East Papua Teluk Cendrawasih National Park Introduction

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Teluk Cendrawasih National Park with 0 Comments

Teluk Cendrawasih National Park



Teluk Cendrawasih National Park combines coral reef ecosystems, coastal ecosystems, mangrove ecosystems and an island terrestrial tropical forest ecosystem, altogether covering a total area of 1,453,500 hectares.
The Park area includes the largest marine national park in Indonesia, consisting of land and coastal areas (0.9%), islands (3.8%), coral reefs (5.5%), and marine waters (89.8%).
Some 46 species of plant have been recorded on the islands, dominated by bakau (Bruguiera sp.), api-api (Avicennia sp.), nipah (Nypa fruticans), sago (Metroxylon sago), cemara laut (Casuarina equisetifolia), and ketapang (Terminalia catappa).
One hundred and fifty species of coral have been recorded in the Park, consisting of 15 families and distributed on the shores of 18 large and small islands. The percentage of live coral coverage varies from between 30-40% to 64-65%.
In general, the coral reef ecosystem is divided into two zones: the reef flat zone and the reef slope zone. Among the species of coral that can be seen are colonies of blue coral (Heliopora coerulea), black coral (Antipathes sp.), Leptoseris sp., Mycedium elephantotus, and soft corals.
The Park is famed for its wealth of fish species. About 209 species inhabit this Park, among them butterfly fish, angelfish, damselfish, parrotfish, rabbitfish and anemone fish. Species of mollusc include cowries (Cypraea spp.), strombidae (Lambis spp.), cone shell (Conus spp.), trumpet triton (Charonia tritonis), and great clam (Tridacna gigas).
There are four species of turtle that are quite often seen in this Park. They are the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), common green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Pacific ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Dugong (Dugong dugon), coconut crab (Birgus latro), blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), dolphin, and shark are other frequent visitors to these waters.
There is a natural cave with ancient remains, thermal springs containing sulphur without salt on Mioswaar island, and an underwater cave with a depth of 100 feet in Tanjung Mangguar. Remains from the 18th century can still be found in several places, such as Wendesi, Wasior, and Yomber. Many Christians visit the church in Yende village (Roon Island) to have a look at a bible which dates from 1898.
Interesting locations/attractions:
Rumberpon Island: observing birds and deer, marine tours, diving and snorkelling. The wreck of a sunken military aircraft lies on the sea bed.
Nusrowi Island: diving and snorkelling, marine tours, and animal observation.
Mioswaar Island: thermal springs, waterfalls, diving and snorkeling, animal observation, and sites of cultural interest.
Yoop Island and Windesi waters: whale and dolphin watching.
Roon Island: bird watching, diving and snorkeling, waterfalls, cultural interest, and an old church.
Best time of year to visit: May to October.
How to reach the Park: from Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Ujung Pandang, Jayapura, Honolulu and Darwin by direct flight to Biak; from Biak to Manokwari or Nabire by plane.
From Jakarta, Surabaya, Ujung Pandang and Jayapura by plane directly to Manokwari or Nabire. From Manokwari to the Park (Rumberpon Island) by longboat, 5.5 hours, or from Manokwari to Ransiki subdistrict by car, about 3 hours, then a 2.5-hour trip by motor boat.
a total area of 1,453,500 hectares

* Casuarina spp.
* Ficus spp.

* Indo-pacific hump-backed dolphin – Sousa chinensis
* Dugong – Dugong dugon

* Nicobar Pigeon – Caloenas nicobarica
* Pied Imperial-Pigeon – Ducula bicolor
* White-bellied Fish-Eagle – Haliaeetus leucogaster
* Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
* Royal Spoonbill – Platalea regia

* Green Turtle – Chelonia mydas
* Hawksbill Turtle – Eretmochelys imbricata
* Leatherback Turtle – Dermochelys coriacea
* Estuarine Crocodile – Crocodylus porosus

* Giant Clam – Tridacna gigas
* Triton’s Trumpet – Charonia tritonis

Pepaya Island

* Width: 2 hectares
* Legal status: Proposed Limited-Use Zone
* Lat/Long: 03-ª 12′ S and 135-ª04′ E
* Distance from Nabire: 50 Km
* Travel time:
o by speed boat: 1.5 hours
o by 80 HP Long Boat: 2 hours
o by 40 HP Long Boat: 3 hours

Pepaya Island holds densely terrestrial vegetation. Monitor lizard, bats, maleo, and other birds known as primary inhabitant. Coconut palm found anywhere in the island. Inhabitant of Sima and Kwatisore villages usually visits to the island for fishing or taking a coconut. Freshwater wells are available.

