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Friday, April 18, 2014

123 new species found in Borneo since 2007

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A lung-less frog, a frog that flies and a slug that shoots love darts are among 123 new species found in Borneo since 2007 in a project to conserve one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

The global conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has called for protecting the threatened species and equatorial rain forest on Borneo, the South China Sea island that is the world's third-largest and is shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

'The challenge is to ensure that these precious landscapes are still intact for future generations,' said a WWF report released today.

Barbourula kalimantanensis

No lungs: Known as the Barbourula kalimantanensis and discovered in 2008, this flat-headed frog breathes entirely through its skin. It is among 123 new species found in Borneo since 2007

The search for the new species was part of the Heart of Borneo project that started in February 2007 and is backed by the WWF and the three countries that share the island.

The aim is to conserve 85,000 square miles of rain forest that was described by Charles Darwin as 'one great luxuriant hothouse made by nature for herself'.

Explorers have been visiting Borneo for centuries, but vast tracts of its interior are yet to be biologically explored, said Adam Tomasek, leader of WWF's Heart of Borneo project.

He said: 'If this stretch of irreplaceable rain forest can be conserved for our children, the promise of more discoveries must be a tantalizing one for the next generation of researchers to contemplate.'

Dendrelaphis kopsteini

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