Camera trap research led by the Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA), including 2010 Whitley Award winner, Mathew Akon, may have discovered a new species of forest wallaby in Papua New Guinea. Surveys taking place at the western end of the Torricelli Mountain Range between 2011 and 2012 captured several images of an unidentified wallaby in the forest.
With no-one on the team having seen the photographed species before, the images were sent to Australian mammalogist, Professor Tim Flannery, who identified the animal as a new species of Dorcopsulus (a small forest wallaby). To obtain formal identification, a live species must now be found so it can be properly described and named by scientists.
This discovery was made as part of the TCA’s work to survey the Critically Endangered Tenkile (or Scott’s Tree Kangaroo), and secure protection of its habitat – the Torricelli Mountain Range. After winning his Whitley Award in 2010 Mathew Akon of the TCA team has been working alongside local communities to propose a new 96,000 ha Conservation Area in Papua New Guinea’s Torricelli Mountain Range to PNG Government