A team of U.S., Australian, and Indonesian scientists is reported to have made a remarkable discovery in an Indonesian jungle. During the expedition to the Indonesian part of New Guinea, scientists found a “Lost World,” a pristine area populated by dozens new species of birds, butterflies and plants. The expedition was co-organized by Indonesian academy of sciences and U.S.-based ecological organization Conservation International.
The area is located in the valley lying along the Foja range in the west of New Guinea. It comprises 3,000 square kilometers of dense tropical forest. It is hard to believe but it is true: a few pristine zones still exist on our planet. Two local guides were as amazed as the members of the expedition – never before they had seen the animals populating that astonishing area.
The expedition found a rare tree kangaroo, previously unsighted in Indonesia. The scientists also found the first living species of Berlepsch’s six-wired bird of paradise. The remains of the bird were found by the German ornithologist Otto Kleinshmidt back in 1897. The expedition found at least four new species of butterfly, more than twenty species of frog and five new palms.
Bruce Beehler, a co-leader of the expedition to the “Garden of Eden”, said that the scientists were astounded by a diversity of species of flora and fauna found in the pristine zone. Beehler said that the valley had new species and those virtually extinct in different places of the globe. According to Beehler, the scientists were amazed to have found animals which were not afraid of humans.
The scientists spent just one month in the jungle though the unique ecosystem will certainly take years to study. More mysteries will be unraveled by new expeditions.
Later this year the scientists are planning to take another trip into the jungle. They are going to research species in detail and make a list of them for subsequent classification. The Indonesian government intends to keep the area off limits to nosey tourists, poachers, and loggers and mineral prospectors
“I suspect there are areas like this in Africa , and I am sure there are similar places in South America ,” said Beehler, in an interview to Reuters.