Coral Reefs

Pepaya Island a fringing reef flat, dominated by Thalassia sp., Enhalus sp., and seagrass, also some encrusting corals of Acropora sp., Porites nisgrescens, massive corals of Porites lutea, and Favites sp. Colonies of coral are common found on the top of reef crest. In some locations, the crest formed vertical slope, and attached by sponges, soft corals, and gorgonians. Reef distributed to 30-m depth. The reef holds high diversity of fish, both food fishes (snappers, rock cods), and ornamental fishes (butterflyfish, surgeonfish, parrotfish, and scorpionfish). Some one metre giant clams are found in 2 m depth of western coast. Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) is common visit the island.

Diving sites
Recommended diving sites found in south – eastern vertical reef crust. Horizontal visibility is about 15 m. For snorkelling, it is recommended to visit the western coast, where there is a wide reef flat with well-performed coral coverage

Nutabari Island

* Width: 1 hectare
* Legal status: Proposed Limited-Use Zone
* Lat/Long: 03-ª06′ S and 135-ª09′ E
* Distance from Nabire: 50 km
* Travel time:
o by speed boat: 1.5 hours
o by 80 HP Long Boat: 2 hours
o by 40 HP Long Boat: 3 hours.

Nutabari is a medium-size island with dominant terrestrial plant of coconut tree and Casuarina sp. Some birds inhabit the island with sometime endemic Junai Mas bird (Caloenas nicobarica) found. The island is suitable to camp, but freshwater is not available.

Coral Reef

Nutabari has narrow fringing reef flat, only 10m offshore and 2 m depth before it dropped off. The vertical slope attached by sponges, soft coral and gorgonians. The reef holds high percent coverage of coral. The reef holds high diversity of fish. Also commonly found hawksbill turtle lying down between coral.

Diving sites
Surrounding waters with the narrow reef flat are suitable for snorkelling and diving.

Cape Mangguar

* Legal status: Proposed Traditional Use Zone
* Lat/Long: 2-ª52′ S and 134-ª9′ E
* Distance from Nabire: 90 km
* Travel time:
o by speedboat: 3 jam
o by 80 HP Long Boat: 4 jam
o by 40 HP Long Boat: 6 jam

Coral reef

Cape Mangguar is a peninsula in the mainland, with several volcanic-formed islands in front of the peninsula. Rock structure of the islands found very interesting and a habitat for some birds. In surrounding waters, there is a reef crust with vertical slope and dominated by soft coral and very colourful gorgonians. Cape Mangguar is very suitable for deep diving, visiting some 40 m depth underwater caves.

Diving sites
Recommended diving sites located around the cape and the islands. Reef surrounding the islands dominated by tabulate Acropora, mostly Acropora echinata and Acropora Clarathra, beside some very colourful soft corals.

Kuwom Island

* Width: 1 hectare
* Legal status: Proposed Limited Use Zone
* Lat/Long: 02-ª08′ S and 134-ª48′ E
* Distance: – From Nabire: 140 km – From Manokwari: 180 km
* Travel time:
o From Nabire by 40 HP Long boat: 6 hours
o From Manokwari by 80 HP Long boat: 8 hours

Kuwom is a small island dominated with Casuarina sp. The island has been reported as an egg-dropping zone of Junai Mas bird (Caloenas nicobarica).

Coral reef

Kuwom has a very well performed narrow fringing reef with high percent coverage of corals. The crust is vertical slope 30 m offshore. In the southern slope of the island found a wide colony of Acropora yongei. In Southwest slopes, found a basin with vertical wall, attached by Caulerpa sp., algae, sponges and colourful soft coral. Also found a large number of colourful fishes.

Diving sites
Recommend dive sites are anywhere surrounding the island, with the best location in south to eastern of the island.

Rouw Island

* Width: 2 hectares
* Legal status: Proposed Limited-Use Zone
* Lat/Long: 2-ª09′ S and 134-ª44 E
* Distance: – From Nabire: 160 km – From Manokwari: 160 km
* Travel time:
o From Nabire by 80 HP Long boat: 7 hours
o From Manokwari by 80 HP Long boat: 7 hour

Rouw has not a good coral reef, but there are four ex WW-II plane wrecks in the eastern reef. These wrecks sunk in 2 m depth shallow water and 70 m offshore and capable to snorkelling. During low tide, these wreck emerged on the surface and suitable for fish nursery and spawning ground. Also attached some corals and soft corals.


