"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, August 11, 2007

US scientific Congo expedition finds new species of bats, frogs , rodents

Whilst the Global Warning fetishists keep telling us Polar Bears will die off , the diversity of natural life is constantly showing not only how little we know, but how much there is yet to find.

The US based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) sent an expedition Jan - March this year, to a remote corner of the eastern Democratic republic of Congo into the relatively “uncharted” territory of Misotshi-Kabogo Forest (formerly Mt. Kabobo) and nearby Marunga Massif, which hasn't been visited by scientists since 1960 due to civil unrest.

Laurent Kabila, father (?) of the current president, set up a base of operations in the Misotshi-Kabogo forests in his attempt to overthrow the regime of Joseph Mobutu, former president of the country (then called Zaire). His son Joseph and current President was trained National Defense University, in Beijing on his return in 2000, he was appointed Army Chief of Staff, a position he held until his father the President's assassination in January 2001, the circumstances of which are very unclear - it appears a long standing bodyguard did it - but English speaking Joseph has US support ... who knows ... there are many who want to rape the country's mineral riches.

It would be foolish to even begin to think that the expedition involved a degree of covert reconaissance - although a little military help with the logistics would probably have been welcome. Other sponsors included the Field Museum in Chicago, the National Centre of Research and Science in Lwiro, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) The John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (US$6Bn funds YS$225 MN grants p.a John D was 3rd richest man in US when he died in 1978 ) gave US$455,000 for 2 year 02/03 program "Conserving and Learning about Biodiversity in Democratic Republic of Congo" A Collaborative Program in Training and Education between Institut Congolais pour la Conservacion de la Nature (ICCN), Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles (CRSN-Lwiro) and The Field Museum (Chicago).

Limited to water borne transport the expedition covered over 1,000 square kilometers Lake Tanganyika to 2,725 meters in the mountains. Essentially looking for the larger mammals a high level of biodiversity in the gallery forests and woodlands, including chimpanzees, bongos, buffalo, elephants, leopards, and several types of monkeys, including a subspecies of colobus only found there. As a result of poaching, however, most of the large-bodied mammals were few in number.
Six new species animal species were uncovered : a bat, a rodent, two shrews, and two frogs. (Pic of a new Tree frog of the Genus Hyperolius which show major variations in coloration and often between the sexes) and the botanists reckon that 10% of the plant species collected have not been previously named or identified.

“If we can find six new species in such a short period it makes you wonder what else is out there,” said researcher Dr. Andrew Plumptre, director of the WCS Albertine Rift Program which is one of the most important regions for conservation in Africa. It contains more vertebrate species than any other region on the continent and contains more endemic species of vertebrate than any other region on mainland Africa.

Human impacts on the region, isolated from the main Congo Forest and there has only been low level gold exploitation “There is a real need to protect this forest and carry out more research in the area.” said WCS researcher Deo Kujirakwinja,

As few people live in the Misotshi-Kabogo region, conservationists believe it should be relatively easy to create a park there, while supporting the livelihoods of local communities.

News of some more fascinating frogs recently found here


paul said...

You identify the woman accepting the award is Romana Tomasova. She is not the Romana Tomasova pictured on the CME press release's and looks nothing like her. And Lauder was there to pick up the 2006 Emmy Award.
So who is she really ?

Myra said...

Good post on Congo :)

Shutter said...

Yore (although in the wrong place) dead right. The gifted multi-lingual Romana Tomasova has the looks of a succcessful Russian lady shot putter.

The lady in question is Ronnie's daughter married to a Director of the Fed reserve Mr Warsh.

The eagle eyes of readers never ceases to maze my tribe of sub-editors, scribes, fact checkers and Tonu Fabuloso.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish