Earth Science News  





. Lost Worlds Of West Papua Reveal More Surprises

A probable new species of pygmy possum in the genus Cercartetus(Pygmy Possum). Foja Mts, West Papua
by Staff Writers
Arlington VA (SPX) Dec 18, 2007
A tiny possum and a giant rat were recorded by scientists as probable new species on a recent expedition to Indonesia's remote and virtually unknown "Lost World" in the pristine wilderness of western New Guinea's Foja Mountains. Conservation International (CI) and Indonesia Institute of Science (LIPI) scientists were accompanied by the first film crew to obtain footage of the region and its wildlife on an expedition to the Fojas in June 2007.

A National Geographic photographer/scientist and a CBS News camera crew joined the team as they returned to the mountains. CI and LIPI scientists discovered dozens of new plants and animals on their first expedition to the region in late 2005. An account of the 2007 expedition was aired on the CBS News program, "60 Minutes" on Dec. 16.

"It's comforting to know that there is a place on earth so isolated that it remains the absolute realm of wild nature," said CI Vice President Bruce Beehler, who led the expedition. "We were pleased to see that this little piece of Eden remains as pristine and enchanting as it was when we first visited."

The Foja Wilderness is part of the great Mamberamo Basin, the largest unroaded tropical forest in the Asia Pacific region. As the global community searches for solutions to climate change, large untouched forested areas such as these will become more and more valuable as essential carbon sinks.

The cutting and burning of tropical forests worldwide emits at least 20 percent of total global greenhouse gases. Protecting these forests minimizes the impact of climate change while providing direct benefits to local populations, such as fresh water, clean air, food, seed dispersal, pollination and sources of medicines.

The Indonesian Government has declared the region a National Wildlife Sanctuary, and CI continues to work with the government and local communities to build on this conservation success and ensure even greater protection of the area.

During the June expedition, the team documented two mammals, a Cercartetus pygmy possum, one of the world's smallest marsupials, and a Mallomys giant rat, both currently under study and apparently new to science. They also recorded the mating displays of several rare and little-known birds for the first time.

"The giant rat is about five times the size of a typical city rat," said Kristofer Helgen, a scientist with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. "With no fear of humans, it apparently came into the camp several times during the trip."

The film crew obtained the first film documentation of several spectacular birds found in Foja, capturing on tape the full courtship displays of the golden-fronted bowerbird (Amblyornis flavifrons) and of the black sicklebill bird of paradise (Epimachus fastuosus).

They also recorded the "lost" Bird of Paradise - Parotia berlepschi (known as Berlepsch's six-wired bird of paradise), and the newly described wattled smoky honeyeater (Melipotes carolae), both known only from the Foja Mountains.

CI and LIPI plan another expedition back to the Foja Mountains in late 2008 or 2009. This proposed expedition will seek to survey the summit forests of the highest peak, and the little-studied lower montane elevations. They expect to find additional new species of frogs, mammals, butterflies, and plants.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Conservation International
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Research Finds Rodents Thrive Near Highways
Terre Haute IN (SPX) Dec 17, 2007
There is something out there, and what an Indiana State University professor and his students are finding is surprising them. Dale Sparks, associate professor and research scientist in the department of ecology and organismal biology, and a team of students are evaluating the quality of Interstate 70 as a small mammal habitat from the Indiana state line to Marshall, Ill., with the permission of the Illinois Department of Transportation.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Progress solid on Indonesian tsunami reconstruction: donors
  • A Gizmo That Saves Lives
  • Indonesia hands over 100,000th tsunami house in Aceh
  • Death toll from Tropical Storm Olga rises to at least 40

  • Adapt to climate change, World Bank chief tells developing nations
  • Drought hits over a million people in southern China: report
  • Analysis: What did Bali achieve
  • Global warming pact set for 2009 after US backs down

  • ASU Researchers Use NASA Satellites To Improve Pollution Modeling
  • Study Shows Urban Sprawl Continues To Gobble Up Land
  • Outside View: Russia's new sats -- Part 2
  • Use Space Technology And IT For Rural Development

  • SAFE Proclaims Energy Victory Proudest Moment of This Congress
  • Gas deal unlikely during Japan PM's China trip: ministers
  • China sets up key agency to manage oil reserves
  • Energy, Housing and Recycling Advances To Be Unveiled At TMS 2008 Annual Meeting

  • China's father-son bird flu cases have not spread: official
  • AIDS on agenda as Bush meets Nigerian leader
  • Uganda Ebola epidemic claims four more lives
  • Most Ancient Case Of Tuberculosis Found In 500,000-Year-Old Human; Points To Modern Health Issues

  • Lost Worlds Of West Papua Reveal More Surprises
  • Ant Invaders Eat The Natives, Then Move Down The Food Chain
  • Research Finds Rodents Thrive Near Highways
  • Immediate Action Needed To Save Corals From Climate Change

  • Biochip Mimics The Body To Reveal Toxicity Of Industrial Compounds
  • Ship with toxic load sinking on China's Yangtze river: official media
  • Heavy Traffic Makes Breathing A Burden In Children
  • Air Quality Forecasts See Future In Space

  • Researchers Reveal The Biology Of Shivering
  • Monkeys Can Perform Mental Addition
  • Maternal Grandparents More Involved In The Lives Of Their Grandchildren
  • Losses Of Long-Established Genes Contribute To Human Evolution

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement