Cyrtodactylus Bent-Toed Gecko
Nyctimystes Green Tree Frog
The expedition of discovery, which revealed new species like this Nyctimystes sp. green tree frog with enormous eyes, required the cooperation of the Hewa clans that live in the forested Kaijende Uplands of Papua New Guinea. The clans hunt and gather in the forest, and scientists point out that the forest also provides clean drinking water and sequesters atmospheric carbon at no cost.
The vast Kaijende Uplands and nearby valleys represent one of Papua New Guineas 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 Conservation International scientist Steve Richards, who led the expedition.
Orthrus Jumping Spider
Scientists believe they have discovered more than 50 species of spiders never before described by science, including three "entirely novel genera" -- whole groupings of species new to science.
They are strikingly distinctive evolutionary lineages that had been unknown before, with a group that is already very distinctive on the evolutionary tree of jumping spiders, said Wayne Maddison, Director of the new Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Their key position on the evolutionary tree will help us understand how this unique group of jumping spiders has evolved.
Among the new species of jumping spiders identified is this rain forest-dwelling Orthrus sp. spider.
Tabuina Jumping Spider
Much of the wilderness of Papua New Guinea remains unexplored by scientists. But that is changing, as Conservation International plans three more expeditions to the country in 2009.
Those expeditions promise new discoveries, like this Tabuina varirata spider, a jumping spider whose genera and species are new to science.
Oreophryne Chirping Frog
Uroballus Jumping Spider
The expedition that discovered this Uroballus sp. jumping spider was funded by Porgera Joint Venture (PJV), principally owned by Barrick Gold Corporation, a Toronto-based company that is the largest pure gold mining operation in the world. Gold mining can be highly destructive and toxic, and Barrick has been both vilified and praised for its environmental and sustainability practices.
Conservation International says its expedition will provide information for decision makers trying to balance development -- including mining -- with protecting biodiversity that benefits local communities and the global ecosystem.