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The Fauna of New Guinea: Status, Threats

One of the world’s richest and most distinctive faunas, not yet fully known but already under pressure from development and habitat destruction

Document created 18 August 2009 , last updated 11 October 2010

 
In 2009, more than 200 yet unknown species were discovered in poorly-known areas of Papua New Guinea (see Conservation International: “Incredible array of new species found in remote Papua New Guinea”; 6 Oct 10, link below).

New Guinea is considered a biodiversity hotspot, having close to 10% of the world’s vertebrates on 1% of the total landmass. The island’s fauna is also very different from what is found in surrounding islands. Tree kangaroos and birds of paradise are just two among many groups (see WWF: “New Guinea Animals and Plants”, link below).

New Guinea’s fauna now faces growing threats, from logging, mining, agricultural plantations and over-use of species (see WWF as above, also Mongabay: "Indonesia to target New Guinea for agricultural expansion", 22 Feb 10, and “World's rarest tree kangaroo gets help from those who once hunted it”, 17 Aug 09, link below).

Links to external websites:

[wb1]  Mongabay - 17 Aug 09 - World's rarest tree kangaroo gets help from those who once hunted it - An interview with Jim and Jean Thomas of the Tenkile Conservation Alliance

[wb2]  Conservation International - 6 Oct 10 - INCREDIBLE ARRAY OF NEW SPECIES FOUND IN REMOTE PAPUA NEW GUINEA - NEW FROGS, SPIDERS, RODENTS & OTHER CRITTERS AMONG 200 NEW SPECIES DISCOVERED

[wb3]  WWF - Click to visit webpage: "New Guinea Animals and Plants"

[wb4]  Mongabay - 22 Feb 10 - Indonesia to target New Guinea for agricultural expansion - - Indonesia will target its last frontier — its territory on New Guinea — as it seeks to become a major agricultural exporter, reports the AFP

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