Friday, September 20, 2013
Tube-nosed Fruit Bat
1. Tube-nosed Fruit Bat
(New to science, previously observed) This is a previously seen but still undescribed species endemic to Papua New Guinea - observed by Conservation International's RAP
This incredible bat bears an uncanny resemblance to Yoda from Star Wars. As yet unnamed, he was "officially" discovered during an expedition to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 2009. Fruit bats are important to the ecosystem as they distribute seeds around the forest floor in their droppings during their flights for food. This pretty creature is likely endemic to PNG and lives in the hilly forests of the country.
"It's been an amazing adventure," said Alonso, who has coordinated and gone on RAP expeditions for the last 13 years. "Despite the pressures we put on nature, it continues to mystify, inspire and teach us with a wealth of hidden treasures and ecosystem services that people rely on, and that we're still only beginning to understand."
It is hard to underestimate the importance of the RAP surveys with so many species found and so much knowledge gained, which helps develop conservation plans. Hopefully another 20 years will result in as much success as the first 20.