Space may be the final frontier, but scientists who recently discovered a hidden forest in Mozambique show the uncharted can still be under our noses. Scientists used Google Earth to identify a remote patch of pristine forest. An expedition to the site discovered new species of butterfly and snake, along with seven Globally Threatened birds.
The team were browsing Google Earth – freely available software providing global satellite photography – to search for potential wildlife hotspots. A nearby road provided the first glimpses of a wooded mountain topped by bare rock. However, only by using Google Earth could the scientists observe the extent of woodland on the other side of the peak. This was later discovered to be the locally known, but unmapped, Mount Mabu. Scientific collections and literature also failed to shed light on the area.
“This is potentially the biggest area of medium-altitude forest I’m aware of in southern Africa, yet it was not on the map”, related Jonathan Timberlake from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew), who led the expedition. “Most Mozambicans would not even have recognised the name Mount Mabu.”
Many New Species Discovered In Hidden Oasis With Help Of Google Earth
Sat, 31 Jan 2009 05:00:00 GMT