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Endemic Marine Species of the Bird’s Head Seascape
The Bird’s Head Seascape of West Papua is not only the epicenter of marine biodiversity, it also appears to function as a “species factory”, as evidenced by the large number of reef fishes and other fauna known only from this area. Currently, there are at least 35 coral reef fish species believed to be endemic to the Bird’s Head, with an additional 5 to 40 endemic coral species and 8 endemic mantis shrimp. Below we provide descriptions of a number of these endemic species, as well as rare fish species that are known only from the Bird’s Head and specific neighboring regions of northeastern Indonesia or Papua New Guinea.