Discovery virgin ecosystem
American researchers discovered, for example, a rare golden fronted bowerbird. They also saw a huge rhododendron, probably the largest in the world. But the most exciting discovery was a covey of Berlepsch's six-wired birds of paradise, a bird which was until now believed to be extinct. The bird, called after the ornithologist Berlepsch, was up to now identified solely by the feathers of dead specimens.
The leader of the expedition, Bruce Beehler, told how the group had found dozens, possibly hundreds of new animal species in what is likely to be the most virginal ecosystem in the entire Asian-Pacific area.
The animals seemed not afraid at all. According to the team of researchers this proved that they have never been in contact with humans before.
The American team believes that their discoveries so far are only the tip of the iceberg.
The team was composed of researchers from the American organisation Conservation International as well as researchers from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). The area that was investigated is 300.000 hectare in size and is located in the Foja mountains (altitude 2200 meter). It is situated in the hardly cleared west of New Guinea, where locals never come and the government has prohibited hunters to enter the area.
In the coming months the researchers will classify their discoveries.