Friday, 15 December 2017

New species discovered in Malaysian rainforest during unprecedented, top-to-bottom survey


Date:  December 6, 2017
Source:  California Academy of Sciences

Summary:
This fall, the California Academy of Sciences partnered with The Habitat Penang Hill and colleagues to conduct a rainforest survey on Malaysia's island state of Penang. A 117-member team documented flora and fauna from the tops of trees to the dark reaches of caves and discovered several species previously unknown to science living just miles from a major metropolis. Survey results will contribute to this ancient rainforest's nomination as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Over the course of two weeks the international team discovered several species previously unknown to science -- including a new species of scorpion and likely new species of fly, water bear, and bacterium -- living just miles from a major metropolis. The expedition also tallied new regional sightings: birds, bats, orchids, mammals, flies, ants, mosquitoes, spiders, and frogs never known to occur in Penang were documented for the first time. Survey results (which included the canopy and not just the forest floor) will advance the understanding of this little-explored rainforest and contribute to its future nomination as a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) biosphere reserve. 



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