Covered in lowland tropical rainforest, Manus Island in northern Papua New Guinea is part of the East Melanesian Islands biodiversity hotspot.
With support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is coordinating participatory rural appraisal and rapid biodiversity assessments of Manus and Massau islands. The goal is to establish long-term land-use planning and sustainable natural resource use for the two islands.
During a recent expedition on Manus Island, WCS discovered a rare species of bat, as well as new species of plants, geckos and lizards. WCS also saw large populations of marine turtles, coconut crabs and fruit bats.
The project also aims to raise local communities' awareness about the degree of control they have over their environment, threats affecting their resources and the tools they have to ameliorate those threats.
Read more about the recent species' discoveries.