Sunday, September 12, 2010
Birds of Paradise in the Rainforest of Papua
When I watched the birds of paradise performed courtship dance on the branches of a tree in a forest in District Senopi, I was speechless. I was amazed by the beauty of those birds. I also heard the sounds of cockatoo and hornbill around the area but for me what attracted me the most were the birds of paradise. They were dancing that afternoon to attract the female birds. Bird watching and deer watching are two ecotourism activities that nature lovers or tourists like to do in the tropical rainforest of District Senopi in the Tambrauw Mountains of West Papua province, Indonesia. It is not easy to reach Senopi because the distance that the car has to cover is nearly 200 kilometers with extreme road condition. But this long trip cannot stop people like me to go there.
The tropical rainforest of Papua island has been experiencing deforestation for years. During 1970s to 1990s massive logging operations were conducted to harvest the precious timber in this greatest tropical island and to make way for housings for migrants under the national transmigration program. Tens of thousands of hectares rainforest in the flat regions near the equator along the northern coast of this island have also been cleared to make way for massive monoculture palm oil plantation.
If the deforestation of Papua rainforest is not stopped, sooner or later, the birds of paradise, rainbow lory, cockatoo, and the whole forest ecosystem will be eliminated from their native land and can never be recovered. If we really love nature, we have to behave as true nature lovers. We don't easily buy products that are produced from the palm oil plantations that have destroyed the rainforest in Papua. by Charles Roring