Once described by Charles Dickens as a “great wild untidy luxuriant hothouse made by Nature for herself”, Borneo is a well-established home to some of the world’s most exotic species.
But even that reputation could not prepare scientists for the extraordinary range of plants and animals newly identified on the island in recent years.
Fighting fish and the world’s second smallest vertebrate are among more than 50 species to have been discovered in the past 17 months. They include 2 frogs, a plant that grows only a single leaf, 16 species of ginger, 3 types of tree and 30 fish.
Conservationists are trying to protect the Heart of Borneo area from loggers who clear vast swaths of forest for rubber, oil palm and pulp production. The average rate of deforestation in Indonesia is 2 million hectares per year. Only half of Borneo’s original forest cover remains today.
Filed by Anon.Y.Mous on December 19th, 2006 under Environment
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