West Papua’s Flora and Fauna

West Papua’s Flora and Fauna

Papua is one of three Major Tropical Forests in the world that has been identified by Conservancy International. Over 80% of Papua is still untouched or natural habitat. Due to the biogeography and the unique topography of Papua, the forest regions still have high levels of biodiversity. The inaccessibility of many of the natural habitats means that to this day not a lot is known about Papua’s biodiversity; Papua’s seas have not yet been fully explored either. With an increase in biological research in Papua more and more is being discovered about the biodiversity of the region. Aside from a high level of biodiversity, Papua also has many different types of ecosystems, from extensive coral reefs, mangroves, savannahs, lowland tropical forests, to mountainous and alpine areas.

The threats to the biodiversity and natural habitat of Papua are already apparent. Papua, being rich in mineral deposits and oil reserves, is very attractive to investors who aim to build large scale mines and oil fields, potentially very damaging to natural habitats. Other threats come from the growth of certain areas, such as the development of the industrial sector in Mamberamo, the expansion of palm oil plantations, the construction of the Trans-Papua highway and timber concessions.

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