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Papeno’o River, Tahiti, French Polynesia

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Paraguay, Tahiti, Papeno'o

The Papeno’o River is a small hill stream in northern part of island Tahiti, in French Polynesia.

The river forms on the moutain Mont Orohena and ends in the Pacific Ocean. This fast flowing volcanic river is home for different spieces of Sicydiinae subfamily.

Former name was Vaituaru, meaning: “the stream that destroys everything in its path”. This name reffers to spring season, when snow from moutains melts and the river overflows its banks.

Submitted by
Matěj Novák
Approved by
Heok Hee Ng & Greg Martin
GPS
-17.5805454, -149.4240112
Geographical region
South America
Drainage Basin
North Coast
River catchment
Papeno'o River
Water body type
Hill streams
Water body name
Papeno'o River
Water body part
Rapids
Water body course
Upper course
Water body: tributary of
Hill streams
Tributary name
Papeno'o River

Videos above and below water

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
High
Concentration of sediments
Low
Water temperature
26,4 °C
Water flow/curent
Strong

Chemical parameters

pH
7.0
Conductivity
180
GH
90 mg/l
KH
Dissolved Oxygen
11 %

Substrate in nature

Sand
Beige
Pebble/Gravel
Black
Stone
Black
Stone form
Roundish
Silt/Mud
None
Leaves
Few
Driftwood
Few
Submerged terrestrial vegetation
Yes

Aquatic Biotope

Date of collecting
July, 2018
Collecting area
Shore line
Water depth
0,5m
Air temperature
27 °C
Sunlight
Full sun

Environment

Environment
Untouched
Surrounding area

Papeno’o Valley is largest valley in Tahiti, French Polynesia. It gose down from the centre of island and ends north in Pacific Ocean. Main river, Papeno’o flows from Mont Orohena (highest moutain on Tahiti).

Rivers flows down the hilly rainforest full of various tropical trees and plants. It has over 35 tributaries and many waterfalls. Number tributaries gives valley name Ha’apai’ano’o, “the gathering of all waters”.

Elevation goes from over 2.200. to 0,6m what causes high water flow. Unexpected thunderstorms above the moutains in centere of Pacific Ocean causing quick floods and river can be very dangerous.

Underwater landscape

The watercourse is lined with rocky shore and rainforest. Roots of trees and plants growing near the water grow through shore and make only vegetation and hiding spots in river trough.

As mentioned river is rocky, filled with black or dark gray boulders and pebbles overgrown by algae which is main source of food for fresh water gobies. Substrate is vulcanic source. That’s mean it is very light and and easily carried by the current.

Driftwood and leaves can be found in slow flowing lagoons or stuck under boulders. Behind big boulders where the current is slow can be spoted fine sediment. This sediment contains micro-organisms which is another form of food important for fresh water gobies.

Fishlist:

  • Stiphodon elegans (Oxudercidae)
  • Sicyopterus pugnans var. Blue (Oxudercidae)
  • Sicyopterus pugnans var. Orange (Oxudercidae)
  • Anguilla megastoma (Anguilliformes)
  • Sicyopterus lagocephalus (Oxudercidae)

Molluscs:

  • Clithon corona (Neritidae)
  • Nereina punctulata (Neritidae)

Crustaceans:

  • Macrobrachium sp. (Palaemonida)
Threats to ecology

Rivers of Papeno’o Valley have historicaly great imapct on people of Tahiti. This valley is know for locals by name Te Mano Rahi (the 10.000 warriors) because for several centuries, it was a living space of great Tahitian chiefdoms.

River basin provides home for many beautiful fishes and water creatures, who needs acces to salt water due to reproduction. Also is main saurce of water and food for almost 100 of birds.

Riparian zone

Trees near the aquatic habitat
Many -