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iLeap profiles TKCP's Danny Samandingke
Thursday, July 24, 2014

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PNG YUS Coffee is Back
Friday, February 07, 2014


PNG Conservation Coffee

Good news, coffee lovers of Seattle. PNG YUS Coffee is back in stock at Caffe Vita locations across Seattle. You can purchase in stores or online from 

Though coffee has long been grown in YUS, rugged terrain has historically prevented a viable coffee market from developing in that region. Under TKCP’s livelihoods project, work has been done with extension agents from PNG’s Coffee Industry Corporation to focus on coffee growing as an income source for YUS landowners. After years of work that dream finally came to fruition when through a TKCP partnership, Seattle-based Caffe Vita introduced PNG coffee from the YUS area to their stores in February of 2012. The launch was so successful that Caffe Vita bought even more coffee for release into the Seattle market.

The newest crop has been roasted and is ready for you to enjoy!

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund selects TKCP
Monday, October 07, 2013

We have more exciting news to share! The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program has received grant support from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.

The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is a significant philanthropic endowment established to provide targeted grants to individual species conservation initiatives, recognize leaders in the field of species conservation and elevate the importance of species in the broader conservation debate. To date the fund has awarded over 800 grants to a diverse range of species across the world.

Nicolas Heard, Head of Fund Management tells us, “The Fund Board Members were extremely impressed with the work, passion and dedication demonstrated by you and your team, and believe you can make a genuine contribution to species conservation.”

The fund truly reflects the diversity of wildlife in the diversity of the projects it supports—see the incredible range of projects.
SOS - Save Our Species
Friday, July 05, 2013
Photo by Bruce Beehler/Conservation International

We’re so excited to announce that the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program is now receiving support from Save Our Species (SOS) for our project, People and Nature: Sustainable Solutions to Conserve Endemic and Globally Threatened Species on Papua New Guinea’s Huon Peninsula.

As an SOS project through December 2014, we will focus our efforts on these outcomes:

  • A 5% increase in protected areas for targeted threatened species
  • More sustainable terrestrial and marine resource management by local people
  • Better prices for conservation-dependent commodities, mainly through a 25% sales increase of premium conservation coffee. Such support of community livelihoods will empower communities to protect the YUS CA ecosystem and the wildlife that uses it
  • Developing model mechanisms for monitoring and reporting, and communicating on globally threatened species internationally

About SOS 

SOS – Save Our Species is a joint initiative of IUCN, the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank supported by Nokia and the Fonds français pour l’environnement mondial (FFEM). Its objective is to ensure the long-term survival of threatened species and their habitats.

2012 Annual Report Celebrates a Year of Milestones
Thursday, June 27, 2013

With the release of the 2012 Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program Annual Report, we are excited to share with you the milestones of a momentous year for the program. 

Cover of the 2012 Annual Report. Click the image to read the full report. 

Our major 2012 highlights include completion of a land-use planning pilot program, the “Balanced Project” linking conservation with family health, a second export of YUS coffee to the U.S., and the opening of three new TKCP field offices in YUS.

Since the official declaration of the YUS CA in 2009, TKCP and the YUS community continue to lead innovation in PNG conservation. The in-country, landowner-based YUS Conservation Organization is gaining capacity and has just applied for its first external grant. TKCP continues to collaborate with all levels of PNG government in the country’s first CA management committee. In addition, we are nearing the release of the first YUS Landscape Plan, the guiding strategy for managing the YUS CA and surrounding areas, developed by TKCP in consultation with our partners.

Management of the YUS Conservation Area continues to be a major focus for TKCP. In 2012 we completed a land-use planning pilot program and hired 10 new YUS Conservation Area Rangers to conduct ecological monitoring and to patrol the YUS Conservation Area. With these new hires, 80% of TKCP staff is now from the YUS region. TKCP continues to receive international recognition for our achievements. On May 8, 2013, we were thrilled to learn that IUCN had recognized The YUS Conservation Area as the Conservation Area of the Week.

In 2012 we held adult and youth peer educator trainings through the environment and healthy families program. In the health seminars, over fifty local participants were able to access information and training materials about health and are now able to educate their peers on these issues. This project originated from a request for support that came directly from YUS communities, particularly women.

