April 23, 2012
New species of purple crab: Insulamon palawanense. Photo by: Hendrik Freitag.
Found in streams, the primarily nocturnal crabs feed on plants as well as small animals. The largest of the four new species is still quite small, its carapace spanning 5.3 centimeters, while the smallest carapace's measures just 2.5 centimeters. The researchers theorize that the bright colors evolved for mating behavior.
The discovery of the new crab species follows two other recent biodiversity announcements in the Philippines. Two new frogs were discovered in Leyte Island in a biological survey last year. Meanwhile, the Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat (Crateromys australis) was rediscovered earlier this year after not being recorded for nearly forty years.
Palawan is home to a number of imperiled species only found in the Philippines, including the Palawan peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis), listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List; the Philippine mouse-deer (Tragulus nigricans), Endangered; the Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis), Near Threatened; the Palawan bearded pig (Sus ahoenobarbus), Vulnerable; and the Palawan Hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei), Vulnerable.
Palawan Island retains around half of its forest cover, but most of this in mountainous regions. The island's lowland forests are imperiled by deforestation and mining, including widespread illegal mining. The Philippines remaining primary forests are largely found on Palawan.
CITATION: Hendrik Freitag. Revision of the genus Insulamon NG and Takeda, 1992 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Potamidae) with description of four new species. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 2012 60 (1): 37-55.
Two new frogs discovered in Philippines spur calls for more conservation efforts
(04/19/2012) Two new frogs have been discovered on the Philippine island of Leyte during a biological survey last year by Fauna and Flora International, which also recorded a wealth of other species. Discovered in November on the island's Nacolod mountain range, the frogs have yet to be named. The Philippines is one of the world's global biodiversity hotspots, yet suffers from widespread deforestation and degradation.
Two-foot-long cloud rat rediscovered after missing for forty years in the Philippines
(04/17/2012) Czech computer programmer, Vaclav Rehak, was the first person to see a living Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat (Crateromys australis) in nearly forty years, reports GMA News. Rehak was traveling on Dinagat Island with his new wife, Milada Rehakova-Petru, a specialist on Philippine tarsiers, when he stumbled on the rodent, which has only been recorded once by scientists in 1975. Found only on the Dinagat Island, the rodent was feared extinct, but is now imperiled by mining concessions across its small habitat, which is thought to be less than 100 square kilometers.
David vs. Goliath: Goldman Environmental Prize winners highlight development projects gone awry
(04/16/2012) A controversial dam, a massive mine, poisonous pesticides, a devastating road, and criminal polluters: many of this year's Goldman Environmental Prize winners point to the dangers of poorly-planned, and ultimately destructive, development initiatives. The annual prize, which has been dubbed the Green Nobel Prize is awarded to six grassroots environmental heroes from around the world and includes a financial award of $150,000 for each winner.
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Photos: 300 species discovered during expedition to Philippines
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7 new mice species discovered in the Philippines
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On the edge of extinction, Philippine eagles being picked off one-by-one
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Environmentalists say President of Philippines not deserving of conservation award
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