The Wildlife Conservation Society, based in New York, has announced that researchers conducting a survey of a remote forest region west of Lake Tanganyika has discovered six new animal species: a bat, a rodent, two shrews and two frogs.
The area covered by the survey, in which scientists from the Field Museum in Chicago, the National Centre of Research and Science in Lwiro and the World Wildlife Fund also took part, has been off limits since 1960 on account of social unrest and war.
The team, which worked in the area from January to March this year, said the forest was extremely rich in biodiversity and housed large populations of chimpanzees, buffalos, elephants, leopards and monkeys. About 10 percent of the plant samples it collected have still to be identified, but it is probable that they too will include new species.
The WCS’s goals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo goals are to: develop highly mobile teams of Congolese field biologists capable of working on inventory and monitoring activities; to continue surveys of largely unexplored areas with the objective of helping the government create new protected areas; to expand social science work in communities in order to integrate human livelihood concerns into the conservation of protected areas; and to promote sound forest management planning outside protected areas, based on regional zoning plans.
World Conservation Society