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Papaua New Guinea forests reveal 56 new species

March 25, 2009

Scientists said Wednesday they have uncovered 56 new species in the teaming virgin tropical forests of Papua New Guinea including jumping spiders and a tiny chirping frog.

The 2008 two-month expedition by British, Canadian and PNG scientists to the Pacific islands found a wealth of treasures and documented some 600 species, said Conservation International (CI) which organized the trip.

Among them were 50 spider species, two plants, three frogs and an elegant striped gecko which are believed to completely new to science.

"The vast Kaijende Uplands and nearby valleys represent one of Papua New Guinea's largest undeveloped highlands wilderness areas, and all of it is under the tenure of local clan landowners. These forests are essential to their traditional lifestyles," said CI scientist Steve Richards, who led the expedition.

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