Although many visitors travel to the archipelago solely to view the extraordinary marine diversity, the slopes and shores of the Raja Ampat islands are a wellspring of unique flora and fauna.
The archipelago is home to almost 400 species of birds, including two species of Cassowary and seven different of Bird-of-Paradise, two of which are found nowhere else on earth. Birding enthusiasts from around the globe journey to Raja Ampat to catch a glimpse of such species as the Western Crowned Pigeon, King Cockatoo, Blythe’s Hornbill, Rajah Shellduck, Dusky Scrubfowl, and Papuan Nightjar, as well as an impressive range of kingfisher and parrot species.
The dense jungles of the larger islands are also home to unique mammals, from possums to bandicoot and echidna. Endemic include the Waigeo CusCus, a large tree dwelling marsupial with thick mottled fur, wide eyes and a long tail.
Visitors who observe the shores and venture further inland will also note the impressive array of Lepidoptera, including several large swallowtail species, and Ornithoptera priamus Birdwing butterflies.
The archipelago is also home to an impressive array of reptiles, including several endemic lizards such as the Golden Speckled Tree Monitor. In the forest underbrush, sparkly Pacific Blue Tail Skinks and Emerald skinks abound, and mangrove monitor lizards of up to 4 feet are encountered along the coast.
There are over seventy species of snake in these island, from poisonous species such as the Papuan Black snake and Ikaheka or White Snake, to various exquisitely colored pythons and tree snakes.
Along the banks of estuary and mangrove rivers, salt water crocodiles can occasionally be spotted.
The jungle foliage itself is lush, varied and impressive, rich in exquisite ferns, climbers, and hardwood trees, as well as a surprising variety of orchids and carnivorous pitcher plants. To read more, click the links below.