Tiny Indonesian Primate Rediscovered– NOT extinct (yet)!

25 November, 2008

From Mongabay.com:1119tar1

Scientists have rediscovered a long-lost species of primate on a remote island in Indonesia.

Conducting a survey of Mount Rore Katimbo in Lore Lindu National Park on the island of Sulawesi, a team led by Sharon Gursky-Doyen of Texas A&M University captured three pygmy tarsiers, a tiny species of primate that was last collected in 1921 and was assumed to be extinct until 2000 when two scientists studying rats accidently trapped and killed an individual. Gursky-Doyen’s team spent two months using 276 mist nets to capture the gremlin-like creatures so they could be fitted with radio collars and tracked. One other individual was spotted but eluded capture.

Pygmy tarsiers are among the smallest and rarest primates in the world. The species is distinguished from tarsiers by its diminutive size (50 grams) and its fingers which 0628sulawesihave claws instead of nails, which Gursky-Doyen believes may be an adaptation to its mossy habitat some 7,000-8,000 feet (2,100-2,440) about sea level.

Read the full article, and find many more great photos (and a video!) of the pygmy tarsier at mongabay.com!

(thanks to mongabay for providing the great photos and map!)

Two Tiny Frogs Rediscovered!

15 October, 2008

In Australia….:


SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — A tiny frog species thought by many experts to be extinct has been rediscovered alive and well in a remote area of Australia’s tropical north, researchers said Thursday.The 1.5 inch-long Armoured Mistfrog had not been seen since 1991, and many experts assumed it had been wiped out by a devastating fungus that struck northern Queensland state.But two months ago, a doctoral student at James Cook University in Townsville conducting research on another frog species in Queensland stumbled across what appeared to be several Armoured Mistfrogs in a creek, said professor Ross Alford, head of a research team on threatened frogs at the university.

Read the full article at the Environmental News Network.


and in Costa Rica:

An extremely rare female frog has been spotted for the first time in 20 years.

The tiny tree frog, Isthmohyla rivularis, was seen in Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve.

This species was thought to have become extinct two decades ago, but last year a University of Manchester researcher caught a glimpse of a male.

However, the discovery of the female and more males suggests this species is breeding and has been able to survive where many other frogs have not.

Andrew Gray, a herpetologist from Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester, said: “This has been the highlight of the whole of my career.

Read the entire article, and watch the two videos at BBConline.  (don’t miss the second video at the bottom!)

Hairy-Nosed Otter Rediscovered!

2 October, 2008

Rare otter species ‘found in Vietnam’

This handout photo received on September 18 shows a hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana) in U Minh Ha National Park, in Vietnam’s Ca Mau province, in March 2008. Researchers said Thursday that they have found two hairy-nosed otters, which have been listed as the world’s rarest species, in the national park in southern Vietnam.

Scientists came across the pair in U Minh Ha National Park in March, according to a statement from the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program.

“We were only about two and half metres away from them when we spotted the two otters. It was truly amazing to see such a rare species in the wild,” said research officer Nguyen Van Nhuan.

Hairy-nosed otters were thought to be extinct in the 1990s. However, they have since been rediscovered in Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Read the complete article at PHYSORG.com

Pygmy Hogs Saved by Durrell Wildlife Trust

29 June, 2007



The world’s smallest and rarest pig, which was once feared extinct, is to be reintroduced to the wild. Pygmy hogs were thought to have been wiped out in the 1960s until two small populations were found in northern Assam in India in 1971.

A conservation programme that began at Durrell Wildlife in Jersey in 1995 when six were captured for breeding has been so successful that 70 of the 12in-tall hogs now fill the holding pens and the first 10 are to be released into the wild later this year.”

Read the excellent, complete article at Times Online.

Be sure to visit the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s website. Click the links in the left bar to see this, and other species they are working to save.

Read Gerald Durrell’s absolutely fantastic and marvelous (not to mention funny) books. He is the absolute origin of my passion for wildlife, folks. If you haven’t read “My Family and Other Animals” about his childhood growing up and collecting creatures on the island of Corfu, or “Catch Me a Colobus” about one of his hilarious adventures to collect species in the wilds of Africa…. well, if you haven’t yet, you are most certainly missing out! Trust me on this.

