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Wopkaimin

The Wopkaimin are a small aboriginal tribe that lives in the remote Star Mountains[?] in remote western Papua New Guinea in what is known as the Fly River socio-ecological region[?]. The Ok Tedi Mine[?], the third largest open pit copper and gold mine in the world is located in their traditional territory. Before the coming of the mine with contruction starting in 1981 the Wopkaimin lived in a subsistance economy[?]. The mine severely impacted the tribe, totally disrupting their traditional patterns of life [1] (http://216.239.35.100/search?q=cache:LvZSpgpRjKEC:rspas.anu.edu.au/rmap/Wpapers/rmap_wp11.rtf++%22Wopkaimin%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8). For one thing Tabubil[?] a town of 5000 to house mine workers was built in the midst of their territory. Work for wages was available to tribal members, but only at the unskilled level and not on a regular basis.

In 1992 a species of bat, Bulmer's fruit bat[?] (Aproteles bulmerae,) previously thought extinct was discovered to still live in Luplupwintem Cave[?], an enormous cave above the Hindenburg Wall[?] in their territory. This bat was first discovered in the 1970s by David Hyndman who studied the Wopkaimin. However the contemporaneous introduction of the shotgun was thought to have resulted in the extinction of the species.



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