Hindenburg Wall

The Hindenburg Wall is a spectacular landform that has been described as a natural wonder of the world. Rather than a single structure, the Hindenburg Wall is a series of limestone escarpements and plateaus running some 50 km within the Star Mountains of Papua New Guinea’s Western province.  

The epic grandeur of the near vertical, often two kilometer high bluffs, and the possession of virtually undisturbed ecosysytems on its high plateaus have resulted in the wall being described as: “…a superlative natural phenomenon of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance, an outstanding example of a major stage of the earth history, an outstanding example of ecological processes, and among the most important natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity…” 

Initiatives

In 2013 WCS PNG, with financial support from the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Programme, undertook a rapid biological field survey of the flora and fauna in the area. These exploratory biological surveys resulted in a total of 1108 animal and plant species being documented of which at least 89 were known or suspected to be new to science. The survey drew substantial international media attention and demonstrated that the Hindenburg Wall area holds exceptional biodiversity values and harbours many of PNG’s elusive threatened species including echidnas, tree kangaroos, Papuan Eagle, Pesquet’s Parrot, Black Sicklebill, as well as a diverse rodent fauna with giant rat species. 

Approach

Currently, WCS PNG is working in conjunction with the PNG Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) in advancing the possibility of a Conservation Area with a view to UNESCO World Heritage Status and as such will be contingent on the support of the local indigenous people.

Nathan Whitmore
Scientific Support Officer

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