Jumat, 14 Januari 2011

Katak Mancung dan Belalang Hijau Ditemukan




JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com Para peneliti dari Conservation International menemukan sekitar 200 spesies hewan dan tumbuhan di Papua Niugini. Di antara temuan tersebut ada sejenis katak dengan moncong panjang yang berukuran sejempol, belalang hijau menyala dengan mata merah jambu, dan tikus dengan ujung ekor putih. Temuan itu diumumkan minggu lalu, meski ekspedisinya sudah dilaksanakan sejak tahun 2009.
Hewan lain yang dijumpai para peneliti adalah 24 spesies katak, 45 spesies laba-laba, 29 spesies semut, puluhan jenis belalang, 6 spesies capung, dan 2 spesies mamalia, serta 9 spesies tumbuhan. Temuan-temuan itu belum pernah dideskripsikan di literatur ilmiah sebelumnya sehingga bisa dianggap sebagai temuan baru.
"Temuan itu menunjukkan betapa sedikit yang kita ketahui mengenai dunia ini," ujar pimpinan peneliti, Stephen Richards, Kamis (7/10/2010). "Banyak perhatian mengenai hilangnya keanekaragaman hayati, perubahan iklim, dan dampaknya pada keanekaragaman hayati, lalu kita melakukan proyek seperti ini, dan tersadar, hei kita bahkan tidak tahu ada keanekaragaman hayati di sana," lanjut Richards yang menyebut bahwa penemuan ini sebagai kabar baik di antara kabar-kabar buruk mengenai kerusakan lingkungan.
Ekspedisi dilakukan pada April 2009 saat para peneliti menjelajahi pegunungan Nakanai di Pulau New Britain, lalu bergerak menggunakan kano, jalan kaki, dan menumpang helikopter menuju wilayah terpencil yang berhutan. Di sana mereka menemukan beberapa hewan unik, termasuk tikus dengan ekor putih yang sepertinya tidak berkerabat dengan tikus jenis lain dan diduga sebagai genus baru.
Para peneliti juga menemukan katak kecil yang panjangnya hanya 2 sentimeter dan berkerabat dengan katak-katak di Kepulauan Solomon. "Sungguh mengejutkan menemukan hewan-hewan itu," kata Richards.
Pada ekspedisi kedua, September 2009, tim menuju Pegunungan Muller di selatan Papua Niugini. Di sana mereka menemukan beberapa jenis belalang, termasuk jenis yang bisa melawan pemangsa dengan kaki-kakinya yang besar dan berduri. Menurut peneliti yang sempat menggoda hewan itu, pukulan belalang tersebut cukup menyakitkan.
Hutan Papua Niugini adalah satu dari tiga hutan hujan liar yang tersisa di dunia. Dua lainnya adalah hutan Amazon dan lembah Congo. "Saya berani bilang, di mana pun Anda pergi di Papua Niugini, dipastikan Anda menemukan spesies baru atau kurang dikenal," kata Richards.



Sharp and Grasshopper Green Frog Discovered
JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Researchers from Conservation International found about 200 species of animals and plants in Papua New Guinea. Among the findings there is a type of frog with a long snout sejempol sized, light green grasshoppers with pink eye, and rats with a white tail tip. The findings were announced last week, although the expedition has been carried out since 2009.
Other animals encountered the researchers are 24 species of frogs, 45 species of spiders, 29 species of ants, dozens of locusts, 6 species of dragonflies, and 2 species of mammals, and 9 species of plants. The findings have never been described in previous scientific literature that could be considered a new finding.
"These findings show how little we know about this world," said lead researcher, Stephen Richards, on Thursday (07/10/2010). "A lot of concern about biodiversity loss, climate change and its impacts on biodiversity, then we do a project like this, and realized, hey we do not even know there biodiversity there," said Richards, who called the findings as good news in between news-bad news about environmental damage.
The expedition carried out in April 2009 when the researchers explore Nakanai mountains on the island of New Britain, then moved using a canoe, hiking, and helicopter ride to a secluded wooded area. There they found some unique animals, including mice with white tails that seem not related to other types of mice and is suspected as a new genus.
The researchers also found a small frog that is only 2 inches in length and are related to the frogs in the Solomon Islands. "It was surprising to find the animals," said Richards.
On the second expedition, September 2009, the team headed Muller Mountains in southern Papua New Guinea. There they found several types of grasshoppers, including the type of prey that can fight with great legs and spiked. According to the researchers who had time to tease the animal, grasshopper is quite painful blow.
Papua New Guinea Forest is one of three remaining wild rain forest in the world. The other two are the Amazon rainforest and the Congo basin. "I dare say, no matter where you go in Papua New Guinea, certainly you discover new or little known species," said Richards.

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