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Jakarta Post

Insight: The Foja Mountains – the wonder of new species discovered

  • Jatna Supriatna and Bruce Beehler

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 20 2010   /  09:57 am

The Foja Mountains in western (Indonesian) New Guinea form the northern rim of the vast Mamberamo Basin, which at almost 8 million hectares, represents the largest undeveloped rainforest block in the Asia-Pacific region. The Foja Mountains are interesting because of their isolation; and because they represent the last significant mountain range on the island of New Guinea to be biologically surveyed. Conservation International developed a plan to survey the Foja Mountains in the 1990s, but it took more than a decade for conditions to align that would allow this difficult expeditionary work to proceed. Survey work there is difficult for several reasons, but most notably because it is very time-consuming to engage with local communities — who are the local landowners of the mountain range – and it was essential to gain their blessings for the survey. Secondly, these mountains are physi...