THE premiere of a BBC television series that featured the discovery of 40 unknown species in Southern Highlands province attracted over four million viewers in the United Kingdom.
BBC-produced Lost Land of the Volcano follows a group of scientists to Mt Bosavi, a dormant volcano in Southern Highlands, where they discovered 40 previously unidentified species in their tour.
The series, which premiered in the UK past Tuesday, was the country’s most watched TV programme and attracted more than four million viewers of the total TV audience in the UK between 9pm and 10pm on that evening.
The star BBC series, which was filmed in Southern Highlands early this year, unearthed 16 new frog species, three fish, a bat and a giant rat, all of which had never previously been documented.
British High Commissioner to PNG, David Dunn, said the BBC programme’s lion share of the ratings showed the huge interest that PNG’s biodiversity continues to attract globally including the UK.
“Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Its wildlife represents about 5% to 7 % of the world’s biodiversity as it is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds as well as plants.
Visiting scientists continue to make remarkable discoveries in different parts of the country, especially in isolated areas such as Mt Bosavi, a dormant volcano which last erupted 200,000 years ago,” he said
With 33 million hectares of PNG still under tropical forest and mangrove cover, Mr Dunn said there was potential for more discoveries.
“PNG still retains most of its forest cover and there is scope for further discoveries – which will not only interest nature lovers but researchers as well who continue to search for plants which someday could provide the cure for some of the world’s diseases,” Mr Dunn added.