New species of mammal 'uncovered in Papua New Guinea' forest, scientists say

The small dog-sized dorcopsulus wallaby was discovered along with other unknown "bandicoots and rodents"

Australian scientists say they have uncovered a number of previously unknown mammal species in Papua New Guinea, including a new dog-sized wallaby.

After crowdfunding the money for the study’s expenses, Euan Ritchie, an ecologist and researcher at Deakin University in Melbourne, installed 40 camera traps in the Torricelli mountain range.

Nestled in the north-west of Papua New Guinea, the mountain range is home to some of the most endangered mammals in the world, including the Dendrolagus Scottae (Tenkile), which he says there’s “there's likely to be more than five times as many giant pandas than tenkiles in the world.”

While also capturing images of these critically endangered special, they also stumbled across what they say were previously unknown animals.

“We certainly got an image of what we think is a new species of sort of small kangaroo, dorcopsulus wallaby. Think small dog-size wallaby if you like,” Mr Ritchie told ABC.

“There's also things like bandicoots and rodents that don't appear to be in any of the books that we know about.”

The team will have to return to the area to catch the animals, take measurements and DNA samples – but the process will be a long one.

“There's a whole range, probably hundreds and hundreds of species, not just in mammals but the birds, the insects, all sorts of species that are probably unknown to western science,” he added.

“We've really got to preserve those habitats because they're really valuable.”

Mr Ritchie had partnered with the Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA) in the project, an organisation which aims to establish the mountain range as a conservation area to prevent “commercial logging and mining” as well as hunting of Tenkiles and Weimangs (Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroos) by villagers.

They currently have roughly 50 villages signed up to its hunting moratorium.

He confirmed to The Independent that the animals have not been formally classified yet.

“We will continue to survey the many unsurveyed mountain tops in the region, as well as repeat surveys of some through time to examine potential impacts of climate change.”

The researchers also managed to take pictures of the Hooded Pitohoui, "the only poisonous bird in the world. If you eat it or touch it you will react to the toxins in the skin of this bird but [it's] not life threatening,' Jim Thomas from the TCA said.

The Tenkile Tree Kangaroo numbered just 100 in 2003 - that has now doubled with the TCA's efforts, they say.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...