New species discovered
Two CEPF-funded projects announced high-profile species discoveries.
- Fauna & Flora International (FFI) discovered 15 gecko species new to science in Myanmar. Three of the species were described in the Journal of Natural History and 12 in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. FFI has worked with Myanmar’s Mining and Environment departments to develop environmental best-practice guidelines for limestone quarries to reduce the negative impact on biodiversity.
- Hikuna Judge, a ranger at the Zaira Resource Management Area on Vangunu Island, Solomon Islands, and ecologist Tyrone Lavery of University of Queensland reported the discovery of the Vangunu giant rat (Uromys vika). It’s the first new rat species discovered on the islands in about 80 years. It can weigh more than 0.9 kilograms (2 pounds) and stretch to about 0.45 m from nose to tip of tail. Because its habitat is threatened by industrial logging, the rat is likely to be designated as Critically Endangered once it is assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.