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Scientists discover dozens of new species in 'Lost World' of western New Guinea

expedition, amazed scientists watched as a male Berlepsch's bird of paradise performed a mating dance for an attending female in the field camp. This was the first time a live male of the species had been observed by Western scientists, and proved that the Foja Mountains was the species' true home.

The expedition took place almost 25 years after Jared Diamond startled the scientific world in 1981 with his discovery of the forest homeland of the Golden-fronted Bowerbird in the same mountain range. This time, scientists captured the first photographs ever of the Golden-fronted Bowerbird displaying at its bower ?a tower of twigs and other forest materials it builds for the mating ritual.

The new species of honeyeater, the first new bird discovered on the island of New Guinea since 1939, has a bright orange face-patch with a pendant wattle under each eye. Other discoveries included what may be the largest rhododendron flower on record ?almost six inches across ?along with more than 20 new frogs and four new butterflies.

Local Kwerba and Papasena people, customary landowners of the forest, welcomed the Conservation International team and served as guides and naturalists on the expedition into the vast jungle tract. These people told the team that game was hunted in abundance within an hour's walk of the village.

Such abundance of food and other resources means the mountain range's interior ?more than 300,000 hectares of old growth tropical forest ?remains untouched by humans, and the entire Foja forest tract of more than 1 million hectares constitutes the largest essentially pristine tropical forest in Asia and an important region for biodiversity conservation.


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Source:Conservation International


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