There are some underdeveloped villages around Teluk Cendrawasih. Local people live in the traditional wooden platform house with sago leaves roof. Their livelihood is mostly fishing, farming, and sago producer. Their modest live is potentially interesting tourist and researches, in particular for the anthropologist.

It is found a unique village of Yende in Roon Island, with the traditional platform house build above the sea. It built by wood, with sago palm stem wall and roof. During high tide, the sea surface could reach the platform. There is rock-paved road connecting each house, made the village looks well designed. Also attach some vegetables and flowers planted inside the used can and boats in front of the house, adding the village uniqueness.

It is found a unique village of Yende in Roon Island, with the traditional platform house build above the sea. It built by wood, with sago palm stem wall and roof. During high tide, the sea surface could reach the platform. There is rock-paved road connecting each house, made the village looks well designed. Also attach some vegetables and flowers planted inside the used can and boats in front of the house, adding the village uniqueness.

It is found a 100-years old church build when Roon Island became the second oldest missionary centre in the area beside Mansinam Island in Manokwari. Also found some missionaries inheritance.

There is a 5 m waterfall in west of the village, beside a good diving site for deep diving at the cape in east of the village. Also at the bay in east of the village, found a good site for snorkelling.

There some caves found in and around Teluk Cendrawasih. Near Yaur and Kwatisore villages, found natural formed caves. In Mios Waar, found ancient Biak tribal caves. Inside the cave, found some ceramic plate and human bones. In Mios Waar also found a hot spring and waterfall.


Mariculture is newly technology for most Irianese. The products have been increased annually, and contribute a large number in national income. The main products are shrimp or prawn, seaweed, and fish; even Indonesia still very much behind other Southeast Asian countries in the market and technology. Teluk Cendrawasih is potential for mariculture and provides alternative income for local people. Since most of local people are fisherman, the technology seems transferable to them. With the technology, their dependence with marine resource will be decreased and later will decrease the environmental damage by local people. Following are some potential resource to be developed in Teluk Cendrawasih.

1. Seaweed

Since the culture required clear waters, sand or coral substrate, less wave and well circulation of water to guarantee the nutrient supply, some areas in Teluk Cendrawasih, such as Roon Island, Cape Kwatisore and Nappan Yaur village are potentially to culture seaweed. Roon Island is suitable for rafting system, while Cape Kwatisore and Nappan Yaur village are more suitable for bottom system. It is required to explore the market, which also require transportation. Among those three locations, Roon is more accessible than others, because there is a regular ferry line to Manokwari through Wasior.

2. Sea Cucumber

Culture of sea cucumber has been implemented in Yaur and Windesi subdistricts, but only for enlargement. Local people used to collect sea cucumber to be dried and sold to the market. The system seems not effective and less economically, since the collected sea cucumber varies in many size and species. Ecologically, the small-size sea cucumber caught will negatively impact to their reproduction and regeneration processes. Some constraints are small cage size that cannot keep a large number of sea cucumber. Since the cage is built by bamboo, there is a possibility to escape back to the sea

3. Floating Net

Floating net system in Indonesia mostly for enlargement of fish. Hatching system with this system was not well developed. The system is potential to keep caught fish alive, as well live fish is more valuable. Some locations in Teluk Cendrawasih are suitable to use the system, such as Roon Island, Yaur village, and some areas in Wasior and Windesi. The system will provide more value to local people income, since they sell only salted-fish for many years.

This article is contributed by Gesang Setyadi


Interesting sites and activities :

Rumberpon island : birdwatching,snorkel, diving

Nusrowi island : snorkel, diving, fauna safari

Mioswaar island : hot springwater, waterfall, snorkel, diving, cultural attractions

Yoop and Windesi : whale shark and dolphins

Roon island : bird watching, snorkel, diving, waterfall, old church, cultural attractions

 Best time to visit : May until October

How to get there : Take a flight from Jakarta or Surabaya or Denpasar to Biak. Take another flight from Biak to Manokwari or Nabire. From Manokwari take longboat (5,5 hours) to Rumberpon island or take a 3 hour drive to Ransiki, followed by motorboat (2,5 hour).

Human habitation
About 14,000 people live in 72 villages within the park. Several Austronesian languages are spoken in the area, which form part of the Cenderawasih languages branch and include: Wandamen, Dusner, Meoswar, Roon and Yeretuar.Most of the park is part of Teluk Wondama Regency of West Papua province, while the eastern part is in Nabire Regency of Papua province.

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