Arfak Mountains Nature Reserve, Paradise For Various Endemic Species

Arfak Mountains Nature Reserve, Paradise For Various Endemic Species

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With the status as a nature reserve area, do not make it escape from the hands of ignorant. Geliat development increasingly confronts, threatening the existence of biodiversity in this region.

[/ caption] align = "aligncenter" width = "250" caption = "Flame of Papua Orchid (Mucuna novaeguinea)"]

It is in the mountainous region of the western bird's head of the cassowary island of New Guinea. Its tropical forest cover stretched, stretching across the lowlands to the towering peaks. Makes it look like a gigantic big body and long dark green robes standing on the shores of the cute bay of Cenderawasih. This is the description of the area surrounding the Arfak Mountains which is now included in the Manokwari District of West Irian Jaya Province (PB).

This region has become a home as well as a paradise for a series of unique species of flora and fauna of the island's inhabitants. Overlays of tropical forest vegetation in the region have become life-giving palaces for at least 12,000 inhabitants of the four indigenous tribes residing here; Hatam, Meyakh, Sough and Moley. Distance to this area about 35 km from Manokwari City. Walking takes 2 days trip. But can be reached by a wide-wheeled motorcycle or motorcycle down the road in the west that complicated bermedan. Or from the east to penetrate Oransbari District.

Travel to this area will be more impressive when using a small body aircraft type Twin Otter, with a 25 minute travel time from the airport Rendani Manokwari. From the sky there will be a row of hills, steep slopes, valleys and streams winding in the green of the jungle. Arfak mountain area stretches an area of ??68,325.00 hectares at coordinates 133460 – 134150 'E, 100' – 130 S. It has a height between 15 meters to 2,940 meters above sea level (asl).

In areas above 1000 meters altitude, generally cold temperatures. In fact, it is very cold to pierce bone at night in the 2000 meters altitude area. Based on altitude classification, Arfak Mountain area has representative of diverse ecosystem type which is divided into three main forest ecosystem ie; a lowland forest with a height of less than 300 meters, a 300-1,000 meter foothill forest and a montane forest with 1,000 – 2,800 meters altitude.Differences in the ecosystem zone make the Arfak Mountains area rich in high-value biodiversity. Expeditions over the years found thousands of plant species, 110 species of mammals with 44 species recorded, 320 bird species (aves), 5 of which were endemic in the Arfak Mountains to Tambrauw Mountains. For example, Cenderawasih Arfak (Astrapia nigra), Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata) and plain Namdur bird (Amblyornis inornatus) which by Arfak Moley tribe are called Mbrecew birds or smart birds.

These birds can whistle imitate a variety of sounds and are able to make nests of leaves, stalks of orchids or dry grass and then put them on a tree or land. For insect scientists and butterfly researchers, the Arfak Mountains region is known as the habitat for a variety of butterfly species which is now targeted by international butterfly collectors. Call it a bird-wing butterfly (Ornithoptera arfakensis, O. rohchildi) which is one of the species that attracted the attention of researchers when visiting this region.

Because of interest, the existence of butterflies of this type began to endangered. Researchers and local communities have anticipated through the breeding efforts of such butterflies in several places, one of them in Kampung Iray around Anggi lake. Arfak Mountain area is also a habitat for tree species Arwob (Dodonia fiscosa), Masohi wood and thousands of other plant species. The survey results of the World Food Agency (FAO) in 2005 found there were 2,770 species of orchids living here. One of the most striking is the Flame of Irian (Mucuna novaeguinea) orchid in a typical red-colored black.

This type of orchid is a rare species in the world, can only be found in the Arfak Mountains Papua.Blangamannya wild vegetation vegetation makes this area rich in nutritious plants that can be developed to cure the disease. Arfak community itself does have a traditional knowledge of ethno-medicine in utilizing certain types of plants as a cure for disease or a herb ingredients in customary rituals.

Clearly, the Arfak Mountains area is very enthralling. With such characteristics, the Government of Indonesia in 1992 has designated it to be the Archeological Forest Reserve (CA) area through the decision of the Minister of Forestry no. 783 / Kpts-II / 1992 dated August 11, 1992. In the decree it was stipulated that this area spans an area of ??68,325.00 hectares. Includes 8 District areas such as; Menyambouw, Membey, Hingk, Tanah Rubuh, Warmare, South Manokwari, Ransiki and Oransbari.

Coverage of a large area, making researchers so far not been able to record the overall potential of biodiversity (biodiversity) stored in this area. Researchers are still racing to find a completely new species of flora and fauna in biology, botany and taxonomy. No wonder the area of ??CA Arfak Mountains became one of the places on the western island of New Guinea which still holds the mystery of rare species, in addition to the Mamberamo Mountains Foja. The variety of research objects in this area also attracts the interest of ecologists and geologists.

An insect researcher and butterfly from Netherlands, Henk Van Mastrigt, who has been researching in several places in Papua, has said that CA area Arfak Mountain is like a valuable natural laboratory for science. Here is a paradise for thousands of species of flora and fauna, to the origin of Houn fish legend (a kind of eel). It is said that the fish Houn told by the people Arfak live in two lakes called Anggi Giji and Anggi Gita who are at an altitude of 2000 meters.

The exoticism of the CA area of ??the Arfak Mountains is also supported by the objects of natural caves within 2000 meters that formed thousands or even millions of years ago. Some of them are considered the longest natural caves in the world and certainly keep the mystery of life in them. The superiority of the natural potential from which the traditional socio-cultural life of the Arfak tribe, actually formed its own charm. Traditional house of the foot of a thousand dance attraction of the Arfak tribe so far is still a tourist attraction for the original Papuan culture lovers.

Well, actually the elegance of this region has been admired long ago by the missionaries of Europe, America and Australia after the first two missionaries from Germany C.W, Ottow and J.G. Geissler. Even long before the first two missionaries left their feet, the Arfak Mountains area was already the site of the first biological collection on the island of New Guinea that developed several European researchers such as Lesson, Beccari and Albertis around 1824-827 and 1872-1875.

When the western part of New Guinea was occupied by the Dutch by the name of Netherland Nieuw Guinea, the Arfak Mountains area remained one of the scientific expedition destinations of researchers from various countries. As a result, this continues till now.The entry of investments that penetrate forests due to changes in the development paradigm and the decline of indigenous people's wisdom, can make the endemic animal storage area is gone. Mujianto asserted, the acceleration of the expansion of the bird's head region of Papua Island, especially Manokwarilebih potentially threaten the conservation area and make indigenous people urged. The making of ring road, acceleration of expansion and expansion of oil palm area, would be a real example if the position of CA Arfak Mountains is strategic value for the development of regional economic center.

On the other hand, this area is still a major source of life and inspiration for the people of the great tribe of Arfak. Those who settle in the vicinity of this region generally rely on life by exploiting the potential of forests traditionally. If the expansion of insistent territory carried out followed by the exploitation of the region on behalf of the development, not impossible the area of ??CA Arfak Mountains are admired would be slowly eroded. Therefore, the importance of sustainability of the region into keywords. (Julian Howay)

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