YUS Conservation Coffee has sold very well since its introduction through our Seattle-based partner Caffe Vita. The conservation coffee project continues to be a prominent symbol of the success that TKCP is having in developing local livelihoods projects in partnership with the people of YUS. 


Danny Samandingke, TKCP's PNG Education Coordinator's Seattle Visit
Friday, September 09, 2011

Danny Samandingke, the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP's) Education Coordinator from Papua New Guinea, has arrived in Seattle for a 10-week leadership training program through iLEAP ( -- a local non-profit based here in Seattle). As part of his program he will be interacting with Katie Remine and Jennie Mears (WPZ’s Education Department) as part of the Miami University-Dragonfly Masters Program in Advanced Inquiry course this fall.

Danny will be one of 10 mid-career professionals from around the world in this program, so it is a great opportunity for Danny, for the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, and for the Field Conservation Department and WPZ's connection with iLEAP, a local resource.  

Danny resides in  the Conservation Area of YUS,  as a landowner and TKCP staff member. He has a teaching certificate from PNG Balob College and a Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Goroka in PNG. Danny has worked with the TKCP for over 10 years and has been involved in tree kangaroo research, GIS  and mapping, building the Conservation Area, and of course education. This is his first visit to the United States, so if you see him around the zoo, please give him a warm Seattle welcome!

Follow-up on Beth Carlyle-Askew: Zookeeper and Research Assistant in PNG in 2007
Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beth Carlyle-Askew, a Woodland Park Zoo’s Animal Keeper travelled to PNG in 2007 to assist with the handling of tree kangaroos while research samples were obtained and radio collars were placed. She was selected by WPZ to participate in this project to obtain field information of the tree kangaroos. She brought back an enhanced perspective on the tree kangaroo’s natural environment and first hand information on husbandry.  This new knowledge provided her with a sense of credibility of her husbandry knowledge which she has since used to enhance her presentations to donors and the public.

Following her return from the research trip, the zoo acquired 3 tree kangaroos; Elanna, Huen and Yopno giving Beth an opportunity to increase her involvement in the care of the Woodland Park Zoo’s tree kangaroos.  Beth is now the lead keeper for Australasia and the Day House areas at the zoo.    Elanna and Huen produced a joey on Dec. 6, 2010 which exemplifies their smooth transition to their new home!   (See the previous blog on sites to view this joey).

Beth is also involved in 2 studies currently going on at the zoo.  The first is a continuation study of mother/joey interaction (Dr. Lisa Dabek’s Master’s thesis) and the second involves the crittercam footage shot in PNG last year and comparing it to the behavioral observation of Yopno.

In November 2011, Beth will be involved in the Tree Kangaroo Husbandry Workshop being held in Seattle, WA .  This workshop is open to keepers worldwide to discuss husbandry, conservation, and research issues.  She was very excited with all she saw and the people she met in PNG and hopes to visit again in the future!

Tree Kangaroo JOEY at Woodland Park Zoo
Friday, June 24, 2011

WPZ's Tree Kangaroos, Elanna and Huen produced a joey December 2010.  Footage of the joey can be viewed on the following links. 
This rare birth is an exciting achievement for WPZ, in support of the cooperative breeding Species Survival Plan program between North American zoos for this endangered species. The footage was made possible with a "keeper cam" recorder in the animal's enclosure at the Woodland Park Zoo.
Woodland Park Zoo's blog:
Channel Q13 release:,0,6064747.story
More to come as the joey grows!

Program Coordinator from Papua New Guinea Visits Woodland Park Zoo
Friday, March 04, 2011

We are pleased to welcome Ruby Yamuna, PNG Program Coordinator to Seattle and the Woodland Park Zoo. Ruby is visiting TKCP headquarters for the first time since she joined the program in 2008. She will be representing TKCP at the "Partners for Wildlife" Summit from March 3rd - 7th, as well as researching the health care system programs in the United States to begin the process of expanding the public health model for the YUS villages of PNG. Ruby began her career researching marine life in Kenya and prior to joining the TKCP worked with WWF as their Protected Areas Coordinator. She will be involved in the ZACC (Zoos and Aquariums Committed to Conservation) Conference being held in Seattle next week (March 8 - 11, 2011).