*Note: The book links above are to the Amazon reviews, but they are both available from the Trust’s website along with excellent videos and more. Purchasing there benefits them- and the animals- directly.

Smile For the Camera!

29 June, 2007


June 26, 2007
Original Article by Christine Dell’Amore
National Geographic News

“…The rare recurve-billed bushbird, recently rediscovered by scientists in Colombia after a 40-year absence, sports a curving beak that gives the illusion of an enigmatic smile.

This photograph, taken by a conservationist with the Colombia-based nonprofit Fundación ProAves, is the first ever taken of a live bushbird.

The elusive species had not been spotted between 1965 and 2004, due to its limited range and remote habitats. It was seen recently in Venezuela and in a region of northeastern Colombia, where it was photographed. …”
Read entire article at National Geographic.com

For more about the Recurve-billed Bushbird:

Several more photos at the American Bird Conservancy website.

A great article with more details at Wildlife Extra.

On the same expedition, researchers also got these great first-ever shots of the Perija (Todd’s) Parakeet, which is an “exceptionally rare” species:












Photos of the Perija Parakeet at the Am. Bird Conservancy website.


An article from ProAves about the two species and the expedition.

24 New Species Found by Rapid Assessment Program

29 June, 2007

Article from: AdelaideNow
June 05, 2007 05:00pm
SCIENTISTS say they have found two dozen new species in an expedition into a remote part of South America.

The Associated Press reported that an expedition by 13 scientists into the remote plateaus of eastern Suriname had turned up 24 new species, including a frog with fluorescent purple markings.

The expedition led by Conservation International discovered the species in 2005 in rainforests and swamps about 130 kilometers southeast of Paramaribo, the capital of the South American country bordering Brazil, Guyana and French Guiana.

Among the newly discovered species were the Atelopus frog, which has distinctive purple markings; six types of fish; 12 dung beetles, and one ant species… “

Above: Amazonian Snail-Eater Snake

*Note: Aquarium enthusiasts will be interested in the discovery of several suckermouth catfish- at least 3 new species- one of which has a particularly large mouth, and another that is fond of RED algae… not to mention the appearance of the Armored catfish, which was believed to be extinct.

The original article (above) from AdelaideNow includes several pictures.
The Conservation International website has the full pdf file of the R.A.P. report.
The ABC News website has more pics- also high res.
Telegraph.co.uk has more pics- including some not on the previous sites.
Mongabay.com has a great article with more information.

Fisherman Catches “Extinct” Coelacanth

2 June, 2007

May 22, 2007

A native Indonesian fisherman reeled in a 4-foot, 110 pound mystery from the deep.


Yustinus Lahama captured the fish—which scientists not long ago believed had gone extinct with the dinosaurs—Saturday near Bunaken National Marine Park, off Sulawesi island.

Read the entire article by Christine DellAmore at National Geographic Online.

Excuse me while I go a little Buggy!

19 March, 2007

oilbeetle.jpgMonday, 19 March 2007

Beetle re-emerges after 60 years

A beetle thought to be extinct in the UK since the 1940s has been rediscovered in south Devon. The short-necked oil beetle was found by an amateur entemologist during a wildlife survey on National Trust (NT) land between Bolt Head and Bolt Tail.

The beetles were last recorded at Chailey Common, Sussex in 1948.

Up to 40 of the insects, which survive by hitching rides on miner bees as larvae and then eating the bees’ eggs, were found at the Devon site.

David Bullock, head of nature conservation at the NT, said: “The discovery of a beetle that was thought to be extinct for nearly 60 years is an amazing story of survival, particularly for a species with such an interdependent lifecycle.

[Read entire article at BBC News]




Friday, 8 September 2006

Experts excited by Beacons beetle

A rare beetle, never recorded before in mid Wales, has been found at a lake in the Brecon Beacons. The two-tone reed beetle donacia bicolora, usually only found at a few sites in the south of England, was discovered at Llangorse Lake.

