Huon Peninsula

Last updated
Huon Peninsula seen from space (false color) Huon Peninsula NASA.jpg
Huon Peninsula seen from space (false color)

Huon Peninsula is a large rugged peninsula on the island of New Guinea in Morobe Province, eastern Papua New Guinea. It is named after French explorer Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec. The peninsula is dominated by the steep Saruwaged and Finisterre and Cromwell Mountains. The nearest large town is the Morobe provincial capital Lae to the south, while settlements on the north coast include the former German town of Finschhafen, the district capital of Wasu, Malalamai and Saidor with its World War II era Saidor Airport.

New Guinea Island in the Pacific Ocean

New Guinea is a large island separated by a shallow sea from the rest of the Australian continent. It is the world's second-largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 785,753 km2 (303,381 sq mi), and the largest wholly or partly within the Southern Hemisphere and Oceania.

Morobe Province Place in Papua New Guinea

Morobe Province is a province on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. The provincial capital, and largest city, is Lae. The province covers 33,705 km², with a population of 674,810, and since the division of Southern Highlands Province in May 2012 it is the most populous province. It includes the Huon Peninsula, the Markham River, and delta, and coastal territories along the Huon Gulf. The province has nine administrative districts, and 101 languages are spoken, including Kâte and Yabim. English and Tok Pisin are common languages in the urban areas, and in some areas forms of Pidgin German are mixed with the native language.

Papua New Guinea constitutional monarchy in Oceania

Papua New Guinea, officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Contents

The area was the site of the Huon Peninsula campaign of World War II, in 1943-44 as Japanese troops retreating from Lae fought their way over the Finisterre Mountains to Madang on the north coast.

Huon Peninsula campaign

The Huon Peninsula campaign was a series of battles fought in north-eastern Papua New Guinea in 1943–1944 during the Second World War. The campaign formed the initial part of an offensive that the Allies launched in the Pacific in late 1943 and resulted in the Japanese being pushed north from Lae to Sio on the northern coast of New Guinea over the course of a four-month period. For the Australians, a significant advantage was gained through the technological edge that Allied industry had achieved over the Japanese by this phase of the war, while the Japanese were hampered by a lack of supplies and reinforcements due to Allied interdiction efforts at sea and in the air.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Madang Town in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea

Madang(old German name: Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen) is the capital of Madang Province and is a town with a population of 27,420 on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. It was first settled by the Germans in the 19th century.

Flora and fauna

The rainforests that cover these remote mountains provide habitats for many birds and animals and have been designated the Huon Peninsula Montane Rain Forests ecoregion. The rainforest of the hillsides consists of shorter trees and more herbs than you would find in lowland rainforests around the world, with predominant species of tree including Pometia , Canarium , Anisoptera , Cryptocarya laurels, and Terminalia , while the higher slopes have thicker forests of yet smaller trees and the higher slopes of the Cromwell Range in particular hold the best-preserved large forest of Dacrydium conifers in the southern hemisphere.

Ecoregion Ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion

An ecoregion is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than an ecozone. All three of these are either less or greater than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation.

<i>Canarium</i> genus of trees in the family Burseraceae

Canarium is a genus of about 100 species of tropical and subtropical trees, in the family Burseraceae. They grow naturally across tropical Africa, south and southeast Asia, Indochina, Malesia, Australia and western Pacific Islands; including from southern Nigeria east to Madagascar, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and India; from Burma, Malaysia and Thailand through the Malay Peninsula and Vietnam to south China, Taiwan and the Philippines; through Borneo, Indonesia, Timor and New Guinea, through to the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Palau.

<i>Anisoptera</i> (plant) genus of plants

Anisoptera is a genus of plants in the Dipterocarpaceae family. The name Anisoptera is derived from Greek and describes the unequal fruit calyx lobes. It contains ten species distributed from Chittagong (Bangladesh) to New Guinea. Eight out of the ten species are currently listed on the IUCN redlist. Of these, four species are listed as critically endangered and the other four as endangered. The main threat is habitat loss. The timber is a light hardwood.

