Pictures of newly discovered species in New Guinea
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
February 6, 2006
2009: Scientists discover new species in a volcanic crater in New Guinea.
2008: Scientists report new species in a forest discovered using Google Earth.
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The discoveries were made under CI's Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) which deploys expert scientists to poorly understood regions in order to quickly assess the biological diversity of an area. The conservation organization makes RAP results immediately available to local and international decision makers to help support conservation action and biodiversity protection.
Mammal expert Kris Helgen is seen holding a golden-mantled tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus pulcherrimus) in New Guinea. Photo from Conservation International.
More pictures below
The expedition found a new large mammal for Indonesia — the Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus pulcherrimus), formerly known from only a single mountain in neighboring Papua New Guinea. Other discoveries included what may be the largest rhododendron flower on record — almost six inches across — along with more than 20 new frogs and four new butterflies. The new species of honeyeater, the first new bird discovered on the island of New Guinea since 1939, has a bright orange face-patch with a pendant wattle under each eye.
New Guinea's forests are some of the most biodiverse in the world, but they are increasingly under threat from commercial logging. However, the Foja Mountains of western New Guinea are so isolated — in the furthest reaches of the Indonesian province of West Papua - they remain relatively untouched. In other parts of Indonesia poaching is taking a heavy toll on wildlife populations.
More pictures from Conservation International:
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