She is also taking this opportunity to see the sights and experience the culture of Seattle. She arrived to some of the coldest weather we have experienced in the Seattle area (18 degrees F) and has seen snow for the first time. She has been trying new food varieties: Mexican and Puerto Rican dishes and engaging in some of the activities we enjoy in the Northwest: Zumba, National Geographic Live, University of Washington Lectures on Global Health Issues and much more. She has found Seattle to be an open and friendly city and hopes to continue her contact with those she has met.

So should you have the opportunity to meet her, please take a few minutes to say hello.

More coming soon,


Exciting New Video Documentaries of Life in PNG
Monday, October 11, 2010

Having traveled twice to the remote areas of the Huon Peninsula as a part of the research team radiocollaring Tree Kangaroos, it is with great pleasure that I am able to update all interested visitors on the various activities happening within and around the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program.  I hope you will visit often and participate in the new discoveries as they unfold.  It is my goal to have the partners and participants feel a deep and direct connection to the amazing people, culture, and animals of Papua New Guinea and this incredible conservation program. 


Trish Watson
In April, 2010, a film crew from the German news broadcasting company Deutsche Welle visited YUS.  As a result of their visit,  the following two documentary pieces were created:
1.    The first piece takes you directly to the village of TepTep where you witness what steps the conservation members are putting in place to protect their environment and educate the children on their future role as conservators of their future.  You will be introduced to the Education Coordinator Danny Samandingke, Paul John, a landowner and Conservation Officer, Namo Yaoro as well as the children of TepTep.,,13574,00.html
2.  The second piece is an "interactive documentary" of the people and places within PNG which make up a part of the TKCP program.  Learn more about the landowners and integral people working in this area through this unique educational tool!  Students and teachers alike will return time and again to learn more about this beautiful culture. 
One final stop today that will engage your imagination is the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program's page where National Geographic flies you to the research area to view the capture, CritterCam collaring, and release of a Matschie'sTree Kangaroo.  With the CritterCam in place, you now are able to crawl in the upper reaches of the cloud forest and view their world from the eye's of the Tree Kangaroo.
I hope you enjoy and visit our blog often to see what's new in TKCP's work in YUS, and experience new stories from the cloud forests of PNG.  Lukim yu behain!

The new 8-year old champion for the Tree Kangaroo
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TKCP's work to protect the Matschie's tree kangaroo in Papua New Guinea depends on reaching out to supporters across the world.  Now, tree kangaroos have a new champion in the person of an elementary school girl in New Jersey named Tia.  Tia loves animals, both real and stuffed.  Recently she was given a stuff animal as a gift. 

It was unfamiliar looking and the hang-tag on it identified it as a "tree kangaroo".  Having not heard of such an animal, Tia was determined to learn about it.  So the next Saturday she and her father went to the library do some research.  They found the book "Quest for the Tree Kangaroo" by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop.  The book describes the efforts of Lisa Dabek and her colleagues to study what the book describes as a "big stuffed animal on a fairy tale island", the Matschie's tree kangaroo.

Fascinated, Tia and her family undertook some on-line research to learn more about tree kangaroos.  This ultimately lead them to the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP) at the Woodland Park Zoo.  From officials at the TKCP, Tia learned of the need to raise money for the work with tree kangaroos.  Tia determined to do what she could to help.  So, with her 8th birthday party coming up she asked the invitees to make a donation to the TKCP instead of giving her gifts.

At the party, instead of a cake each attendee received a cupcake with a picture  of a tree kangaroo, and the donations to the TKCP were collected.  Tia also spoke to her school teacher about tree kangaroos.  As a result, the teacher featured the "Quest for the Tree Kangaroo" book in her teaching about animals and their habitats.

Now not only Tia but many of her friends and classmates have learned about this unusual animal, and the need to protect the habitat of the tree kangaroo and other endangered species.  Supporters like Tia make the work of Woodland Park Zoo and the TKCP possible, and TKCP is thrilled to have a great new advocate for the tree kangaroo!

TKCP launches field blog!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Stay tuned to the TKCP Field Blog to learn of new events and successes in the field in Papua New Guinea.
© 2010 TKCP