A large tree frog, Nyctimystes sp. (seen at the right) brilliant greenin color with huge black eyes, jumping spiders and a striped gecko are among more than 50 new animal species scientists have discovered in a remote, mountainous region of Papua New Guinea.
The discoveries were announced Wednesday by Conservation International, which spent the past several months analyzing more than 600 animal species the group found during its expedition to the South Pacific island nation in July and August 2008.
From the 2008 expedition, 50 new spider species, three never seen before frogs and a new gecko have now been detailed in scientific journals for the first time.. The new frogs include a tiny brown animal with a sharp chirp, a bug-eyed bright green tree frog and another frog with a loud ringing call. One of the jumping spiders is shiny and pale green, while another is furry and brown.
“If you’re finding things that are that big and that spectacular that are new, that’s really an indication that there’s a lot out there that we don’t know about,” said expedition leader Steve Richards. “It never ceases to amaze me the spectacular things that are turning up from that island.”
New healthy frog species, said Craig Franklin, a zoology professor at The University of Queensland in Australia who studies frogs.
“They’re often regarded as a great can tell us that if one takes care of the environment our bioindicator species will thrive.
Researchers from Conservation International explored the region with scientists from the University of British Columbia in Canada and Montclair State University in New Jersey, as well as local scientists from Papua New Guinea.
The area the researchers explored provides a critical source of clean drinking water to tens of thousands of people living in surrounding communities and local clans rely on the region for hunting.
Man and nature live in harmony.
Anthropologist William Thomas State University who worked with the local Hewa clan of native people reminds us that by working with local communities, you learn a lot more because they already know so much.”
Conservation International plans to conduct three more expeditions to Papua New Guinea this year, in the hopes of turning up even more new animals.
Photos released by Conservation International