A recent scientific expedition in the forests of Suriname has uncovered 46 species that were previously unknown to science:
A scientific expedition into one of the world’s last pristine tropical forests has revealed incredibly diverse species and extraordinary cultural heritage, said Conservation International (CI) today, announcing the results of a scientific survey in southwest Suriname that documented nearly 1,300 species, including 46 species which may be new to science. The announcement comes as the global organization marks 25 years of science-based conservation, this month.
The three-week survey, an initiative of CI’s long-standing Rapid Assessment Program (RAP), explored three remote sites along the Kutari and Sipaliwini Rivers near the village of Kwamalasumutu from August to September 2010, in an effort to document the region’s poorly known biodiversity and help develop sustainable ecotourism opportunities for the local indigenous people. The research was conducted by a collaborative team of 53 scientists, indigenous Trio people, and students, who documented the diversity and status of plants, fishes, reptiles and amphibians, birds, small mammals, large mammals, ants, katydids, dragonflies and damselflies, aquatic beetles, and dung beetles.
CI scientist and Rapid Assessment Program Director Dr. Trond Larsen said, “Our team was privileged to explore one of the last remaining areas of vast, unroaded wilderness in the world. As a scientist, it is thrilling to study these remote forests where countless new discoveries await, especially since we believe that protecting these landscapes while they remain pristine provides perhaps the greatest opportunity for maintaining globally important biodiversity and the ecosystems people depend upon for generations to come.”
The findings of the expedition were recently published in the RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment series, titled “A Rapid Biological Assessment of the Kwamalasamatu region, Southwestern Suriname”. Among the many highlights, scientists report new species that include a large tree-frog, eight freshwater fish, and dozens of new insects such as aquatic beetles, dung beetles, damselflies, and katydids.
Read more about cowboy frogs, armoured catfish and crayola katydids, and see photos, in the full media release from Conservation International.
Previous related posts on Green Antilles: Video: Species protection in Suriname | Global Ideas and US scientist calls for conservation of Suriname’s “uniquely unspoiled environment”.