Help for Baiyer River sanctuary

Highlands, Normal

The National, Wednesday 03rd April 2013

 THE once world-renowned Baiyer River wildlife sanctuary in Western Highlands will be restored through a partnership among a number of agencies, including an Australian wildlife management company.

The agencies are planning to make the attraction, which opened in 1968 by the then Australian administration, gain more popularity and draw local and overseas visitors to generate an income for locals.

The redevelopment of the wildlife sanctuary will be carried out under a memorandum of understanding.

Environment and Conservation Minister John Pundari made the announcement in Port Moresby in the presence of Baiyer-Mul MP Koi Trape, Dei MP Westley Nukundj, environment and conservation acting secretary Gunther Joku and ABS Scrofa representative Brad Ottley.

The project was initiated by Trape and supported by the provincial government, department of environment and conservation, Darwin-based wildlife management company ABS Scrofa and other stakeholders.

The plan for the sanctuary is similar to a partnership arrangement between the department and the National Capital District Commission to revive the Varirata National Park.

“I see these as important first steps towards the reviving of the much-neglected national parks or protected areas around the country,” Pundari said.

Initial funding for the study will come from the office of the MP while the department will provide the necessary technical advice and support.

Baiyer River sanctuary covers an area of more than 700ha and was intended for the breeding of endemic and exotic wildlife. 

Opened on Jan 13, 1968, the sanctuary holds 185 bird species and a number of mammal species. 

Ottley, whose father Ian Ottley set up cages to house the animals at the Baiyer sanctuary, said during a recent visit to the area, he saw that much of the area had been looked after by the locals which was encouraging.