Papau New Guinea


Most of Papua New Guinea, an independent member of the British Commonwealth, is a mosaic of different kinds of rainforest, from the montane forests of the Central Range, northern New Guinea and the Huon peninsula to the lowland rainforests of southern New Guinea, New Ireland, New Britain, the Louisiade Archipelago and the Admiralty Islands. However these forests are being swiftly depleted; a quarter were damaged or destroyed between 1972 and 2002. One species of Nothofagus, N. nuda is known from a single site near the Tauri River. The klinki pine, Araucaria hunsteinii, at 90m tall the tallest tree in Malesia, is now being grown in plantations.
In the Central Range, the backbone of the whole island of New Guinea, the extreme ruggedess of the terrain has resulted in extraordinary levels of endemism; neighbouring localities can display very diffierent plant and animal assemblages. In 2009 a team of scientists and video cameramen penetrated the crater of the extinct volcano Mt Bosavi where they discovered more more than 40 previously undescribed species, including 16 frogs, at least 3 fish, several insects and spiders, a bat, and a giant woolly rat.

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