This is a website dedicated to the mammals found throughout the Papuan region, which is not only the largest and highest tropical Island in the world but also hosting an astonishing degree of biological and ecological richness with habitats ranging from steamy lowland swamp forests to the alpine grassland of the mighty Snow Mountains, the highest peaks between the Himalayas and the Andes. This is one of the most geology and biologically complex regions on earth. This is an land full of mysteries, and indeed, Europeans first became aware of it's existence as long ago as 1526 when a Portuguese navigator by the name of Jorge de Meneses sighted it's shores and named it Papua (meaning the man with frizzy hair in Malay), yet today 385 years later large parts of this fascinating Island remains virtually unexplored and considerable parts of it's biodiversity remains to be properly described, which is especially true when it comes to the mammalian fauna. The Papuan region is home to an immense biodiversity currently containing between 5 and 10% of the total species on the planet.
As of January 2013 no less than 356 species of mammals had been recorded from the Papuan region (see our Complete checklist here), with a large percentage of them (around 85%) being either endemics or near-endemics. As our knowledge concerning many of the unique mammals found in the Papuan region improves by each year, the number of mammals known from the region steadily increases.
We have regretted the absence of an up-to-date website/check-list to the mammals of the Papuan region and have without any luck sought an easily referenced record of mammalian accounts, recent and potential taxonomic updates, conservation issues as well as general news relating to mammals in the region . There is a number of monographs covering the mammalian fauna of the region which does give an excellent overview with regards to mammalian classification (Laurie and Hill, 1954; Flannery, 1990, 1995ab; Bonaccorso, 1998). Though these are unfortunately getting out-of-date especially as the knowledge concerning many of the mammals in the Papuan region has considerably improved in the last 10 years alone. We are positive that, given time, this website will cover all aspects of Papuan mammals and tell the story of their fascinating history.