Saving biodiversity icon

Saving Biodiversity

The hunting moratorium has lead to local people taking into consideration all biodiversity. Some frog species and the Victoria’s Crowned Pigeon were considered to be locally extinct. People agreed to no longer hunt any species in designated “no-go” zones to protect all species of fauna and flora. This was in line with the cultural practice of “ples masalai” respecting spiritual and ancestral places.

We have established designated hunting and non hunting zones with the villages we work with to protect all biodiversity.

Component 1:

Raise awareness throughout rainforest communities of the significance of their biodiversity to engender support for its conservation.

Conservation Education Programs

TCA’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Jean Thomas, has been primarily responsible for developing and implementing TCA’s training programs. She has developed programs to raise awareness of conservation throughout the Torricelli Mountain Range including a school education program, drama program and puppet show. The aim of TCA’s education programs are to raise awareness of Tenkile, the Wiemang and all biodiversity of the Torricelli Mountain Range Conservation Area (TMRCA) and help develop skills and knowledge at the local level that will enable its protection.

During village visits Jean conducted drama education programs in each village – 2003-2011. It has proven to be one of the most powerful education tools conducted by TCA. The songs recorded from this program have been incorporated in the TCA radio program and documentary ‘Into the Jungle’. They have helped to empower people to protect their natural resources. Jean has also conducted nutrition and cooking lessons for local women to help encourage women to make more informed choices about their eating habits for themselves and their children.

TCA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jim Thomas, has conducted Rainforest, Biodiversity, Distance Sampling, Camera Trapping and Carbon  training with committee members, staff and village representatives. These training programs were often a peer education program to transfer scientific knowledge and empower village communities. Village representatives and TCA staff were trained and then peer educated the members of their own communities.

Download the Rainforest training manual here.

Download the Biodiversity training manual here.

Component 2:

Expand current research to establish a platform for broader long-term biodiversity studies in the Torricelli Mountain Range Conservation Area (TMRCA).

Current Research

Activities include working with scientists in other areas such as anthropology, biodiversity camera trapping, orchids, climate change, sharing information and specimens and any other research as it becomes available.

Research – Camera Traps

Camera traps have opened up doors of ideas because they have recorded many mammal and bird species – download Camera Trapping Paper (pdf, 5100kbs). They are are great tool for recording biodiversity and a clear indicator of what is present and at what levels.

TCA has been using camera traps since 2011 and now has 50 Reconyx Camera traps. TCA’s survey methods (refer to Camera Trapping Paper – pdf, 5100kbs) have gained more information on the biodiversity, species distribution and limitations and climate change.

Results have shown species ranging from rats, birds, lizards, frogs, bats and of the three Tree Kangaroos. We also know of at least three potentially new mammal species.

We aim to continue camera trapping as funding permits. Each field trip requires 12 people to set the traps at the research site and then to retrieve them. Costs for field trips vary depending on transport but an average of K25,000 ($10,000 US) is required each year to conduct the fieldwork required. If you want to assist TCA continue this work, click here.

TCA formed a partnership with Canberra University to implement an Orchid survey to analyse the traditional knowledge of orchids, their value and potential use as a flagship species for conservation.

Research – Biodiversity Surveys

TCA is now using different mobile applications to record biodiversity. Many TCA staff have been issued with Smart phones to facilitate projects and improve communications.

One of them is the Lukim Gather smart phone app. and another is called SMART – these are presently being used by TCA staff.

TCA Research Officers and Rangers use the Cybertracker phone app to record biodiversity records during their patrols throughout the Torricelli Mountain Range Conservation Area (TMRCA). Data from the Cybertracker app is downloaded onto the computer program ‘SMART’, which stands for Spatial Monitoring And Reporting Tool.  This software is used to analyse the data and produce reports. Each biodiversity record or photo taken by the Research Officers and Rangers is geo referenced, building an on-going database of what species are present in the area and where they are found.

The tool also helps TCA monitor TCA staff movements tracking and logging their distance travelled and hours spent in the field improving our internal Governance and transparency

Component 3:

Raise awareness amongst local schools of the significance of their biodiversity to engender support for its conservation.

Major activities include a school fee competition and capacity building of teachers to deliver science and conservation education.

Local schools have received assistance in terms of materials, school fees and education programs from TCA for many years. Links with schools in Australia have been established in the past with exchanges in the form of conservation story books, pen pals and posters.

TCA’s COO Jean Thomas has written a teacher training manual that comprises of four units of work based on the PNG science and social science curriculum. The manual helps teachers better understand PNG fauna and conservation issues so they can incorporate this into their lessons. The lessons are activity based and use local the species, Tenkile and Weimang, as examples for conservation. Jean has conducted the teacher training course to over 30 teachers representing 16 schools – 2005-2007.
Download the Teacher training manual here.

If you would like TCA to visit your school and conduct a school program or conduct a teacher training program please contact us.

To help fund the development of this important training program, click here.

School fee Competition

Professor Tim Flannery, TCA Patron, helped TCA initiate a school fee competition throughout the project area since 2010. With his and other kind donations to TCA every year, we are able to keep children in school up to year 8. Each year TCA asks all year 7 students, within the project area, to enter a piece of writing relating to a specific ‘environmental’ topic. The sponsors are then asked to read the entrants responses and choose a male and female winner. These students have their school fees paid for the following year and their school receives K500 worth of materials. If you would like to be a part of the school fee competition click here to make a contribution.

All extra contributions to this project will go towards a scholarship fund which will pay for students to attend year 11 and 12 at St Ignatius High School in Aitape.

Contact us to see how your school can become involved with TCA school program.

Subscribe to our mailing list

There are many valuable ways in which you can contribute to the Tenkile Conservation Alliance’s vision – which is, the people of PNG value and protect their natural resources, their community and their culture.
Click 'Contribute' button above to learn more.

Subscribe to our mailing list

There are many valuable ways in which you can contribute to the Tenkile Conservation Alliance’s vision – which is, the people of PNG value and protect their natural resources, their community and their culture.
Click 'Contribute' button below to learn more.

Our Partners

Tenkile Conservation Alliance is proudly supported by:

Global Environment Facility GEF logo
CEPA logo
UNDPlo
European Union logo
BirdLife logo
Perth Zoo logo
IUCN - logo

The content of this website does not reflect the views of the European Union or any other TCA partner.