New Species Found in “Lost World”


This unnamed new imperial pigeon is among a menagerie of new species discovered in Indonesia‘s Foja Mountains (map), scientists announced Monday.

In a few short weeks in these pristine rain forests on the island of New Guinea, an international survey team uncovered at least a dozen new mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds—including a Pinocchio-like frog and the world’s smallest wallaby.

Many of the animals are found nowhere else but in the Foja mountaintops, whose inaccessibility has allowed the species to evolve in isolation—prompting the region’s nickname: the Lost World.

In 2008 Conservation International‘s Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) helicoptered in and endured violent storms and flash floods to assess the region’s “biological value.”

A follow-up to a 2005 RAP, which brought the Lost World worldwide fame, the 2008 expedition was partially funded by the National Geographic Society’s Expeditions Council. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)

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