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Loloata Island Resort

Discussion in 'Papua New Guinea' started by kiglezi, 13 Jan 2009.

  1. kiglezi

    kiglezi Active Member

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    The Loloata Island is situated just off the National Capital District of Papua New Guinea, south of Port Moresby and it only takes 10-20min with boat from Port Moresby. This Island is mainly a destination for scuba divers and birdwatchers, but with a hotell resort and thanks to its close proximity to Port Moresby its a perfect place to stay at if which plan to spend a few days in Port Moresby, the hotell resort on Loloata is much nicer than the hotells located inside Port Moresby, and the scenery in the mornings and evenings is just breathtaking.

    They owners of the hotell resort mantain a small collection of native fauna, a number of aviaries and iron cages has been built on the Island, the condition of the animals in the collection is however not the best and it is acctually quite a sad sight. Though, as they keep a number of species which is rarely kept in captivity it is worth a short visit, they keep a large number of New Guinea Eclectus Parrots (E. r. polychloros) as well as smaller numbers of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (C. g. triton), Black-capped Lory (L. lory), Rainbow Lorikeets (T. haematodus) and Red-cheeked Parrot (G. g. aruensis). They also keep a lonely Doria's Tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus d. dorianus) in a iron cage, which originate from one of the Botanical Gardens on the mainland.

    The most interesting feature of this Island is however not the caged collection but the number of species which has established feral populations on Loloata Island, the Grey Dorcopsis (D. luctuosa) has succesfully established a breeding population which has become tame and very easy to encounter, unlike on the close by mainland where it occur naturally but is very difficult to find. There is also a introduced population of Victoria Crowned Pigeon (G. victoria) roaming free on Loloata and also these are tame and easy to get close to, they do breed but becuase of introduced cats they do breed quite irregulary. The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is not native to this part of New Guinea (but the southern Crowned Pigeon is) so the founders of this population must originate from one of the many Botanical Gardens (several succesfully keeping G. victoria) on the Papuan mainland.

    There used to be some immature Cassowaries (southern I imagine) roaming around on this Island but I guess the owners realized that it was not ideal to mix cassowaries with hotell visitors.

    In some of the few patches of forest on Loloata it is possible to encounter the Common Spotted Cuscus (S. maculatus) which also has been introduced to the Island. Though these are few in numbers and I dont believe that they have produced any off-spring in the last couple of years.

    In addition to these introduced populations of mammals and birds there is a rich, natural birdlife on this relatively small Island with Silver Gulls and several species of Tern being present almost year around, there is usually a fair number of shorebirds present on the Island, which Whimbrel being one of the most fascinating ones. Other animals present is dolphins which is present in the waters around the Island pretty much all day long. Apart from this there is amazing scuba diving possibilities. A small Island which has suprisingly much to offer.
     
  2. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Have you been in touch with the Rainforest Habitat concerning the Doria's tree kangaroo at all? They have good husbandry skills in maintaining tree kangaroos. Perhaps some advice concerning better animal exhibit at Loloata or a relocation to the Rainforest Habitat with conspecifics can do wonders ... :D
     
  3. kiglezi

    kiglezi Active Member

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    I have had much contact with this facility in the past, in 1994 I spend over a week at there working with the planning and construction of a number of encloasers together with a team of experts brought in from Australia, this was a very unique project and I believe nothing even close has been done on New Guinea either before, or after. Sadly I did not had the time to stay and watch this project be completed. I did operate a scuba diving company on New Guinea by the time and our main office was located just some hour away from The Rainforest habitat, from 1996 to 2001 I visited this place a few times each year.

    To be serious I dont even remember half of the species they kept when they were at its peak, they kept at least a dozen different wallabies and tree kangaroos (Huon, Doria and Golden-Mantled) these were my favoruites as they were all very tame and easy to approach so I somewhat kept an eye on them over the years, and lets not even speak about the rest of the collection, simply amazing, and very well cared for.

