The eastern half of the island of New Guinea in the Pacific is known as Papua New Guinea, with its capital being Port Moresby. The western half is Papua and West Papua, a part of Indonesia. Its location at the Pacific Ring of Fire (collision of several tectonic plates) makes it susceptible to volcanic activity, earthquakes and tidal waves.
Given its geological similarity to other landmasses in the region, such as Australia, Papua New Guinea also has similar island species unique to the region. Three new species of mammals were discovered in the country’s forests, namely a small wallaby, a large-eared mouse and shrew-like marsupial. Other rare animals such as the Tenkile tree kangaroo and the Weimang tree kangaroo have also been observed on the territory.
There are hundreds of ethnic groups indigenous to Papua New Guinea, making it one of the most heterogeneous populations in the world. The majority are Papuans, whose ancestors arrived in the New Guinea region tens of thousands of years ago. The others are Austronesians, their ancestors having arrived in the region less than four thousand years ago. There are also Chinese, Europeans, Australians, Indonesians, Filipinos, Polynesians, and Micronesians living in the country now.