Hindenburg Wall, Papua New Guinea
From February 9 to March 7, 2013, GWC's Director of Global Biodiversity Exploration, Dr. Leeanne Alonso, explored the biodiversity of the remote Hindenburg Wall in the Star Mountains of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Dr. Alonso was part of an expedition team organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society and led by GWC Research Associate, Stephen Richards, of the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory of Australia.
The Hindenburg Wall, along with the Muller Range and the Nakanai Mountains of PNG (both explored by Dr. Alonso and her RAP teams in 2009), has been nominated as a World Heritage Site as part of “The Sublime Karsts of Papua New Guinea". The area is extremely steep and thus mostly uninhabited, is more pristine than virtually any other part of the country, and has extremely high rainfall.
Results from the Muller Range and Nakanai expeditions documented about 2000 species with over 350 of them new to science. The Hindenburg Wall is expected to contain similarly high levels of biodiversity and endemism. Data collected during this expedition will be used to support the nomination of the area as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.