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 birdsâ€”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 isolationâ€”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.)