It was last spotted in Wales on Anglesey in the 1940s but has disappeared from that site.

The beetle was also recorded in Glamorgan in the 19th Century.

Mr Ellis, who is BBNPA biodiversity officer, added: “Finds like this show us how little we know about the wildlife even in familiar areas of the national park.

[Read entire article at BBC News]



giantbeetle.jpgTuesday, 27 June 2006

Carpenter finds ‘extinct’ beetle

A rare giant beetle thought to be extinct in Wales has been discovered by furniture makers in Carmarthenshire. The Giant Capricorn Beetle was found on an oak timber at a workshop in Llanelli by carpenter Ben Perrott.

At first, he thought the 6cm long creature was a toy until it started to move.

Experts examined the bug, which has 10cm long antennae, and identified it as the rare beetle which was thought to be extinct in the UK since the 1700s.

Entomologist Ian Morgan told the Western Mail newspaper: “I realised it was something special as soon as I saw it.

“It is very rare and is the largest long-horned beetle in Europe.

“This type of long-horn beetle was supposed to have been extinct in the UK since 1700.

[Read entire article at BBC News]

Peekaboo! Scientists FINALLY catch sight of 1,600 lb. invisible Rhino

16 February, 2007

060912-sumatran-rhino_big.jpgSeptember 12, 2006
excerpts from article
by Victoria Gilman

The first ever photo of a male Sumatran rhinoceros in the wild offers concrete proof that the rare animals are living in the Malaysian section of the Southeast Asian island of Borneo (Malaysia facts and map), wildlife rangers announced last week.

The Sumatran is often called the rarest rhino species in the world and is listed as critically endangered by the Switzerland-based nonprofit the World Conservation Union.

Fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos live in isolated pockets of wild habitat in Malaysia and Indonesia, and only about 50 of the animals are thought to exist in Sabah. While some of the animals are kept in zoos, the Sumatran rhino is difficult to breed in captivity. The 2000 birth of a healthy calf to a rhino called Emi at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio was the first successful captive delivery in 112 years.

Read the full article at National Geographic.com

Fossils of New Species Found Under Ping-Pong Table!

1 October, 2006

pingpongichthyosaur.jpgCanadian researchers have found a new species (and genus) of ichthyosaur—a type of fishlike reptile that lived between 250 and 90 million years ago.

They found it under a Ping-Pong table.

Researchers at Edmonton’s University of Alberta made the discovery when they came across a long-forgotten box of fossils in an undergraduate science lab.

Officially named Maiaspondylus lindoei, and dubbed the Ping Pong Ichthyosaur, the intrepid fossil-hunters are being pragmatic about the find:
“It was pretty amazing to realize this valuable discovery had sat under a ping pong table for 25 years,” said Dr. Michael Caldwell, paleontologist at the U of A. “But I suppose that after 100 millions of years in the dirt, it’s all relative.”

The bones belong to two juvenile ichthyosaurs, one slightly larger than the other, and two adults, one of which has two embryos preserved near its vertebrae.

The embryos found with the specimens are by far the newest known—80 million years more recent than the oldest previously known ichthyosaur embryos.

“What was really interesting was that at this point in history the Ichthyosaur goes extinct,” said Caldwell. “So anything from this time is going to be really important.”

Find the entire article at ScienceDaily.com

Find another article at NationalGeographic.com

Found! 40 New Species in Virgin Brazil Rainforest

30 September, 2006


Excerpts from
by Lewis Smith,
Times Environment Reporter

“Up to 40 new species of plants and animals, including a bird and a tree rat, have been discovered in an expedition to one of the world’s last unspoilt wildernesses.

newfrog_5f200px.jpg Researchers were particularly excited by the bird and the tree rat because new mammal and avian species are extremely rare. The discoveries have yet to be verified by peer review but Enrico Bernard, of Conservation International, is confident that 27 new species have been identified and that several more are contained among the thousands of specimens brought back for analysis.

lagarto_5f200px.jpg Besides the rat and the bird, the new species found include seven fish, eight frogs, lizards and snakes, two
shrimps and eight plants.
One species of lizard, [Amapasaurus tetradactylus], was rediscovered having been seen only twice before, both times in 1970. The lizard is unusual in having four fingers on its claws, whereas it closest relative has three.

