Indonesia: Raja Ampat & Asmat Villages

The Megapodes of Tsoi Lik, Papua New Guinea

Zegrahm Contributor|June 4, 2014|Blog Post

The island and people of Tsoi Lik have always held a special place in the hearts of Zegrahm’s cofounders and travelers.

It all began on a visit over 25 years ago. While exploring the island, Zegrahm cofounder, Werner Zehnder, and fellow travelers were fascinated by the population of indigenous megapodes—chicken-like, incubator birds with small heads and large feet. Unfortunately, the megapodes were severely threatened at the time so the team organized a sizable contribution to be donated in hopes of preserving these special birds. Today, the population is not only thriving, but the community is also sustainably harvesting the megapode eggs to provide residents with much-needed protein.

While our visits to the island in the years since have continued to bring awareness to this rare avian population, our 2013 visit helped to resolve a dire problem for Tsoi Lik. We were shocked to see that a recent cyclone had washed away one of the main cisterns on the island and damaged others in the community. The islanders were reduced to obtaining water by lowering plastic containers into fissures in the coral, most often only capturing brackish water for their needs. The community’s supply of fresh drinking water was radically diminished. And so an idea was born! Joining forces, Zegrahm guests raised $3,500 to purchase two brand new cisterns. Returning this past March, nearly a year later, we were able to celebrate the delivery of the new water tanks and express our thanks to our travelers who championed this undertaking with their financial contributions.

We look forward to visiting our friends on Tsoi Lik in the coming years and observing their ongoing conservation efforts. And, we salute all our travelers over the past 25 years who have helped contribute to their ongoing success.


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