PAPUA NEW GUINEA 2006

Madang Mainland
Madang Province
26-28 October 2006


Map showing the collection localities in Madang Province, PNG.
click to enlarge map

Arriving at Madang Airport, we transferred to the Madang Resort Hotel, owned and run by the late Hon. Peter Barter, at one time Minister for Health and a supporter of AVRU's snakebite research project. I took Bina on a tour of places from my time based in Madang in the early 1990s, such as the Japanese Mitsubishi K1-49 "Betty" bomber destroyed by American aircraft on the WWII airstrip near Alexishafen, and the Christensen Reseach Institute (CRI) at Riwo, a marine and terrestrial research unit where I had been based when in Madang. The bomber had been severely damaged since my last visit, apparently by a scrap-metal dealer, and CRI had closed, the laboratories falling into decay.

Bina and villager women and children besides Mitsubishi K1-49 "Betty" bomber in 2006. Broken back, cockpit gone, and in poor condition.
The red Rising Sun is still just visible on the fuselage. Tail section broken away from rest of fuselage.
The same bomber in 1990, still on three wheels, wings present and in the same condition as 1943,... ...and in 2000, right wing gone but still fairly intact.

 

Christensen Research Institute (CRI), my base in the early 1990s - laboratory buildings, and researcher's accommodation.

Dave and I made several night drives up the coast as far as Bogia and southwest and south to the Gogol River and Rai Coast. The results were four DOR snakes: Amethystine python (Morelia amethistina), Brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis), Common treesnake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus) and New Guinea small-eyed snake (Micropechis ikaheka), and one live Slatey-grey snake (Stegonotus cucullatus), in slough.

Amethystine python, Morelia amethistina,
DOR - sad fate of many snakes in PNG.

Slatey-grey snake, Stegonotus cucullatus,
in slough

 

Vincent Atua, Madang based doctor, and Bina.

 

We met up with a Papuan doctor, Vincent Atua, who was accompanying us to Karkar Island to teach the islanders snakebite first aid, and on 28 October the four of us flew to Karkar Island, a 20minute flight with Island Airways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Island Airways, our usual transport to Karkar.

An Island Airways Islander aircraft.
Bina filming on the flight to Karkar Island.