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Ecological Study Along the Highlands Highway in Papua New Guinea

Journal: International Journal of Advanced engineering, Management and Science (Vol.8, No. 10)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 10-15

Keywords : Environmental impact; Highlands Highway; Papua New Guinea;

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This ecological survey carried out along the Highlands Highway (71 locations-bridges) between Erap Bridge in Morobe Province to Whagi Bridge, Western Highlands Province. Data and information collection involved physical site observations and informant interviews. The survey used the capture-release method for insects, invertebrates, fish, and plankton; flyover counts were used for birds and informant interviews for mammals and other animals of interest. Terrestrial ecosystem: Common fauna included invertebrates such as Eurema hecabe, Danaus plexippus, Plutella xylostella, and other types of butterflies, Anisoptera, Apis cerena, and black ants (Fomicidae). Vertebrates such as sparrows (Passeridae), willy wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), eagle (Hieraaetus weiskei), kingfisher (Alcedinidae), mountain cuscus (Phalanger carmelitae), tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) and Princess Stephanie's Astrapia (Astrapia. Stephaniae). Flora across the highlands province commonly appeared bamboo, casuarina oligodon (she-oak), Ficus dammaropsis, coffee, elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum), cow grass (Axonopus compressus), rain tree (Samanea saman), Piper adancum and banana. In contrast, common and significant flora along plain region included casuarina, pine, leucaena, bamboo, and other anthropogenic grasses, Piper adancum, sunflower (Helianthus annuus), Northofagus grandis, and Ficus. Aquatic ecosystem: Aquatic fauna along the highlands region included carp (Cyprinidae), tilapia (Oreochromis mossambica), juvenile fish, freshwater prawns (Palaemonidae), trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and catfish (Arius spp) while aquatic fauna of coastal province comprised of invertebrates like pond skaters, water beetle and tadpoles and invertebrates such as rainbow trout and tilapia. Aquatic flora was limited to green algae at a few locations in the highlands provinces where the water was stagnant or had human impacts, but it was primarily green and brown algae in the plain area. We also found Dendrolagus goodfellowii as an endangered species, while Phalanger carmelitae, Astrapia stephaniae, and Northofagus grandis are endemic but classified as the least concern. The findings indicated modification of habitats throughout the Highlands Highway. The absence of native and endemic species was also noted in most of the locations. Only six sites revealed some primary and secondary forests and vegetation.

Last modified: 2022-11-02 20:41:04