Friday, September 26, 2014

Watching Western Parotia in Arfak Mountains

Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata) is one of the thirty seven species of birds of paradise that live in New Guinea  It lives mostly in the bird's head region of West Papua. This bird does not have feather as colorful as the famous Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) but it has other characters that have attracted the attention of a lot of birdwatchers from around the world.

Male Western Parotia have display ground that he uses to attract female parotia with his skills in performing courtship dance. In the mornings and in the afternoons, he lands on the ground to clear it from any fallen leaves and twigs. He shouts loudly to call female Western Parotia. While waiting for them to come he will practice his dance skills.
During late February and March, male Western Parotia are more active. They are in mating season. Male parotias compete on another to win the hearts of female parotia. They will show their best performances to the female parotias. When they dance, they look like ballerinas.
Mupi Gunung 
There is a village located deep in the dense forest of Arfak mountains that I highly recommends for birdwatchers. Its name is Mupi Gunung. Various species of paradise birds thrive in the forest around the tiny village. There are only three families in Mupi Gunung village.
To reach it, visitors must walk for 9 hours through dense forest. Villagers have prepared a house for the visitors to who want to stay for several nights.
Besides watching Western Parotia, visitors can enjoy trekking in the forest to see tree kangaroo. Other animals that live in the jungle are wild pigs, deer, cuscus possum, soa-soa, blyth's hornbill, sulphur crested cockatoo, pinon imperial pigkeon, and a great variety of butterflies, beetles and other insects.

Warmarway located further south is another rainforest tour destination that is more affordable to visitors. Here tourists can enjoy snorkeling to see colorful fish such as parrotfish, surgeonfish, grouper, and moorish idol. While walking in the jungle, visitors may see Lesser Birds of Paradise, Birdwing butterflies, Cuscus possum, monitor lizard, and various other species of insects that make Arfak mountains as their natural habitat.

Tree Kangaroo in Arfak mountains of Manokwari
How to get there?
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta city (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Take a domestic flight to Manokwari city (check the website of Garuda Indonesia Airways, Sriwijaya Air, Express Air and Lion Air)
  • When you have arrived in Manokwari, you could stay for one night at Swissbel hotel, Aston niu hotel or Mansinam beach hotel for making some preparation before going to Arfak range. I can arrange your trip to Mupi Gunung, getting travel permit from the polic, buying food, and getting a transport vehicle.
Please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com if you still need more information about rainforest tour in Arfak mountains. written by Charles Roring