Mammals indigenous to the Huon region include the endangered Matschie's tree-kangaroo, while the birds include many of typical Australasian families such as bowerbirds, Australian robins, honeyeaters (including the endemic spangled honeyeater) and birds of paradise (including the endemic Huon astrapia). There are also endemic butterflies. Although some logging has taken place, the forests of the Huon Peninsula mountains are mostly undisturbed. [1]

Matschies tree-kangaroo species of mammal

Matschie's tree-kangaroo, also known as the Huon tree-kangaroo is a tree-kangaroo native to the Huon Peninsula of northeastern New Guinea island, within the nation of Papua New Guinea.

Australasia region of Oceania

Australasia comprises Australia, New Zealand, and some neighbouring islands. It is used in a number of different contexts including geopolitically, physiographically, and ecologically where the term covers several slightly different but related regions.

Bowerbird family of birds

Bowerbirds make up the bird family Ptilonorhynchidae. They are renowned for their unique courtship behaviour, where males build a structure and decorate it with sticks and brightly coloured objects in an attempt to attract a mate.

Conservation

The raised beach coastal terraces of Huon were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on June 6, 2006 in the Mixed (Cultural + Natural) category. [2]

Raised beach A beach or wave-cut platform raised above the shoreline by a relative fall in the sea level

A raised beach, coastal terrace, or perched coastline is a relatively flat, horizontal or gently inclined surface of marine origin, mostly an old abrasion platform which has been lifted out of the sphere of wave activity. Thus, it lies above or under the current sea level, depending on the time of its formation. It is bounded by a steeper ascending slope on the landward side and a steeper descending slope on the seaward side. Due to its generally flat shape it is often used for anthropogenic structures such as settlements and infrastructure.

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

In 2009 the YUS Conservation Area was established in the northern part of the peninsula. YUS stretches over 760 km² and includes the three rivers, Yopno, Uruwa and Som, for which it was named. [3]

YUS Conservation Area

YUS Conservation Area is a protected area on the Huon Peninsula, Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea. It was established in 2009 as Papua New Guinea's first conservation area, and named after the Yopno, Uruwa and Som rivers that flow through it. The 760 km² area of tropical forests is stretching from coral reefs off the northern coast to the 4,000-metre peaks of the western Saruwaged Mountains. It is a critical habitat for the endangered endemic Matschie's tree-kangaroo.

Related Research Articles

Geography of Papua New Guinea

The geography of Papua New Guinea describes the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, the islands of New Ireland, New Britain and Bougainville, and smaller nearby islands. Together these make up the nation of Papua New Guinea in tropical Oceania, located in the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Lorentz National Park Indonesian national park

Lorentz National Park is located in Papua, Indonesia formerly known as Irian Jaya. With an area of 25,056 km2 (9,674 mi2), it is the largest national park in South-East Asia. In 1999 Lorentz was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Litoria singadanae is a species of small green tree frogs reaching 35mm in length. It has long back legs, extensive webbing on the fingers and a prominent tympanum.

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve nature reserve in Guinea

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is a protected area and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in both Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire, extending over a total of area of 17,540 hectares, with 12,540 hectares in Guinea, and 5,000 hectares in Côte d'Ivoire. The reserve covers significant portions of the Nimba Range, a geographically unique area with unusually rich flora and fauna, including exceptional numbers of single-site endemic species, such as viviparous toads, and horseshoe bats. Its highest peak is Mount Richard-Molard at 1,752 m (5,750 ft), which is the highest peak of both countries.

Huon Gulf gulf in Papua New Guinea

Huon Gulf is a large gulf in eastern Papua New Guinea, at 7.0°S 147.45°E. It is bordered by Huon Peninsula in the north. Both are named after French explorer Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec. Huon Gulf is a part of the Solomon Sea. Lae, capital of the Morobe Province is located on the northern coast of the gulf.

Torricelli Mountains mountain in Papua New Guinea


The Torricelli Mountains are a mountain range in Sandaun Province, north-western Papua New Guinea. The highest peak in the range is Mount Sulen at 1650 meters. The Bewani Mountains are located to the west, and the Prince Alexander Mountains are located to the east. To the north, the mountains slope down to the Pacific Ocean, and to the south lies the basin of the Sepik River.

