Expedition discovers animals of São Tomé and Principé islands

This is a video about the wildlife of Principé island.

From the California Academy of Sciences in the USA:

Puzzling Over São Tomé and Principé

A team of scientists whose expertise spans the animal kingdom has returned from the African islands of São Tomé and Principé with a comprehensive animal survey which raises some intriguing evolutionary questions.

How does wildlife reach volcano-born islands separated from the nearest landmass by 200 miles of deep ocean water?

It’s easy to imagine that some animals, such as the several species of bats, the eight-inch-long Greef’s gecko, or even the 13 species of lacewings that an Academy team of scientists brought back from the islands, flew, rafted, or got blown there by the wind.

The arrival of others, like the caecilian, a legless, burrowing amphibian that looks like a bright yellow earthworm, is more perplexing.

The caecilian is Schistometopum thomense.

Tucked back into their cozy laboratories, the scientists are now hard at work comparing these species to those on the nearby island of Bioko and the African mainland to try to piece together this evolutionary puzzle.

Their work is cut out for them: the group came back with thousands of specimens including the largest African tree frog (11 cm long) and a tree trapdoor spider, previously known only from one specimen collected in 1895.

Although hot and humid conditions made collecting a lesson in endurance, the survey was “hassle free,” according to expedition leader Bob Drewes.

From government officials to a young boy who helped the team find a type of frog that had eluded the team for five weeks, the islands’ residents were friendly and helpful.

See also here.

First record of Tardigrada from São Tomé (Gulf of Guinea, Western Equatorial Africa): here.

5 thoughts on “Expedition discovers animals of São Tomé and Principé islands

  1. Dwarf Olive Ibis nest found – Great news from Associação dos Biólogos Santomenses (ABS), the BirdLife Species Guardian for Dwarf Olive Ibis Bostrychia bocagei in São Tomé. Researcher, Hugulay Maia, leading a team of ABS members located an ibis nest with two eggs at a height of 8 m in primary forest. Although it was not possible to photograph the female, it was observed at the nest on the following day. ABS will continue to monitor the nest in the coming weeks and hopes to provide more detailed data on its breeding and nesting habits. The BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme is providing help and funding to this and more than 50 other threatened species.



  2. Pingback: São Tomé birds threatened by palm oil | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  4. Pingback: Saving São Tomé and Príncipe birds | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: World’s largest canary studied | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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