Zoos Victoria is partnering with Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, USA, Papua New Guinea communities and the Papua New Guinea Government to support the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program.
The community-based recovery program is based on the remote Huon Peninsula on the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea, the only place in the world where the Matschie’s Tree-kangaroo is found. This species of tree-kangaroo has suffered a marked decline from hunting and habitat loss since documentation first began in 1996 and the species is currently classified as Endangered on the IUCN Redlist.
The forests of the island of New Guinea comprise the world’s third largest area of remaining tropical forest and are identified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a biodiversity hotspot, rich in unique flora and fauna that requires protection.
The country’s wildlife and its people are facing growing threats from unregulated development particularly mining and logging; high levels of poverty; limited access to health and education; and the absence of sustainable alternative incomes .
The Tree-kangaroo Conservation Program combines local community development with biodiversity conservation. Local communities have partnered with the program to establish PNG’s first ever Conservation Area called YUS – named after the three local communities (Yopno, Uruwa and Som) working together to protect the land and wildlife including the prevention of further decline of the Matchie’s Tree-kangaroo.
The program combines local community development with biodiversity conservation in order to protect this precious national species from further decline. The Recovery Program has created Conservation Areas to secure long-term survival of the tree-kangaroo and other local wildlife.
Zoos Victoria has partnered with the Tree-kangaroo Conservation Program helping fund the YUS Conservation Coffee Project as a key element of the Community Livelihoods Program. This eco-social project allows farmers to access sustainable agricultural projects that benefit both wildlife and people by securing land and generating a sustainable income for families; increasing their food security and access to health and education services. The program also helps emphasise the relationship between conservation coffee and wildlife conservation for local community members.
More coffee farmer’s means more protected land and increased protection for populations of tree-kangaroos, cassowaries, cuscus and many other species.
PNG Departments of Environment & Conservation, and National Planning & Monitoring
Yopno, Uruwa and Som communities