PAPUA NEW GUINEA, Torricelli Mountains, Sundaun Province - June 2006
Village chicken farming project in exchange for the establishment of a 37,065-acre forest conservation area to protect the Scotts Tree Kangaroo, and formalization of an existing hunting moratorium for the Golden-Mantled Tree Kangaroo
Scott’s Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus scottae), locally known as Tenkile, and the Golden-Mantled Tree Kangaroo (D. pulcherimus), locally known as Weimang, are found in the remote rainforest of the Torricelli Mountains in northwestern Papua New Guinea. The populations of Tenkile and Weimang could be as low as 100 individuals, making them two of the most endangered mammals in the world. In order to save the Tenkile and Weimang, the local people realize that they must be able to provide themselves with an alternative protein source. In exchange for support from Seacology for chicken farming, the villagers will sign a total hunting ban on all species for two years, which establishes a conservation area covering 37,065 acres. Local organization, the Tenkile Conservation Alliance, will assist the villagers over the next two to three years to turn this area into a long-term formal Conservation Area recognized under PNG law, a process which is already underway. *
UPDATE January 2007 - All documentation was returned to Seacology in October 2006. Plans for October 2006 through April 2007 include coordinating conservation area meetings and patrols and purchasing and transporting equipment to participating villages to build chicken coops. Purchasing and transporting poultry to the participating villages is scheduled for mid 2007 once all coop construction is completed.
UPDATE June 2007 - From October 2006 through April 2007 representatives from each clan of the 18 villages participating in the project met to discuss the conservation area and establish boundaries for the no-hunting zones. Materials for the chicken cages were purchased and are being distributed to each village by foot or by vehicle when road conditions permit. There has been a delay in purchasing chickens due to the decreased availability in the area caused by bird diseases. In spite of the delay the no-hunting restrictions are being observed. Livestock is expected to be available by June 2007. In the meantime, project leaders have provided a set of chickens they raised themselves to villages showing exceptional commitment and enthusiasm for the project.
UPDATE January 2009 - As of late June 2008 project leaders returned a final report with photos and financial reporting to field representative Helen Perks. A full supply of hens for each community was not complete at the time of reporting, and costs for transportation to/from village meetings expended the funds. As of November 2008 project leaders reported that conservation efforts continue to be strengthened and supported by the communities in the area.