A Small Island in West Papua Inhabited by Thousands of Bats

goodmorningpapua.com – A small island in West Papua becomes a house for thousands of bats. The name is Um Island.

Um Island is located in Malaumkarta Raya Village, Sorong Regency. Um means bat, so that Um Island is Bat Island. However, the island is also inhabited by birds of paradise and tree kangaroos.

Um Island is now a tourist destination. Malaumkarta residents also benefit economically from tourism activities on the island. They can rent boats to tourists who want to go to Um Island.

“Long before Um Island being crowded with tourists, the residents of Malaumkarta Raya did not disturb the bat’s resting place during the day and allowed them to breed until now,” said a Head of Malaumkarta Raya Conservation Activist for the Moi Tribal Customary Law Society in Sorong, as quoted by Antara.

The Malaumkarta village youth, Hermanus Do, earns additional income by providing traditional boats to serve tourists to and from Um Island.

“If there are a lot of visits in one day, the people who participate in traditional boat transportation services can earn up to IDR 700 thousand, even more,” said Hermanus.

Residents of Malaumkarta Raya generally do not disturb the population of bats and other wild animals such as birds of paradise and tree kangaroos. This was done because they realized the importance of maintaining biodiversity for their future descendants.

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“Let’s not leave tears for our children and grandchildren, but leave wellsprings for our grandchildren later,” he added. The local community also agreed to use the systematization of marine, namely a ban on capturing certain types of marine fauna in an area within a certain agreed period of time.

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