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Expedition in Philippines uncovers one of the world’s rarest mammals along with possible new species

A two week expedition into the North Negros Natural Park (NNNP) in the Philippines has led to several discoveries. In the 80,454 hectare park (nearly 200,000 acres), the expedition found what may be new species of insects and plants, in addition to a frog likely unknown to science. They also discovered evidence of the Visayan spotted deer, considered to be the world’s rarest deer and one of the rarest mammals. The team discovered droppings from the deer, which will be analyzed for food content.

For 10 years there has been no evidence of Visayan spotted deer still living in the wild, according to James Sawyer, one of the expedition members.

The Visayan spotted deer in captivity at the Vienna Zoo.

“We believe there are two distinct populations of the Visayan spotted deer in the NNNP interior. We covered only about one percent, which is great news,” he told Not recognized as a separate species until 1983, the deer is threatened by hunting and deforestation.

Another expedition member, Dr. Craig Turner described the park effusively to “this is definitely a unique environment—the center of this park has the most pristine rainforest we have ever seen anywhere in the world.”

While the team did not collect specimens, they hope to return within two years with a larger team of experts for an extended period of time to collect specimens and more thoroughly explore the park.

The expedition was carried out by Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation and Coral Cay Conservation.

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