Conservation in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea together with the West Papua region of Indonesia make up a major tropical wilderness area that still contains 5% of the original and untouched tropical high-biodiversity terrestrial ecosystems. PNG in itself contains over 5% of the world's biodiversity in less than 1% of the world's total land area. The flora of New Guinea is unique because it has two sources of origin. The Gondwana flora from the south and flora with Asian origin from the west, as a result New Guinea shares major family and genera with Australia and the East Asia, but is rich in local endemic species. The endemicity is a result of mountainous isolation, topographic and soil habitat heterogeneity, high forest disturbance rates and abundant aseasonal rainfall year-round. PNG boasts some 15-21,000 higher plants, 3,000 species of orchids, 800 species of coral, 600 species of fish, 250 species of mammals and 760 species of birds and 8 species of tree-kangaroos out of which 84 genera of animals are endemic. Ecosystems range from lowland forests to montane forests, alpine flora down to coastal areas which contains some of the most extensive pristine mangrove areas in the world. Much of this biodiversity has remained intact for thousands of years because the ruggedness of the terrain made the interior lands inaccessible; furthermore low population density and restrictions on the effectiveness of traditional tools, ensured that these biodiversity was never overexploited.

Saruwaged Range mountain range

The Saruwaged Range is a mountain range on the Huon Peninsula in Morobe Province, north-eastern Papua New Guinea. The range is dominated by the Sarawaget Massif which is capped by the two peaks of Mount Bangeta and Mount Sarawaged, with given 4,121 m elevation is SRTM compatible.

The Huon melidectes or Huon honeyeater is a species of bird in the Meliphagidae family. It is endemic to Papua New Guinea.

White-rumped robin species of bird

The white-rumped robin is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae. It is found in New Guinea. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Black-throated robin species of bird

The black-throated robin is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae. It is found on the island of New Guinea. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests at 1,150–2,750 metres above sea-level.

New Guinea Highlands Natural region in New Guinea

The New Guinea Highlands, also known as the Central Range or Central Cordillera, are a chain of mountain ranges and intermountain river valleys, many of which support thriving agricultural communities, on the large island of New Guinea. The highlands run generally east-west the length of the island, which is divided politically between Indonesia in the west and Papua New Guinea in the east.

The Northern New Guinea lowland rain and freshwater swamp forests is a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of northern New Guinea.

The Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests ecoregion, of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Biome, are in Afromontane habitats in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea of Africa.

Hylophorbus rainerguentheri is a frog species in the family Microhylidae. It is endemic to Papua New Guinea and only known from the Huon Peninsula in the Morobe Province. The specific name rainerguentheri honours Rainer Günther, a German herpetologist from the Natural History Museum, Berlin. Common name Huon Mawatta frog has been coined for this species.

New Guinea, lying within the tropics and with extensive mountain areas, comprises a wide range of ecoregions. These include rainforests, grasslands and mangrove.

Nimba Range

The Nimba Range forms part of the southern extent of the Guinea Highlands. The highest peak is Mount Richard-Molard on the border of Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea, at 1,752 m (5,750 ft). "Mount Nimba" may refer either to Mount Richard-Molard or to the entire range. Other peaks include Grand Rochers at 1694 m (5558 ft), Mont Sempéré at 1682 m (5518 ft), Mont Piérré Richaud at 1670 m (5479 ft), Mont Tô at 1675 m (5495 ft), and Mont LeClerc 1577 m (5174 ft), all of them are located in Guinea. Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve of Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire covers significant portions of the Nimba Range.

References

  1. "Huon Peninsula montane rain forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
  2. Houn Terraces - Stairway to the Past - UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Retrieved 2009-03-03.
  3. Conservation International, retrieved 19 May 2010

Further reading

Coordinates: 6°25′00″S147°30′00″E / 6.416667°S 147.5°E / -6.416667; 147.5