Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Borneo: A sanctuary of unknown species?

There are people out there, including myself, who are still touched because of the news of the functional extinction of the Baiji in China. It is indeed a loss that represents how destructive can be the human development and how important is to take some care about sustainable ways to keep out civilizations running.
Fortunately, not all have been bad news lately in the field of biology and diversity of species: According to a report that has appeared in many different channels, including Yahoo news, some unknown species (allegedly more than 50) of different types of living creatures, including fish, reptiles and plants, have been discovered in the island of Borneo. These discoveries were carried out during a research that took place between July 2005 and September 2006. This island, shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, is considered to be one of the only remaining natural refuges of endangered and endemic species such as Bornean gibbons, sun bears and long-nosed monkeys.
Among the species discovered, there is a kind of tree frog with bright green eyes, a tiny fish that measures about 0.9 cm (paedocypris micromegethes) and is believed to be one of the smallest vertebrates on Earth, a catfish with big teeth that has the ability to stick its belly to the rocks, several kinds of ginger, and a large-leafed plant.
The scientists involved in the project believe that there is still a considerable amount of species yet to be discovered in the area. This research leads to a simple conclusion: In order to be able to preserve these species' habitat, it is necessary to adopt business strategies that involve a sustainability-oriented mentality. Some of the industries that operate in nearby regions and that could represent a danger for these species are the production of palm-oil, rubber and pulp.

For more information about the discoveries, click the following address or copy and paste it in your browser's address bar: http://www.panda.org/index.cfm?uNewsID=89620


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