Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Located off the northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. It encompasses more than 9.8 million acres of land and sea, which also contains Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. It is a part of the newly named West Papua province of Indonesia which was formerly Irian Jaya.

According to the Conservation International Rapid Assessment Bulletin the marine life diversity is considerably greater than all other areas sampled in the Coral Triangle of Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world's coral reef biodiversity, the seas around Raja Ampat are possibly the richest in the world. The area's massive coral colonies show that its reefs are resistant to threats like coral bleaching and disease - threats that now jeopardize the survival of corals around the world. In addition, Raja Ampat's strong ocean currents sweep coral larvae across the Indian and Pacific Oceans to replenish other reef ecosystems. Raja Ampat's coral diversity, resilience, and ability to replenish reefs make it a global priority for marine protection.

Over 1,070 fish species, 537 coral species (a remarkable 96% of all scleratinia recorded from Indonesia are likely to occur in these islands), and 699 mollusc species, the variety of marine life is staggering. Some areas boast enormous schools of fish and regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs. In Mansuar, it's highly likely you'll encounter large groups of manta rays and turtles. From the boat and often close to shore you may get the chance to don your snorkeling gear for some unforgettable interaction with resident pods of dolphins or even some passing whales.

 

Nudibranch Species from Raja Ampat, Indonesia » View all photo from Raja Ampat, Indonesia (798 photos)

Phidiana indica from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
(11 photos from Raja Ampat)
Philinopsis pilsbryi from Raja Ampat, Indonesia
(1 photo from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia babai from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Bill Rudman
(2 photos from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia carlsonhoffi from Raja Ampat, Indonesia
(1 photo from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia coelestis from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Nathalie Yonow
(5 photos from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia elegans from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
(6 photos from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia exquisita from Raja Ampat, Indonesia
(1 photo from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia marindica from Raja Ampat, Indonesia
(1 photo from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia ocellata from Raja Ampat, Indonesia
(7 photos from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia picta from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Neville Coleman
(3 photos from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia varicosa from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
(7 photos from Raja Ampat)
Phyllidia willani from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
(1 photo from Raja Ampat)
 
 

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