Bird’s Head Peninsula as Part of Indonesia’s Geographical Uniqueness

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Meta description: The Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua is unique for its shape and because of its ecological richness. Let’s find out how here!

Slug: bird’s-head-peninsula-indonesia’s-unique-geography

 

Background

Many places worldwide are renowned for their geographical uniqueness, and this is no different in Indonesia as well! You can name so many geographical uniqueness in Indonesia, ranging from the dazzling variety of Kelimutu Lake’s watercolors, the lengthy Toba Lake in North Sumatra, to Mount Tambora’s vast crater. However, West Papua also has its geographical uniqueness, which is in the form of Bird’s Head Peninsula!

Bird’s Head Peninsula (Semenanjung Kepala Burung), also known as Doberai Peninsula, is a large peninsula that makes up the northwest side of the island of New Guinea and the majority of the West Papua Province in Indonesia itself. What is surprising is that the island itself is the world’s second-largest island after Greenland, with a total area of 785.753 km2 and the largest island in the Southern Hemisphere. Wow!

Apart from its vast size, the island itself is also divided into two territories, where the former belongs to Indonesia, and the latter belongs to Papua New Guinea. Even more so, the whole island somewhat looks like a bird. Don’t believe us? The entire island can look like a bird from its head to its tails if you look closely.

So much so, if the Bird’s Head Peninsula is the island’s “head” because of its shape, the same thing can be said to the island’s “tails”. Therefore, it is no wonder that Papua Peninsula (a big part of the island that belongs to Papua New Guinea) is also called the Bird’s Tail Peninsula because of its somewhat similar shape to a bird’s tail!

Unique Features in Bird’s Head Peninsula

However, today, we would like to describe the abundance of unique features of Indonesia’s Bird Head Peninsula. Considering that Indonesia itself is replete with diversity in different fields, let’s discuss this part of Indonesia’s West Papua!

Cenderawasih Bay

To start this list off, let’s start with the famous Cenderawasih Bay in the Bird’s Head Peninsula! Meaning the “Bird of Paradise Bay” in English, this bay is large on the east side of the West Papua Province. Famous as the large bay that separates the westward province and the eastward province of Papua, the bay itself is at least more than 300 kilometers wide.

There is the famous Teluk Cenderawasih National Park in this bay, Indonesia’s largest national maritime park. If you’re into sea ecosystems, you’ll be happy to know that the national park contains about 150 different coral species as well as hundreds of other sea life species. Wow!

Bintuni Bay

To Bintuni Bay, this bay is the “inside part of the mouth” of the Bird’s Head Peninsula! Located within the Berau Gulf that makes up the “mouth” of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, the lands encapsulating the gulf are mostly covered in wet marshes.

Raja Ampat Islands

At this point, anyone who likes traveling will surely know about this unbelievable gem of Indonesia’s beauty, Raja Ampat Islands! Located on the northwest side of the peninsula, these islands are parts of the famous Coral Triangle, a wide area in Southeast Asia and Oceania that contains some of the richest biodiversity on Earth.

With its tropical climate and favorable living conditions, so many sea life species thrive in these islands, contributing to the flora and fauna richness that is unlike any other place on Earth because of its relative lack of interruption from humans. Isn’t that amazing?

Berau Gulf

Considered as the peninsula’s “Dragon Mouth” because of its geographical shape, this gulf separates the peninsula’s northern “Bird’s Head” side and the southern “Bird’s Lower Beak” side. And if you to the west, you’ll be sure to arrive in Indonesia’s Maluku Province!

Arfak Mountains

Papua is famous for its high mountains, and it is no different in this peninsula! Arfak Mountains is a mountain range that spans the whole province where it contains Mount Arfak, the province’s tallest point.

Due to its dense forest and montane tropical rain forest climate, the mountains contain hundreds of endemic flora and fauna species that can only be found in Indonesia, especially in this province.

Tamrau Mountains

Other than the Arfak Mountains that make up most of the peninsula, there is also the Tamrau Mountains, a group of mountains consisting of isolated mountains in the region. Similar to Arfak Mountains, the ecological richness of these mountains is also notable.

Ayamaru Lakes

Located within the province, Ayamaru Lakes are a group of lakes found in the west-central part. Receiving its name from the local Ayamaru people who have lived near the lakes for thousands of years, the lakes are surrounded by small hills, and they have clear water due to the high amount of minerals in the waters.

Conclusion

Not only has a unique shape, but the Bird’s Head Peninsula is also unique for having different geographical uniqueness and richness of flora and fauna in West Papua! Because of this, no wonder the peninsula is considered one of Indonesia’s most beautiful spots.

 

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird%27s_Head_Peninsula 

http://p2k.itbu.ac.id/ind/1-3070-2950/Semenanjung-Kepala-Burung_88028_itbu_ensiklopedia-dunia-q-itbu.html 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Papua_(province)