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Australia’s Astounding Species Diversity is Fading

Over the last ten years in Australia, scientists have unearthed an average of at least two new species a week, WWF said in a recent report. “The extent of Australia’s rich biodiversity is astounding, to the point where science is regularly being used to describe new species,” Michael Roache of WWF-Australia said. Photograph courtesy Ross...

Over the last ten years in Australia, scientists have unearthed an average of at least two new species a week, WWF said in a recent report.

“The extent of Australia’s rich biodiversity is astounding, to the point where science is regularly being used to describe new species,” Michael Roache of WWF-Australia said.

picture-of-carbine-barred-frog.jpg

Photograph courtesy Ross Knowles, WWF-Australia

Tragically, many of the newfound species may already be heading for extinction. At least 1,300 species are thought to be endangered, according to the report released by WWF to mark Australia’s National Threatened Species Day on September 7.

Take the the carbine barred frog (pictured above), for example. It lives only in cool, high-elevation rain forests of the Carbine Tablelands, a region in northern Australia that is vulnerable to the effects of global warming, conservationists say.

“The frog–among 13 new amphibians found in the country in the past decade–may lose its habitat by 2050, due to an intense temperature rise,” National Geographic News reported yesterday.

Read more about the the 1,300 new plant and animal species found in Australia since 1999, and see a small gallery of pictures:

NEW SPECIES PICTURES: “Fast Talking” Frog, Snubfin Dolphin Found >>

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David Max Braun
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn