New species found in Indonesia

Expedition uncovers host of new animals believed to be completely new to science.

    Scientists say they discovered what could be the world's smallest known wallaby [Reuters]

    The discoveries come as scientist warn of the growing threat of accelerating extinction of species as the planet warms and habitats are destroyed.  

    "While animals and plants are being wiped out across the globe at a pace never seen in millions of years, the discovery of these absolutely incredible forms of life is much needed positive news," Bruce Beehler, a scientist from Conservation International, told the Reuters news agency.

    "Places like these represent a healthy future for all of us and show that it is not too late to stop the current species extinction crisis."

    Unlikely creatures

    The forest where the animals has been largely unexplored by humans.

    Scientists say one of the most interesting of the new species is the long-nosed frog, whose Pinocchio-like protuberance points upwards when the male calls, but downwards when he is less active.

    The team also found other creatures including a tame woolly rat, a gecko with bent toes and yellow eyes, a new type of pigeon and a tiny wallaby that is thought to be the smallest member of the kangaroo family in the world.

    Recent reports show that world governments failed to meet the targets agreed to in 2002 to reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010, which was declared by the United Nations to be the International Year of Biodiversity.

    Negotiators from around the globe meet in Japan in October to discuss new targets to stem biodiversity loss for the next 40 years.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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