From Conservation International:
Scientists Confirm Bird’s Head Seascape Is Richest on Earth
CI-Led Survey Reveals Trove of Biodiversity Near ‘Lost World’ of Foja
Erika Kranz, Staff Writer
Sept. 18, 2006: Not far from the Foja Mountains, where a CI team recently discovered a “lost world” of rare plants and animals, another CI-led expedition has found a new trove of extraordinary marine biodiversity in a region known as the Bird’s Head Seascape.
Two Corners of the Bird’s Head
Scientists recently surveyed two locations in the seascape and found more than 50 new species, including sharks, shrimp, and reef-building corals.
The Missouri-sized marine region is home to more than 1,200 types of reef fishes and nearly 600 species of hard corals, plus whales, sea turtles, crocodiles, giant clams, manta rays, and dugongs – all confirming the Bird’s Head as perhaps Earth’s richest seascape.
Unlike the virgin wilderness of the Foja Mountains, however, these reefs already show signs of human impact and are now coming under increasing threat from a proposed national policy to increase commercial fisheries in the region.
Freshwater turtles of New Guinea: here.