EDGE Community


Project information

[Project name/title]

Establishing a Conservation Base for Attenborough's Long-beaked Echidna



[Project description/overview]

To identify the conservation status and key threats facing Attenborough’s echidna so that appropriate conservation action can be taken.



Location:

Cyclops Mountains, Papua, Indonesia


Project type:
Conservation

Relevant EDGE species:
Attenborough’s Long-beaked Echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi)

Project members:
Carly Waterman




Relevant species
1. Attenborough’s Long-beaked Echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi) CR

Known from a single specimen collected in 1961, this species was believed extinct until the EDGE team uncovered evidence of its continued survival in 2007.

[Relevance description]
Species background

Long-beaked echidnas are the highest priority EDGE mammals. They belong to an ancient group of egg-laying mammals (monotremes) that coexisted with the dinosaurs in the Jurassic era some 160 million years ago. Only five species of monotreme survive today – the three species of long-beaked echidna (endemic to New Guinea), the short-beaked echidna (found in New Guinea and Australia) and the duck-billed platypus (Australia). Attenborough’s echidna is the smallest and most threatened of the three long-beaked echidna species. It is known from a single mountain peak in Papua (Indonesian New Guinea) and was thought to be extinct until its rediscovery by EDGE researchers in 2007.

 
Aims

To identify the conservation status and key threats facing Attenborough’s echidna so that appropriate conservation action can be taken.

 
Objectives
  • Undertaking  ecological surveys and interviewing local community members to assess the distribution, density and ecological requirements of Attenborough’s echidna as well as the impact of threats such as hunting and habitat loss
  • Building on the existing cultural significance of the species to generate support for long-beaked echidna conservation at the local, national and international level through holding awareness-raising workshops and producing educational and publicity materials (e.g. videos, blogs and leaflets)
  • Helping local communities to sustainably manage the wildlife and forests upon which they depend through supporting livelihood interventions such as agroforestry and alternative fuel sources
 
Future actions
  • Undertaking  ecological surveys and interviewing local community members to assess the distribution, density and ecological requirements of Attenborough’s echidna as well as the impact of threats such as hunting and habitat loss
  • Building on the existing cultural significance of the species to generate support for long-beaked echidna conservation at the local, national and international level through holding awareness-raising workshops and producing educational and publicity materials (e.g. videos, blogs and leaflets)
  • Helping local communities to sustainably manage the wildlife and forests upon which they depend through supporting livelihood interventions such as agroforestry and alternative fuel sources
 
Project members
Ms Carly Waterman : Project Leader

Carly is a Pangolin Technical Specialist at the Zoological Society of London, and the Programme Officer for the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group.

[Member role description]
[Title:] Image | Attenborough's long beaked echidna | © Hein van Grouw
[Image caption]
[Title:]
[Image caption]

A patch of alpine forest in Papua which is home to this special echidna.

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[Image caption]

View of the Cyclops Mountains amidst the clouds

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[Image caption]

Papua is also home to a huge variety of other wildlife such as several unique species of flower, such as the red rhododendron.