INDONESIA – Scientists have hit a jackpot with the discovery of multiple new species!
Scientists exploring a remote Indonesian forest have uncovered a collection of new species, including a long-nosed frog, the world’s smallest known wallaby and a yellow-eyed gecko. Scientists found the species made their discoveries in the Foja Mountains on the Island of New Guinea back in late 2008. They released their findings on Monday, ahead of the International Day of Biological Diversity on May 22.
“While animals and plants are being wiped out across the globe at a pace never seen in millions of years, the discovery of these absolutely incredible forms of life is much needed positive news,” said Conservation International’s Bruce Beehler, a participant of the expedition.
The Foja Mountains are in the Indonesian province of Papua on the island of New Guinea and cover a large area of undeveloped and undisturbed rainforest.
“The Foja mountains are a virtual island where species have evolved for millennia,” said John Francis, vice-president for research, conservation and exploration at National Geographic.
Conservation International says that they are highlighting the new discoveries to encourage the government of Indonesia to bolster long-term protection of the Foja area, which is classified as a national wildlife sanctuary.
The tree frog, which was found on a bag of rice in the campsite, has a Pinocchio-like protuberance on its nose that points upwards when the male calls, but deflates and points downwards when he is less active.
Additional discoveries include a new blossom bat, which feeds on rainforest nectar, a small tree-mouse, a new black and white butterfly and a new flowering shrub.
Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned over the rate of species loss on the planet and point out the huge benefits of forests, river systems, wetlands and oceans to human livelihoods and economies. Negotiators are set to meet in Japan in October to discuss new targets to stem biodiversity loss for the next 40 years.
Photo by Charles J. Sharp