Flora & Fauna in Papua New Guinea
The country's pristine rainforest is home to many rare species of birds and insects, including the world’s largest butterfly, the Queen Alexandra Birdwing found in Oro Province. The wingspan of this giant insect reaches up to 30cm.
There are about 700 species of birds, including parrots, pigeons, hornbills (kokomos), cassowaries (PNG's largest bird), cockatoos and kingfishers, but the country is best known for its brilliantly coloured birds of paradise. Thirty-eight of the 43 known species are found here, including the rare blue and raggiana varieties, enticing birdwatchers from around the world.
Native mammals include bats and marsupials such as tree kangaroos, forest wallabies, echidnas (spiny anteaters) and bandicoots, as well as dolphins, whales and dugongs (sea cows).
The country is famous for its many beautiful orchids. More than 3000 species are unique to the country – over two thirds of the world's known species – and new varieties are still being discovered. The National Botanic Garden at Port Moresby has the largest collection of orchids in the Southern Hemisphere, with specimens collected from all over the different provinces.
National Botanic Garden, Port Moresby
This haven of greenery has a 2km boardwalk threading beneath a jungle canopy, and some excellent wildlife displays. A shade house in the shape of the country has plants from all the different regions. It’s located just beyond the University of Papua New Guinea on Waigani Drive.
Rainforest Habitat, Lae
In Morobe Province, the Rainforest Habitat is located next to the University of Technology at Lae. There is 3000sq metres of rainforest under a canopy, with a lake, raised walkways, semi-tame birds and beautiful flowers. You’ll find the largest variety of birds of paradise species kept anywhere in the world, together with other native wildlife such as tree kangaroos, parrots, cassowaries and the unique New Guinean long-nosed echidna.