Prof. Flannery’s extensive career as a scientist includes describing 29 new kangaroo species and 21 new species of Melanesian mammals. The Greater Monkey-faced Bat (Pteralopex flanneryi) was named in honour of him.
His work in palaeontology includes the discovery of dinosaur fossils in Australia as well as describing fossils of early mammal species in Papua New Guinea, including a family of possums known as the phalangerids.
Port Moresby Nature Park is involved in many wildlife conservation programs that help to sustain various endangered species in Papua New Guinea. Last year the Park hosted the International Tree Kangaroo Summit held for the first time in Papua New Guinea, which brought together PNG-based conservation organisations, local communities, government representatives and zoological institutions from across the work to discuss issues pertaining to the protection and conservation of tree kangaroos.
During the 1990’s when Prof. Flannery was surveying the mammals of Melanesia, he took a leading role in the conservation efforts of the region. He dedicated his book Mammals of New Guinea to the people of Papua New Guinea, “in the hopes that it will help future generations to understand and treasure their mammal fauna”.
General manager, Ms. Michelle McGeorge, said of Flannery’s visit: “It was truly an honour to meet Prof. Flannery whose contribution to the discovery and conservation of fauna in Papua New Guinea is immense.”
“His passion for PNG’s fauna was obvious and he was genuinely impressed with the site and our research and conservation works.”
Professor Flannery was particularly interested in the Park’s pig-nosed turtle research program as well as commenting that his visit represented the first time he had ever seen all three species of cassowaries together.
Port Moresby Nature Park is PNG’s only member in the Zoos and Aquarium Association of Australasia, endorsed as upholding international guidelines on animal welfare management. The Nature Park is the first organisation in PNG to have obtained this recognition.
Prof. Flannery’s visit to PNG is part of the PNG-Australian Alumini Associations activities.