Tanzania forests yield 17 new species of amphibians and reptiles05/01/2009 23:46:16
The Nguru Mountains of Tanzania have proved to be an endangered treasure trove of herpeto-fauna
By Michele Menegon & Nike Doggart
January 2009. Despite the vicinity of a major road, the rainforests of the South Nguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania were virtually unexplored until 2004, particularly from a herpetological point of view.
Several surveys were conducted between 2004 and 2006 with the aim of providing a comprehensive list of the amphibian and reptile species of this overlooked hotspot of biological diversity. The surveys were carried out by Michele Menegon, a researcher from the Natural Science Museum of Trento, Italy, in collaboration with the Tanzanian NGO Tanzania Forest Conservation Group and the Frontier Tanzania Forest Research Program.
17 new species
Conservation urgently needed
A paper summarizing the results of the surveys, is published in the current issue of the scientific journal Acta Herpetologica and can be downloaded here.
Other recent discoveries in Tanzania - New genus of monkey!
Despite being a relatively well known and studied country, there are still many surprises lurking in some of Tanzania's nooks and crannies. Recent discoveries include a New Species of Giant Elephant-Shrew and, amazingly, a new genus of monkey, the Kipunji which is critically endangered.