Expeditions to search for new species in Mozambique & Madagascar03/11/2009 12:35:21 On the eve of 2010, International Year of Biodiversity, the National Museum of Natural History and Pro-Natura International are working in partnership with IUCN to launch "Our Planet Reviewed", an unprecedented programme of naturalist expeditions.
November 2009. The expeditions will span ten years and conduct a massive inventory of biodiversity in geographical areas which, up until now, have been little explored. The objective is to accelerate the scientific discovery of new species, by focusing our efforts on the regions of the planet which are considered a priority in terms of nature conservation.
Madagascar & Mozambique
Between April 2009 and June 2010, Madagascar and Mozambique will host a series of expeditions on sea and land. Under the leadership of Professor Philippe Bouchet, from the National Museum of Natural History, and Olivier Pascal, from Pro-Natura International, these expeditions aim to develop existing knowledge of biodiversity in regions which are considered to be the richest in species, but which are also lesser known and the most threatened on the planet.
Hundreds of new species discovered in Vanuatu
Over four months of research in the field, around a hundred participants across all disciplines, from all around the world, and exceptional technical resources bear witness to the scale of this inventory project. These new expeditions will draw on the expertise acquired during Santo 2006, an inventory operation carried out in the Vanuatu archipelago, in the heart of the South Pacific, which revealed several hundred new species.
Essentially dedicated to neglected biodiversity, such as marine and land invertebrates, plants and fungi, which represent 95 percent of the world's biodiversity and play a fundamental role in the balance of ecosystems, the Mozambique/ Madagascar project intends to return this field of research, all too often ignored in favour of large fauna, to its proper place and thereby encourage new conservation policies, which are no longer solely based on emblematic species.