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 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: