West Papua 2024 Trip Report

Carlos Bocos has just returned from a West Papua mammal tour that he ran with Royle Safaris following in the footsteps of this tour he led last year. This one sounds as mega as last year’s and perhaps even more exhausting. But well worth the blood, sweat and tears (and never ending aubergines) for a mammal list like this.

Carlos and I are delighted to know that so many people have visited Klalik Village since we were there. Our first trip report seems to have generated 80+ visitors in just 12 months. The local community have gotten behind conservation and are – rightly – very proud of the echidnas and other wildlife around their village. They are even selling echidna tee shirts! It is a clear demonstration of the conservation benefits that can come from mammalwatching.

Having said that not all tourism is always good. Carlos was concerned to hear that some of the visitors may have been getting a little over enthusiastic in their efforts to get super close up pictures of the critically endangered Echidna. I imagine everyone reading this knows this already, but if you know others who are going please remind them how important it is not to stress these animals for the sake of a a better picture. Maybe you can even send them the mammalwatching code of conduct.

This is one of the rarest mammals on the planet and it is in everyone’s interest to try to maximise the good that comes from ecotourism and minimise the harm. Hope I don’t sound too preachy …. but those echidnas have a very special place in my heart!



West Papua 2024

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Jon Hall

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