Monday, June 27, 2011

Mer enn 300 nye arter oppdaget på Filippinene

Da kona er fra Filippinene og dattera mi er halvt filippinsk, er dette gode nyheter! Filippinene er en av verdens virkelige "hot-spots" når det kommer til endemiske arter og unikt dyreliv, hvorav 64 prosent av landpattedyrene, 77 prosent av amfibiene og minst 31 prosent av fuglene er endemiske for landets 7100 øyer. Selv har jeg hatt gleden av å snorkle utenfor Balicasag, min største naturopplevelse ved siden av fuglefjellene utenfor Røst.

Balicasag Island 

Dessverre er landet truet av befolkningsvekst, palmeoljeplantasjer (75 prosent av landets opprinnelige skoger har gått tapt) og koralldød, med en befolkning som har passert 102 millioner med en økning på to prosent i året, er det nå det folkerikeste landet i Sør-Øst Asia etter Indonesia.

Les artikkelen fra Science Daily: More Than 300 New Species Discovered in the Philippines.

Et lite utdrag:
Over the course of the expedition, which was funded by a generous gift from Margaret and Will Hearst, the scientists discovered more than 300 species that are likely new to science, including dozens of new insects and spiders, deep-sea armored corals, ornate sea pens, bizarre new sea urchins and sea stars, a shrimp-eating swell shark, and over 50 colorful new sea slugs. These discoveries will be confirmed and described over the coming months, as the scientists use both microscopes and DNA sequencing to analyze their specimens.
"The Philippines is one of the hottest of the hotspots for diverse and threatened life on Earth," says Dr. Terrence Gosliner, Dean of Science and Research Collections at the California Academy of Sciences and leader of the 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition. "Despite this designation, however, the biodiversity here is still relatively unknown, and we found new species during nearly every dive and hike as we surveyed the country's reefs, rainforests, and the ocean floor. The species lists and distribution maps that we created during this expedition will help to inform future conservation decisions and ensure that this remarkable biodiversity is afforded the best possible chance of survival."
Despite intensive efforts to document life on Earth, scientists estimate that more than 90 percent of the species on this planet have yet to be discovered. In the face of large-scale habitat loss and degradation, many of these species are disappearing before we even know they exist. As they join the ranks of the extinct, we are not only losing members of our family tree -- we are also losing potential medical treatments, agricultural pollinators, oxygen producers, soil servicers, and many other critical components of healthy, functioning ecosystems. In order to make smart decisions about how to conserve what is left of our planet's biodiversity, we must make a concerted effort to rapidly increase our knowledge about these life forms and their distribution. This was the motivation behind the Academy's 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition, which aimed to dramatically improve our understanding of one of the most species-rich places on Earth. - Science Daily

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