Thought for decades to be extinct in the wild, the New Guinea singing dog populations hang on to survival in the remote mountains and forests of New Guinea. They were last spotted in 2017 near the Grasberg gold and copper mine in West Papua.
This powerful raptor has unusual proportions with a large prominent head, a powerful large bill and large eyes with piercing brown or orange irises. Their robust and chesty build tapers down to extremely elongated legs in a brown-grey or orange colour. As Papuan eagles age, the colour of their eyes becomes more vivid, with one 30 year old eagle possessing red eyes.
Endemic to West Papua and Papua New Guinea, the Papuan eagle was once found on every part of the island, however their range has decreased rapidly due to deforestation for palm oil, timber and mining. Their main habitat is undisturbed tropical rainforests, monsoon scrub forests, dry woodlands and in extremely rare cases, forest edges and they are found at elevations of up to 3,200 – 3,700 metres.
Dr Sophie Chao is an environmental anthropologist and environmental humanities scholar interested in the intersections of capitalism, ecology, Indigeneity, health, and justice in the Pacific.
Palm Oil Detectives is honoured to interview to Dr Sophie Chao about her research into the impacts of palm oil on the daily lives of Marind people and other sentient beings in West Papua.
I wrote In the Shadow of the Palms because I wanted the world to understand how deforestation and industrial oil palm expansion are undermining Indigenous ways of being in West Papua.
The Issue For decades, investigative journalists have been exposing that illegal land grabbing from Indigenous peoples as a regular occurrence in West Papua, South and Central America, Africa and Asia. Indigenous people’s land is being forcibly (and often violently) taken from them by predatory palm oil companies. Major supermarket brands and also palm oil producersContinue reading “The Pro-Palm Oil Lobby Getting Caught Lying: Illegal Land Grabbing”
Seri’s Tree Kangaroo Dendrolagus stellarum Vulnerable Location: Papua New Guinea; West Papua The Seri’s Tree Kangaroo is a large tree kangaroo that needs primary upper montane tropical forests. This species is threatened by heavy hunting pressure, this includes hunting with dogs (trophy jaws were still very much in evidence in 2000; T. Flannery pers. comm.Continue reading “Seri’s Tree Kangaroo Dendrolagus stellarum”
Eastern Long-beaked Echidna Zaglossus bartoni Vulnerable Location: Papua New Guinea The Eastern Long-beaked Echidna have a large altitudinal range and correspondingly broad ecological scope. Across their entire range they have been recorded from near sea level to 4150 metres a.s.l., although regionally their altitudinal range may be more restricted. This echnidna species lives in lowlandContinue reading “Eastern Long-beaked Echidna Zaglossus bartoni”
Curious, gentle tree-dwelling macropods, Grizzled Tree kangaroos live in the lowland and mid-montane tropical forests of Papua New Guinea. They are found in both primary and degraded forests. The Grizzled Tree Kangaroo is threatened by heavy hunting for food by local people, and by habitat loss and degradation through conversion of forest to small-scale agricultural use, and industrial palm oil plantations.
Spectacled Flying Fox Pteropus conspicillatus Endangered Location: Papua New Guinea, Australia The Spectacled Flying Fox Pteropus conspicillatus, also known as the spectacled fruit bat, is a megabat that lives in Australia’s north-eastern regions of Queensland. They are also found in Papua New Guinea and on the offshore islands including Woodlark Island, Alcester Island, Kiriwina, andContinue reading “Spectacled Flying Fox Pteropus conspicillatus”
Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis Endangered Location: Papua New Guinea, Asia, SE Asia, Northern Australia The Far Eastern Curlew breeds on open mossy or transitional bogs, moss-lichen bogs and wet meadows, and on the swampy shores of small lakes and winters in Papua New Guinea; in the non-breeding season, this bird is essentially coastal, occurringContinue reading “Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis”
Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo Dendrolagus pulcherrimus Critically Endangered Locations: Papua New Guinea , West Papua (Indonesia) The Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo occurs in mid-montane rainforests. Otherwise, very little is known of its ecology and life history. Historically, the species has been highly threatened by hunting for food, and additionally by habitat loss through conversion of forest toContinue reading “Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo Dendrolagus pulcherrimus”