Indonesia’s Foja Mountains: The Last Untouched Refuge on Earth

Golden Monarch in Indonesian Rainforest on Papua

Golden Monarch Indonesian JunglePhoto: Richard001

The Foja Mountains on the Indonesian side of the island of Papua New Guinea represent one of the world’s last rainforest frontiers. In fact, the area covers over 9,000 square kilometers and is the largest un-roaded rainforest in the Asian-Pacific. The preservation of this area is made possible by its steep mountains, which make logging very difficult and because the region was not even visited until 1979 by outsiders.

Foja Mountains MapPhoto: Totodu74

It is rare to discover new species of vertebrate animals, let alone new species of mammals. However, over the course of two years in the Foja Mountains, scientists discovered four species of mammals! They include: two species of large rats, a small, forest-dwelling wallaby, and a pygmy possum that is one of the world’s smallest marsupials. Check out the awesome Youtube video for more species discovered in the Foja Mountains.

The Foja Mountains are so new to science and people that there are basically no public domain pictures of it. Only 300 people living in the general vicinity, and it’s not like they’re receiving any holiday visitors. The Foja Mountains are the kind of place that is nice to know simply exists even if one never has a chance to visit them. Hopefully, the entire area can be preserved exactly as it is now so that the animals, plants and native peoples that inhabit the region can continue to live as if they had never been contacted.