Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Garden of Eden found in Indonesia

A group of US, Indonesian and Australian scientists have discovered several new animal species and rare wildlife in a tropical forest untouched by humans located in a remote part of western New Guinea. From Conservation International:
The team captured the first photos ever seen of exotic birds such as a male Berlepsch’s Six-Wired Bird of Paradise (Parotia berlepschi). It also 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.

“It’s as close to the Garden of Eden as you’re going to find on Earth,” marveled Bruce Beehler, vice president of CI’s Melanesia Center for Biodiversity Conservation and a co-leader of the expedition. “The first bird we saw at our camp was a new species. Large mammals that have been hunted to near extinction elsewhere were here in abundance. We were able to simply pick up two Long-Beaked Echidnas, a primitive egg-laying mammal that is little known.”
Here's another press release from Conservation International regarding the discovery of the missing Bird of Paradise. From Conservation International:
With an international team of 11 scientists, the majority from the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Beehler conducted the first thorough survey of biological diversity in the Foja Mountains – the largest nearly pristine tropical forest in Asia. There they uncovered a trove of new and "missing" species, among them the mysterious and legendary Berlepsch's Six-wired Bird of Paradise (Parotia berlepschi). On their second day in the forest, the team became the first outside scientists to observe a male bird of paradise, finally putting to rest the mystery of the origin of this species.

"We stood in awe as the male romped about in the saplings around our entrance trail, flicking his wings and white flank plumes, and whistling his sweet two-note song for the female-plumaged bird," says Beehler. "I was too spellbound to go get my camera."


dr12 said...

This type of story warms my heart knowing that despite all the everyday news regarding global warming, species going into extinction, etc, there are still untouched forests full of interesting wildlife.

queenie said...

Now that everyone knows of this new Lost World, I wonder if more people will be flocking to the remote forest.

Lord Kimbo said...

We can go out of the way to the most remote of places to discover new animals but cannot find any evidence for Bigfoot.... dats sux!

primus said...

Lord Kimbo: Thats becoz BIGFOOT doesnt exist. ;oP

Sir Thomas said...

Just goes to show that without humans, wildlife can really flourish.