Three national parks in Papua and West Papua that are beyond beautiful are Lorentz National Park, Wasur National Park, and Cendrawasih Bay National Park.
Papua and West Papua have drawn much attention lately with their rapid infrastructures development and other improvements in many factors. This Island can’t be underestimated anymore. One thing for sure is that Papua and West Papua have unbelievable captivating and blindsiding nature.
In fact, they have a national park that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site named Lorentz National Park. But it is not only Lorentz National Park that Papua and West Papua own. Here are three breathtaking national parks in Papua and West Papua.
Lorentz National Park
This national park is located in Jayawijaya, Mimika, Asmat, Yahukimo, and Puncak Jaya regencies. Being in an area of 2,505,600 hectares, this site is named after its expeditor, a Dutch scientist called Dr. H.A. Lorentz in 1909. The Indonesian government established this site as a national park in 1997.
Later on, in 1999, Lorentz national park was designated as the largest national park in Southeast Asia by UNESCO and even as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations agency. And it didn’t stop there. Another international non-governmental organization, WWF nominated this Papuan park as the largest conservation area and the most complete ecosystem in the Asia Pacific.
Viewed from the aspect of ecosystem diversity, Lorentz National Park covers almost all types of the ecosystem in Papua, ranging from the habitat of marine, coastal, coastal forest, brackish water swamp forest, freshwater swamp forest, lowland forest, low and high mountain forests, as well as alpine and eternal snow summit.
There are approximately 1.200 flowering vegetation, 123 mammal species, 411 bird families, and 150 reptiles and amphibian types. Moreover, this national park is also an Endemic Bird Area (EBA) with 45 species of birds of limited spread and nine endemic birds species.
Wasur National Park
The next national park in Papua and West Papua is Wasur National Park. This site is located in four districts, which are Merauke, Jagebob, Sota, and Naukenjarai districts. This park has an area of 4,138 km². The area within Wasur National Park is inhabited by four tribes. They are Kanume, Yeinan, Mengey Marori, and Marind tribes. All those tribes are living in the forest areas of the national park.
The name Wasur is taken from Marori language, Waisol, which means garden. Wasur National Park is a wetland that is flooded for 4-6 months in a year. During drought, swamps are formed as the water recedes through natural ditches connected to the sea.
This conservation area has hundreds of unique endemic fauna, one of them is Kangaroos in different types, such as mercurial kangaroos, forest kangaroos, bus kangaroos, and tree kangaroos. The tree’s kangaroo was also selected as PON XX Papua 2021 mascot. The mascot was named Kangpho.
Having wetlands that are important for waterbirds, Indonesian birds love to migrate from and to Australia and New Zealand. These birds usually migrate to Wasur National Park in October to seek a warm area.
Cendrawasih Bay National Park
Another magnificent national park in Papua and West Papua is Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih or Cendrawasih Bay National Park. This national park is the largest marine national park in Indonesia. It consists of 89.8% ocean waters, 5.5% coral reefs, 3.8% mainland islands, and 0.9% land and coastal areas. This marine site includes Mioswaar, Nusrowi, Roon, Rumberpon, and Yoo islands.
Cendrawasih Bay National Park has flora and fauna diversity that function as nature life support system protection. Being aware of how important this area is, the government through the Minister of Forestry’s Decree Number 58/Kpts-II/1990 dated February 3, 1990, declared this national park as a Marine Nature Reserve area.
Three years later, this conservation area was designated as a national park through the Minister of Forestry’s Decree Number 472/Kpts-II/1993 dated September 2, 1993. Cendrawasih Bay National Park has a total area of 1,453,500 hectares.
The marine ecosystem of this park consists of various captivating coral reefs in the form of patch reef, fringing reef, barrier coral reefs, atolls or ring-shaped coral reefs, and shallow-water coral reefs. The coral reefs here consist of about 67 genera and subgenera, including 145 species of Scleractinian coral which are found up to a depth of 35 meters.
Overall, there are 200 species of coral reefs, 209 species of fish, 196 species of mollusks, 5 species of reptiles, 3 species of aquatic mammals, 37 species of birds (Aves), and 183 species of terrestrial fauna.
So be sure that national parks in Papua and West Papua are on your must-visit-destination list. Let’s preserve our country’s natural wealth. If you get a chance to visit Lorentz National Park, Wasur National Park, or Cendrawasih Bay National Park, make sure you are involved in preserving nature there.