Conservation Problem

The Huon peninsula's landscape is a mosaic of human settlements, grasslands, agricultural gardens, fringing reefs and rainforest and encompasses an uninhabited forested core conservation zone, gazetted as the “YUS Conservation Area”. This extensive forest is home to a rich faunal biodiversity, with 268 bird species including at least five endemic species and 44 mammal species, amonst which the endemic and endangered Matschie's Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei).


The main threats to endemic species are forest clearing and over-hunting, which are increasing as local human populations continue to rise. In many areas, there is an observed decrease in threatened species targeted by the project: in particular, the population of Matschie's Tree Kangaroos is now estimated to be fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, while the number of Western long-beaked Echidnas (Zaglossus bruijni) has decreased by over 80% over the last 10 years.

Project Activities

The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) has expanded from its initial species-specific conservation program to one that also employs skilled local landowners while improving their livelihoods. TKCP indeed aims to create a healthy community of people who have the ability to help conserve the unique wildlife found on the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea.




TKCP developed a pioneering land-use planning program, empowering local communities through local management groups who implement, monitor, and enforce the plans. Programs include a teacher scholarship program placing a dozen teachers in remote YUS schools with Government salaries; a YUS health immunization initiative; a coffee program that already has exported two premium, conservation coffee shipments to the United States; and a National model ecological monitoring program utilizing the country’s first Conservation Area Rangers (CA Rangers).

Project Outcomes

Desired outcomes include:


  1. A 5% increase in protected areas for targeted threatened species
  3. More sustainable terrestrial and marine resource management by local   people
  5. Better prices for conservation-dependent commodities, mainly through a 25% sales increase of premium conservation coffee. Such support of community  livelihoods will empower communities to protect the YUS CA ecosystem and the wildlife that uses it
  7. Developing model mechanisms for monitoring & reporting and communicating on globally threatened species internationally.

  • WPZ, Papua New Guinea
    Huon Peninsula's landscape
Superhero capabilities
Did You Know: Tree Kangaroos carry a unique cultural significance for the local indigenous people, providing an important food and protein source as well as cultural and ceremonial products. These monkey-like kangaroos have a special skill that helps them spend most of their time climbing and eating high up in the tree canopy : they can jump 60 feet to the ground without getting hurt!
  • WPZ, Papua New Guinea, Zaglossus bruijni
    Long-beaked Echidna
  • Coffee, WPZ, Papua New Guinea
    Premium Conservation-friendly Coffee, a source of livelihood promoted by the project.
Timmy Sowang, President YUS Community Based Organization
SOS Save Our Species, Tommy Sowang, WPZ,
All through Papua New Guinea, in every province, there is logging and mining. But we are the first Conservation Area. It is the people of YUS’s job to preserve the environment for their grandchildren so they can see with their naked eye and not just learn from stories in newspapers and magazines.
SOS - Save Our Species
>> A global coalition to conserve threatened species and their habitats