Papua New Guinea: Incredible new species from remote mountain range

07.10.10

Scientists from Conservation International (CI) have discovered nine remarkable new plants, in a total of 224 new species, in a Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) of rainforest exploration in Papua New Guinea in 2009 in partnership with Papua New Guinea's Institute for Biological Research (IBR) and A Rocha International.

white flowers against blue backgroundThe nine new species are representatives of five plant families - Begoniaceae, Ericaceae, Lecythidaceae, Myrtaceae, and Rubiaceae. Arguably the most interesting of these new plant finds is a new Rhododendron. The new species is reported by CI to be very abundant and have large white flowers.

“Within Papua New Guinea virtually each place is unique containing incredible biodiversity. We are far from understanding the ecological mosaic of our country which is changing before our eyes,” said CI-Papua New Guinea country director David Mitchell. “So it’s our hope in working together with communities faced with social change and development pressures that we appreciate and build upon their links to the environment, with a balance of conservation action and livelihood concerns, that are sustainable¬†into the future.”

Wayne Takeuchi from the Harvard University Herbaria describes opportunistic plant collecting in PNG in this video from CI.

CI's webpages about the PNG expedition to Nakanai and Muller Ranges in 2009

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