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California Academy of Sciences launches scientific expedition to the Philippines
Date:4/29/2011

ering plants, mosses, spiders, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals. Many of these groups are known to have high levels of species diversity and endemism (meaning they cannot be found anywhere else on Earth), and it is likely that many new species remain to be discovered. All of them are threatened by human population pressure and natural resource exploitationeven inside the boundaries of many national parks, where logging and subsistence farming are fairly regular occurrences. The team's research will help the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Philippines better manage their protected areas and enforce their conservation policies. Additionally, the expedition's educators will organize meetings with local schools, community groups, and national park employees in order to foster appreciation for and deeper knowledge about the spectacular biodiversity in their backyards.

During the deep-sea portion of the expedition, the scientists will board a research vessel owned by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the M/V BA-BFAR, and set out to conduct a survey of the deep waters around Lubang Island. Scientists have only recently begun to explore the deep sea, and the vast majority of deep sea organisms remain to be discovered. Indeed, far less than 1 percent of the world's deep sea environments have been scientifically investigated. Over the course of eight days, the expedition's deep-sea marine team will survey the waters around Lubang Island at depths of up to 2,000 meters in search of deep-sea fish, corals, barnacles, sea stars, and other invertebrates. While sorting specimens on the deck of the boat, the scientists are sure to find a wide variety of strange species that have never before been documented.

On June 8, the Academy's 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition will conclude with a symposium at the University of the Philippines, during which the preliminary results from the expedition will be presented. The
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Contact: Stephanie Stone
sstone@calacademy.org
415-379-5121
California Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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California Academy of Sciences launches scientific expedition to the Philippines
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