By Michelle Stevens – EMTV News, Port Moresby
There are 39 different species of Birds Of Paradise in the world, and Papua New Guinea is fortunate to be home to 34 of them and today (October 25), the Port Moresby Nature Park along Waigani Drive opened its new Bird of Paradise precinct.
Walking into the seven inter-connected aviaries, you could see the different species of Birds of Paradise.
The famous Raggiana Bird of Paradise, which is depicted on our country’s National Flag, the Victoria’s Riflebird, Goldie’s Bird of Paradise and more.
The enclosures were made specifically for these birds because most of them were used to the colder climate.
Port Moresby Nature Park General Manager, Michelle McGeorge says the Port Moresby Nature Park is the only facility to breed a number of species or the first to ever breed a species such as the Crinkle – Collared Manucode which are the only Bird of Paradise species in the world found in PNG.
Some include the cuscus which are barley rarely bred.
“Behind me stand seven large walkthrough exhibits and a bird of paradise interpretation center with adjoining bird aviary, built not only to showcase the beauty of one of the world’s most famous and iconic bird species but also designed specifically to enable us the opportunity to study the breeding behaviors of these species,” said McGeorge, “Port Moresby Nature part was officially opened in June 2012. We are a not-for-profit charitable organization, with the vision of being PNG’s leading recreational park inspiring in others. the PNG guardianship of the natural environment.”
McGeorge also said unlike the old Botanical garden, the park has transformed a lot and has won a lot of world known awards.
Executive Director of Production of ExxonMobil, Dinesh Sivasamboo says one of the important things the park has, is the education program, which introduces children to the unique flora and fauna through the school education awareness program.
Mr Sivasanboo said, “22,000 students this year go through that program, which is truly a testament as to how Port Moresby Nature Park is ensuring the future protection of this lovely environment we’re in. by raising awareness amongst children who are the future of this country”
Most of the birds in the enclosure were bought from the streets and others were donated by the Prime Minister, when he went out for visits and locals presented them to him.
This was the largest exhibit at the Port Moresby Nature Park, showcasing seven Birds of Paradise species in seven inter-connected aviaries.