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© Brent Stirton/Getty Images / WWF-UK

New Guinea savannas and grasslands

Grasslands, towards the end of the dry season. The area is covered by water in the wet season, but by early November just a few small areas of water remained. Western Province, Papua New Guinea. December 2004.

Animals that roam the New Guinea savanna

Forty-three mammal species, including 4 small marsupials, live in this ecosystem: the Papuan planigale (Planigale novaeguineae), bronze quoll (a marsupial “cat”, Dasyurus spartacus), chestnut dunnart (a small marsupial, Sminthopsis archeri), and dusky pademelon (a small, kangaroo-like animal, Thylogale brunii).

Several reptiles and amphibians found nowhere else in the world, including the Fly River turtle or pig-nose turtle (Carettochelys insculpta), have chosen this place as their home. Other local species include the threatened little paradise-kingfisher (Tanysiptera hydrocharis), the Fly River grassbird (Megalurus albolimbatus) and 2 species of munias.2

1 Muller K. 2004. The Biodiversity in New Guinea. Unpublished document.
2 WWF. Terrestrial Ecoregions -- Trans Fly savanna and grasslands (AA0708). Accessed online 05/02/06.
An Australian relative of the dusky pademelon. Here, red-necked pademelon <i>(Thylogale ... 
© WWF / Martin HARVEY
An Australian relative of the dusky pademelon. Here, red-necked pademelon (Thylogale thetis), common along forest edges in Australia.
© WWF / Martin HARVEY