands (St. David Islands).
- other islands in the southern and western Cenderawasih Bay (or Geelvink Bay) are Mioswaar, Rumberpon, Roon and Mansinam (actually in the Dorey Bay near Manokwari).
- at the west side of the Birdshead Peninsula (or Vogelkop) are the Raja Ampat Islands with Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, Misool, Gebe and Kofiau Island.
- South of Bomberai Peninsula is Adi Island.