    But to be honest, this place is nothing of what it used to be, they had their glory throughout the later half of the 1990s. They are probably most famous for their collection of Bird of Paradise after all; if my memory serves me right they breed and kept a half dozen of those at least. Then for some reason (which remains unknown to me) large parts of the collection started to die of at a worryingly speed, they had a good of Golden-Mantled Tree Kangaroo and Dorias Tree Kangaroo up until 1998 at least when they kept around 7-8 Golden-Mantled and roughly 12 Dorias and then within a year those colonies had declined to 2 Golden-Mantled and no more than 5 Dorias, I guess this was the doome for a formerly very succesful group of the endangered Golden-mantled tree-kangaroo (and also the only group kept on New Guinea at the time). This very same fate seems to have affected the entire collection, the numbers just plumated catastrophically in a period of 1-2 years.


    In my last visit in autum 2001 it was quite a sad sight acctually, most of the encloasers I had helped to plan and construct in 1994 stood completely empty. I have not been to the rainforest habitat for a number of years now, I did a few brief visits in 2004 and 2005 but didnt find it to be very interesting. About the Dorias Tree Kangaroos I dont know if they keep that many anymore, I have been told by others that the foccus their efforts on Huon Tree Kangaroo these days. I have tried to get in touch with the current owner through e-mail and phone on several occasions but without anyluck, aim rarely in these parts of New Guinea these days so I cant give you much more info about the current state of things.
     
  4. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Considering how extremely unsafe Port Moresby is these days, how safe is it on Loloata Island?

    :)

    Hix
     
  5. kiglezi

    kiglezi Active Member

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    I certinely cant agree that Port Moresby would be a extremely unsafe (as dangerous?) place. I lived and worked in Port Moresby for several years, leaving in 2006. Surely PM is not a place to walk around alone, and defenitely not after night-fall but you can say the same about many places around the globe. The city has defenitely become much more violent in the last couple of years, but things are more compliacted than the media tries to describe it.

    If there was un-safe to stay at Loloata the place would have been shut down years ago, I have not heard about any criminal incidents taking place on Loloata.
     
  6. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear that re. Rainforest Habitat.

    If you look at ISIS they currently have in terms of tree kangaroos:
    Doria's tree kangaroo D. dorianus notatus 1.1.
    Goodfellow's tree kangaroo D. goodfellowii buergersi 5.3
    Grizzled tree kangaroo D. inustus 1.1
    Matschie's tree kangaroo D. matschiei 5.4.2

    If you look at the numbers for birds of paradise ... they seem greatly reduced!
    Shame ....
     
  7. kiglezi

    kiglezi Active Member

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    By looking on ISIS is certinely looks like the Golden-mantled tree-kangaroos have recovered in numbers, which is good news I believe that there is only one other place keeping them on New Guinea. Though to be honest I dont know how accurate the ISIS numbers are, consider how out of the date their website is and most of the species listed has vanished many years ago (the e-mail has not worked for years) and that very little info has surfaced about this place in the last couple of years. They certinely still keep Huon and Dorias, the golden-mantled may very well have recovered, though not to sure about the grizzled. They kept 1.3 in 2001 and they still kept a old male in 2004 (Doubi), which had been kept here all since the place opened.

    I had a brief look on ISIS and as I know that the majority of Bird of Paradise is gone from the grounds of The Rainforest habitat I was quite suprised to see rarities such as Emperor and Blue Bird of Paradise still being listed. Only species I recall seing on my last visitis were Ragginas, King, some other large species (lesser?) and somesort of Sicklebill, and only the Ragginas were still kept in some resonable numbers.
     
  8. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Was the Rainforest Habitat in PM, or elsewhere?

    :)

    Hix
     
  9. kiglezi

    kiglezi Active Member

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    The Rainforest habitat is located just outside a city called Lae, in the Morobe Province, along the northern coast of Papua New Guinea.
     
  10. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    They weren't the ones exporting butterfly chrysalises to the world, were they? I know a company was setup around Lae in the late 90's that did that.

    :)

    Hix
     
  11. kiglezi

    kiglezi Active Member

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    I know that the rainforest habitat in Lae kept some butterflies in the 1990s, though only larger and more well known ones such as Queen Alexandra's Birdwing and I dont think they bred them at all. As most colourful and popular butterflies in PNG has been protected quite a few years know to protect them from being collected in large numbers from the wild quite a few butterfly farms has become established and its quite a large industry on PNG still, there used to be some butterfly farms in the Lae area in the 1980s and 1990s, though dont know how many of those remain these days.