Ornithological survey of the mountains of the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea

New Guinea is justly famed for its endemic avian radiations, best exemplified by the spectacular birds of paradise (Frith & Beehler 1998, Laman & Scholes 2012). Diversification of New Guinean bird lineages has been shaped by the island’s geography, particularly the location and aspect of its mountain cordilleras (Diamond 1972, 1985, Heads 2002).

New Guinea’s highest and most extensive mountains are the Central Ranges, which form a continuous montane spine that stretches north-west–south-east along nearly the entire island. In addition, New Guinea has 19 outlying mountain ranges that vary in size and distance from the Central Ranges (Diamond 1985). New Guinea’s mountains constitute a classic study system in island biogeography, and comparative study of avian distributions on the Central Ranges and outlying ranges has been used to infer historical patterns of speciation and community assembly (Diamond 1972, 1973)

Figure 1. Map of New Guinea showing the location of the Huon Peninsula in relation to the Central Ranges and Adelbert Mountains. Field work took place within the YUS Conservation Area (YUS CA), in the Saruwaged Range of the Huon Peninsula.

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