Today, scientists from the California Academy of Sciences will launch the most comprehensive scientific survey effort ever conducted in the Philippines, documenting both terrestrial and marine life forms from the tops of the highest mountains to the depths of the sea. They will be joined by colleagues from the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, the Philippines National Museum and the Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, as well as by a team of Academy educators who will work to share the expedition's findings with local community and conservation groups. The expedition, which will conclude with a symposium at the University of the Philippines on June 8, is funded by a generous gift from Margaret and Will Hearst.
"The Philippines is one of the hottest of the hotspots for diverse and threatened life on Earth," says Dr. Terrence Gosliner, Dean of Science and Research Collections at the California Academy of Sciences and leader of the 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition. "Despite this designation, however, the biodiversity here is still relatively unknown, and we expect to find dozens of new species as we survey the country's reefs, rainforests, and even the ocean floor. The species lists and distribution maps that we create during this expedition will help to inform future conservation decisions and ensure that this remarkable biodiversity is afforded the best possible chance of survival."
As forests fall and oceans heat up, life in many parts of the world is slipping away. From birds and bees to frogs and fishes, species are disappearing thousands of times more rapidly than they have for more than 65 million years. As these species go extinct, we are not only losing members of our family treewe are also losing potential medical treatments, agricultural pollinators, oxygen producers, soil servicers, and many other critical components of healthy, functioning ecosystems. Tragically, we are losing most of these
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California Academy of Sciences