PAPUA NEW GUINEA 2013

Central Province
Edevu, Brown River

One of the locations Dave wanted us to search thoroughly was around the village of Edevu, on the Brown River some 40 km north of Port Moresby, on the Hiritano Highway, and approximately 10-12 km east along a dirt road from the highway. We would set up our camp in a small settlement 2 km or a 1-hour walk south of the main village. All four medically important elapids had been collected in this area.

Our first trip out to Edevu (aka Edebu) was a reconnaisance trip to meet the villagers and sort out a campsite. The dirt road was heavily potholed to Edevu and almost invisible beyond due to its disuse and regrowth of vegetation. It took some time for use to clear the road so we could get the Troopie though to the river, an unnamed tributary of the Brown River.

 

Owen and I walked ahead through some of the more overgrown sections Yes, this is indeed the road
Eventually we caught site of the river below the little settlement. it looked perfect habitat and the river was very inviting, although we learned there are crocs in it! I walked up a hill some disance from the track (Troopie marked with arrow) to get a signal for my cell phone, an essential lifeline given what we were coming out here for.

We arrived at the little settlement we were made very welcome by Kevin, his friend OD and their families. The settlement consisted of three village huts, one covered by a blue tarpaulin which looked very familiar as I had already gazed down on it from Google Earth [9° 12.777'S 147° 18.564'E].

The small scenic little settlement The blue tarpaulin visible on Google Earth
Our hosts, Kevin (right), OD (left) and their families Owen discussed the location of our expedition base hut with Kevin and OD

Owen and I discussed the size and location of a hut which Kevin and OD would build as our base camp in their small settlement. We would return in a week or so to begin our fieldwork.

On the recce trip we saw some herps but not captured them: Four-fingered skinks (Carlia sp.), Two-striped dragons (Lophognathus temporalis) and small Cane toads (Rhinella marina) in the creek.

Back at the Troopie Owen let out a cry and came out of the bushes clutching some leaves containing a scorpion.
"It stung me" he said! Dave and I laughed, and I bagged the scorpion.
"You won't die" I told Owen, "its a scorpionid scorpion, not a buthid, they just hurt like blazes".

Owen's scorpion, yet to be identified to species