Indonesia’s Raja Ampat

    Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula, in Indonesia’s West Papua province. It comprises over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau.

    This first album of photos of Raja Ampat was kindly supplied by our good friend, Diana Paboojian.

    The Raja Ampat archipelago straddles the Equator and forms part of the Coral Triangle which contains the richest marine biodiversity on earth.

    Raja Ampat is considered the global center of tropical marine bio-diversity and is referred to as The Crown Jewel of the Bird’s Head Seascape, which also includes Cenderawasih Bay and Triton Bay. The region contains more than 600 species of hard corals, equaling about 75 percent of known species globally, and more than 1,700 species of reef fish – including on both shallow and mesophotic reefs.

    Compared to similar-sized ecosystems elsewhere in the world, this makes Raja Ampat’s biodiversity the richest in the world. Endangered and rare marine mammals such as Dugongs, whales (such as blue or/and pygmy blue, Bryde’s, less known Omura’s, sperm), dolphins, and orcas occur there. (wikipedia)

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