Suriname’s secret species – 60 new to science found on biological expedition

A team of tropical biologists exploring the Amazon rainforest in Suriname have discovered 60 species new to science, and a wonderful gallery of some of them can be found here on the Guardian website. The expedition was part of Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program (RAP), which was developed as a means of quickly assessing the biodiversity of little-explored regions in order to catalyse conservation action. Whereas some scientific research and biodiversity surveys can take months or years, rapid assessments are one way of intensively collecting data to get a snapshot of a region in a short amount of time. I think they look like amazing fun, but unfortunately lack the ID skills and expertise to have much hope of being useful on a RAP team. Dr Trond Larson, one of the biologists on this latest expedition, has written a wonderful piece describing the team’s Suriname experience, well worth a read here on Conservation International’s website.

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