Four new mammal species discovered in Democratic Republic of Congo

Dec 16, 2013

Julian Kerbis Peterhans, a Roosevelt University professor and adjunct curator at The Field Museum who has conducted extensive studies on mammals in Africa, has announced the discovery of four new species of small mammals in the eastern section of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The mammals were found during an expedition to the Misotshi-Kabogo highlands led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and in another nearby forest with the Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles (CRSN) Lwiro – areas that were previously unexplored. "Our discoveries demonstrate the need for conserving this isolated reservoir of biodiversity," Kerbis said.

"Three new species from a single forest (with a fourth from a nearby forest) is quite unique," Kerbis added. "More often such finds would be made on island ecosystems. However, the highlands in which these species reside are isolated from adjacent forests and mountains by savannah habitats and low elevation streams."

In two new papers published in the German journal Bonn Zoological Bulletin, Kerbis and his colleagues describe the two new species of shrews and the two of bats.

WCS and CRSN scientists together with Trento Science Museum in Italy are in the process of describing three new frog species and possibly a new chameleon from the same area from these surveys. The team also confirmed the presence of a unique squirrel and monkey whose existence had been recorded in historical surveys and collections dating from the 1950s.

Remarkably, all of these species were found during the course of a short survey of less than 30 days in 2007. "Given the clear importance of this site, we are working closely with the local communities and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to protect this unique area," reported Dr. Andrew Plumptre, director of WCS's Albertine Rift Program. "The local community has elected to create a new national park here to protect these unique , but concerns over mining concessions that have been granted in the area are hampering its creation."

Kerbis' colleagues included scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (New York) the Centre de Recherché des Sciences Naturelles (Lwiro, Democratic Republic of Congo) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Explore further: Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lost forest yields several new species

Aug 07, 2007

An expedition led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to a remote corner of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has uncovered unique forests which, so far, have been found to contain six animal ...

New park protects 15,000 gorillas

Jan 31, 2013

The Republic of Congo has declared a new national park that protects a core population of the 125,000 western lowland gorillas discovered by WCS in 2008.

Photo reveals rare okapi survived poaching onslaught

Sep 10, 2008

A set of stripy legs in a camera trap photo snapped in an African forest indicates something to cheer about, say researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society. The legs belong to an okapi -- a rare forest ...

New African monkey species identified

Sep 12, 2012

Researchers have identified a new species of African monkey, locally known as the lesula, described in the Sep. 12 issue of the open access journal PLOS ONE. This is only the second new species of Africa ...

Study confirms wealth of primates in Tanzania

Jul 17, 2013

A five-year study by the Wildlife Conservation Society gives new hope to some of the world's most endangered primates by establishing a roadmap to protect all 27 species in Tanzania – the most primate-diverse ...

Recommended for you

Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

Aug 29, 2014

The Natural History Museum of Denmark recently discovered a unique gift from one of the greatest-ever scientists. In 1854, Charles Darwin – father of the theory of evolution – sent a gift to his Danish ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
not rated yet Dec 16, 2013
Seems as if the Conservationist's Motto is wrong again:

"What we have now is all we will ever have." - Conservationist motto