Stranded by War, Forest Yields Treasures

Remote, unspoiled region of Congo conceals 6 new species
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 8, 2007 6:53 PM CDT
The forested region, in which the new species were found, has long been inaccessible due to local violence.   (
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(Newser) – Scientists have discovered six animal species in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, an area closed to scientists for nearly 50 years. The region is rich in biodiversity, Reuters reports, and beyond the bat, rodents, frogs, and shrews found on a brief trip this past winter, the Wildlife Conservation Society may also have discovered new plant species.

The area had been off-limits due to instability in the country, but given the discoveries in just 2 months, a researcher says, “it makes you wonder what else is out there.” The sparsely populated 1,000-square-kilometer area has remained intact despite political conflict, the research team said, and could easily be protected ecologically.