More than 1000 new species found in New Guinea
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea - A remarkable 1,060 new species have been discovered the island of New Guinea from 1998 to 2008, but poorly planned and unsustainable development - particularly from logging and forest conversion to agriculture - is putting many of these unique creatures at risk, a new WWF study finds.
Final Frontier: Newly Discovered species of New Guinea (1998 – 2008) shows that 218 new kinds of plants - close to 100 of which are orchids - 43 reptiles and 12 mammals, including a unique snub-fin dolphin, have been found on the tropical island over a ten year period.
Added to the tally is an astounding 580 invertebrates and 134 amphibians, 2 birds and 71 fish, among them an extremely rare 2.5m long river shark.
“This report shows that New Guinea’s forests and rivers are among the richest and most biodiverse in the world. But it also shows us that unchecked human demand can push even the wealthiest environments to bankruptcy,” says Dr. Neil Stronach, WWF Western Melanesia’s Program Representative.
New Guinea is the largest tropical island on Earth and is divided between the countries of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the East and Indonesia in the West. It contains the third largest tract of rainforest in the world after the Amazon and the Congo.
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