Yapen in Schouten Islands
|Location||Melanesia; South East Asia|
|Highest elevation||1,496 m (4,908 ft)|
Yapen (also Japen, Jobi) is an island of Papua (province), Indonesia. The Yapen Strait separates Yapen and the Biak Islands to the north. It is in Cenderawasih Bay off the north-western coast of the island of New Guinea. To the west is Mios Num Island across the Mios Num Strait, and to the east Kurudu Island. Off the southeast coast of Yapen are the Amboi Islands and to the southwest are the Kuran Islands. It is populated with communities of Yobi, Randowaya, Serui, and Ansus. Its highest point is 1,496 m.
First recorded sighting by Europeans is by Spanish navigator Álvaro de Saavedra in 1528 when trying to return from Tidore to New Spain. It was then charted as Isla de Oro (Golden Island in Spanish). In 1545 it was visited by Íñigo Órtiz de Retes on board of galleon San Juan.
The island has been designated the World Wildlife Fund Japen rain forests ecoregion for its unique bird life and flora. Two protected areas cover a third of the island, whose population is growing with subsequent clearance of forest for planting and firewood.
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