Geelvink Islands : Biak, Supiori, Numfor
Of truly oceanic origin, the twin islands of Biak and Supiori, only separated from one another by a narrow mangrove-lined channel, harbor the most highly endemic avifauna of any singular land area in the entire New Guinea region, with up to 15 endemic taxa variously treated at species level. And Numfor Island, approximately 60 kilometers to the southwest, further boasts its own endemic kingfisher and warbler.
Biak Coucal Centropus chalybeus, Biak Scops Owl Otus beccarii, Biak Paradise Kingfisher Tanysiptera riedelii, Biak Lorikeet Trichoglossus rosenbergii, Biak Gerygone Gerygone hypoxantha, Biak Triller Lalage leucoptera, Biak Monarch Monarcha brehmii, Biak Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus misoriensis, and Biak White-eye Zosterops mysorensis, occur only on Biak-Supiori and nowhere else on Earth. Biak Megapode Megapodius geelvinkianus, Geelvink Imperial Pigeon Ducula geelvinkiana, Geelvink Pygmy Parrot Micropsitta geelvinkiana, Black-winged Lory Eos cyanogenia, Biak Black Flycatcher Myiagra atra, and Long-tailed Starling Aplonis magna are being shared with Numfor Island, which further boasts the single-island-endemic Numfor Paradise Kingfisher Tanysiptera carolinae and Numfor Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus maforensis. Only the highly mobile Eos ranges further to Meos Num Island due northwest of the large land-bridge island of Yapen. Additionally, another staggering 20, often morphologically highly distinctive, endemic subspecies exist on the islands.
Such an extraordinary high degree of endemism, both at the species and subspecies level resulted in Biak-Supiori being united with Numfor and Meos Num into an Endemic Bird Area: Geelvink Islands.
Geelvink endemic birds (17 species)
Biak Megapode Megapodius geelvinkianus
Restricted-range species (4 species)
White-bibbed Fruit Dove Ptilinopus rivoli
Long-tailed Honey Buzzard Henicopernis longicauda
Read on about our birding walk on Biak Island.
Read on about our short birding break to the Geelvink Islands.
Read on about our Best of West Papua birding expedition visiting Biak Island.
Browse our check-list of the birds of West Papua.