“We have confirmed more than 1,700 species, of which more than 100 have been recorded for Amapá for the first time. Perhaps 40 of those are entirely new to science.

Among the creatures already known that were found in the region for the first time were 40 types of bat. Dr Enrico thought this if anything an underestimate. “There are potentially more than 100,” he added.The tree rat, from the genus makalata and the size of a large guinea-pig, lives with monkeys in the trees of the Amazonian tropical forest, where it eats only leaves and fruit.

The authorities in Brazil this week announced that 5.7 million hectares of the region is to be protected as the Amapá State Forest.”

Read the Full Aritcle at Times Online.

Thanks to Nutmeg for the scoop.

“Mysterious Bird of Paradise: Lost and Found”

21 September, 2006

excerpts from article
written by Jennifer Shatwell,
Conservation International
Staff Writer


With an international team of 11 scientists, the majority from the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Beehler conducted the first thorough survey of biological diversity in the Foja Mountains – the largest nearly pristine tropical forest in Asia. There they uncovered a trove of new and “missing” species, among them the mysterious and legendary Berlepsch’s Six-wired Bird of Paradise (Parotia berlepschi). On their second day in the forest, the team became the first outside scientists to observe a male bird of paradise, finally putting to rest the mystery of the origin of this species.

The Berlepsch’s Six-wired Bird of Paradise was first describedbirdofparadise_5f200px.jpg in 1897 by the German ornithologist Otto Kleinschmidt from wildlife skins in the private museum of Hans von Berlepsch. The striking black bird with metallic plumage along its throat and white flank plumes was named for the curious wires that extend from its head in place of a crest. It appeared to originate in northern New Guinea, but a precise location of the bird’s habitat was unknown. In this respect, it was similar to the Golden-fronted Bowerbird (Amblyornis flavifrons) – also described in the 1890s from an unknown location in New Guinea.

At least a dozen attempts were made to find the two mysterious birds over the next 80 years…

Then in the late 1970s, scientists turned their attention to the Foja Mountains.

“The Fojas were a promised land to biologists in search of the unknown, …It was a wild land given over to wildlife.”

“Yet we’ve just scratched the surface,” says Beehler, who is already planning a follow-up trip to the range in late 2006.

Note: This is a heavily cut version of an excellent article at the Conservation International website. There was quite a bit of interesting information which I edited out simply to keep it short. I strongly recommend reading the original.
There are also previous entries about new species from the Foja Mountains in this blog.

“Extinct” Almiqui Found by Farmer

1 August, 2006

Still Out There!

“HAVANA, Sept. 25 – With its long snout and tiny body covered with spiky, long brown hair, the worm-munching creature known as Solenodon cubanus long has been a mystery to zoologists, who believed it to be extinct. But a farmer in eastern Cuba recently found the first live specimen of the ancient and enigmatic creature seen in four years, local media said.

The find proved conclusively that Solenodon cubanus still survives, and raised hopes that the curious animal dubbed “Alejandrito” may have other relatives roaming the island. more…

Okapi and Bongo Rediscovered in Virunga National Park

6 July, 2006

09 Jun 2006

“After nearly 50 years, the okapi – the closest known relative to the giraffe – has been rediscovered in Virunga National Park in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said WWF today.

This is the first sign of okapi presence in the park since August 1959, according to official records.

Still rare and threatened, the okapi lives only in the tall primary forests of eastern DRC, mainly in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, centered around the village of Epulu. But the species was originally discovered further east in the forests along the Semliki Valley, now in the Virunga National Park – created in 1925 and today a UN World Heritage site protected by international and national laws.”

Read the complete WWF article, and find out what else is happening in DRC wildlife parks here…

Find out more about the Okapi here…


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