A team of Conservation International biologists returned to the Foja Mountains (map) in northern Papua (Indonesia) this year. This pristine rain forest, considered one of the last great unexplored areas of the world, once again yielded some great finds, including a giant rat, and display behaviour of a black sicklebill bird of paradise. I saw these gorgeous birds in the Wandamen range near Wasior in northwestern Papua. These iridescent black birds with their very long tails are truly stunning.
My friend Will and I had been wanting to go to the Fojas ever since we came to Papua, but the area is just too remote, unless you are with a well-organized expedition. It’s no wonder that it took Bruce Beehler 25 years to get there.
However, looking at the Google map of Papua, I was shocked at the number of new roads in the area around the Fojas. In the early ninetees, there were none. I even saw entirely new transmigration areas along the north coast. Rather depressing.