Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Google Earth used to find new forest with undiscovered species

googleearth

A British-led expedition found 7,000 hectares of forest, rich in biodiversity, known as Mount Mabu thanks to Google Earth. Here's the image of the forest from Google Earth. You can also check it out at Google Maps here. From Telegraph:
Julian Bayliss, a scientist for Kew based in the region, discovered Mount Mabu while searching on Google Earth for a possible conservation project. He was looking at areas of land 5,400ft (1,600m) above sea level where more rainfall means there is likely to be forest.

To his surprise he found the patches of green that denote wooded areas, in places that had not previously been explored. After taking a closer look on more detailed satellite maps, he went to have a look...

Within weeks they had discovered three new species of Lepidoptera butterfly and a new member of the Gaboon viper family of snakes that can kill a human in a single bite. There were also blue duiker antelope, samango monkeys, elephant shrews, almost 200 different types of butterflies and thousands of tropical plants.

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