Papua New Guinea still retians around 80% of its naturally occurring forests, from lowland rainforest, to high altitude cloud forest.  Like forests in much of the developing world, they are a significant resource for both local human populations and governments, and are under increasing threat.  Through a comprehensive survey being conducted ty the PNG Forest Authority and join funded by JICA and the FAO, with the support of a number of international organisations including UQ, the first national assessment is being made of biodiversity across PNGs forests.  This is a necessary first step towards creating a national conservation plan for these forests.

The primary aim of this PhD will be a comprehensive assessment of the biodiversity data that is collected in the national survey, with a focus on the vertebrate element.  Using modern methods to evaluate the raw data to develop a conservation framework for the PNG nation.  A successful plan cannot consider biodiversity conservation alone, and a secondary aim of this project will be to assess the impact on conservation goals of other priorities including social, economic and policy considerations.  Additionally, the unique challenges provided by PNGs political landscape and land-use arrangements, and their influence on any conservation plan will be evaluated.

Funding: APA (Australian Postgraduate Award)
Advisors: Dr Margaret Cook

Project members

Nick Leseberg

Nick Leseberg

PhD candidate