Paul Barnes

Paul Barnes

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Paul Barnes

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Start Year

2014 (Cohort 1)

Research interests:
Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title

Cultural change and sustainability of subsistence hunting of long beaked echidnas and other large vertebrates in Papua

Research Theme

Biodiversity and Ecology

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution



The environmental impact of natural resource extraction in New Guinea is currently affected by rapid population growth and cultural change. This is altering the social, political and economic circumstances of natural resource users and causing breakdown of traditional environmental taboos and management practices. The Cyclops Mountains in northern Papua constitute the entire range of Zaglossus attenboroughi (Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna), a Critically Endangered sacred liminal animal. Hunting and deforestation by indigenous communities and recent settlers is threatening ecosystems and human livelihoods in the area. This interdisciplinary study attempts to assess the sustainability of hunting in The Cyclops Mountains through a social-ecological systems based approach, drawing on both social and biological understanding and methods to provide a more comprehensive integrated explanation of natural resource use. Novel methods will be used to understand the population status and trends of hunted species and socioeconomic assessments will contribute to understanding drivers of species loss and unsustainable forest resource extraction. These approaches will permit bioeconomic modelling which will be used to assess the sustainability of current and predicted future hunting under different scenarios. Finally, wider extrapolations will be made identifying correlates of faunal vulnerability and resilience in response to extrinsic pressures in New Guinea’s tropical forests.

Policy Impact
Background Reading
  • Barnes, P (2015) Monitoring Monotremes: Establishing a conservation evidence base for long-beaked echidnas in Papua
  • Paul Barnes, Stephanie Brittain, Chris Pollard, Rafael Morais Chiaravallot, Leejiah Dorward () Conservation Blog
News & Blogs

In search of the elusive echidna, ZSL Edge Blog

Conferences and Workshops
  • 7th Annual Bristol Zoological Society Symposium, ‘Saving wildlife together: Conflict, co-existence & conservation’ (February 2015). Talk: Battitude: Human Fruit Bat conflict in the West Indian Ocean.
  • Institute of Zoology, ZSL Student Conference (April 2016). Talk: People, parks and Attenborough’s echidna: The Political Ecology of the Cyclops Mountains, Papua.
  • ZSL Sunset Safaris 2015 – “Talk to a scientist”

Social Links
University Departmental Website:

Personal Website:




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