At around 70,000 ha the Great Central Forest of Manus Island represents the largest remaining patch of intact forest in the Admiralty Islands. The forest is home to many species found nowhere else including: the Admiralty cuscus, the Bumblebee gecko, the Superb Pita, numerous species of frog, and the Manus melomys. New species are still being uncovered on Manus Island with relative regularity, such as the Detained rat, which was only described by scientists in 2016. But just as the integrity of the Great Central Forest is important for the wildlife, so it is for the forest communities. Locals recognise the value of the forest in providing their basic needs: housing materials, medicine, drinkable water, food, and keeping their coral reefs healthy.
Commercial logging operations represent the most major threat to the Great Central Forest. WCS, together with various partners, is working with local communities interested in conserving their forests to establish community conservation areas and to Improve community livelihoods through increased income generation from sustainable community-based vanilla production.