one green planet
one green planet

Researchers working in the Bolivian Andes have discovered 20 new species and also found a few that had previously thought to be extinct. Trond Larsen of Conservation International co-led the expedition into the area over a 2-week period in 2017.

The expedition took place in Zongo Valley near the Bolivian capital. The area is lush with biodiversity.

“[In Zongo] the noises you hear are from nature — all sorts of insects, frogs and birds calling, wonderful rushing sounds and cascades of waterfalls. Everything is covered in thick layers of moss, orchids and ferns,” Larsen said to CNN.

“We didn’t expect to find so many new species and to rediscover species that had been thought to be extinct.”

Gateway to Knowledge/YouTube

What Was Found In The Bolivian Andes?

The team discovered a highly-venomous snake in the area. It has been named the mountain fer-de-lance viper. While it was previously unknown to scientists, it has since been found elsewhere in the Andes outside the Zongo Valley region.

The team also found one of the smallest amphibians ever on record. The newly discovered lilliputian frog is only 1-centimeter in length.
“We followed the sound of them in the forest but as soon as you get near them, they get quiet so it’s tremendously difficult to locate,” said Larsen of the frogs.
The team also “rediscovered” several species thought to previously be extinct. These included the Devil-eyed frog which hadn’t been seen in 20 years. Numerous other expeditions to find the frog had been unsuccessful.
“Given that all these other expeditions failed we did not think that we would [find it] and when we did discover it, it was quite an epiphany, incredibly exciting,” says Larsen of the find.

The satyr butterfly hadn’t been seen in nearly a century and was thought to be extinct. The team rediscovered it in the Bolivian Andes, however.

Larsen said that while the discoveries were exciting for him and his team, they also noted that much of the region’s wildlife is having to adapt to climate change.

“Unless you keep those corridors of forest intact then those animals and plants have no way to move and no way to adjust to those changing conditions,” Larsen said. “That’s why protecting places like the Zongo is so essential in the face of climate change.”

Related Content:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Also, don’t forget to download the Food Monster App on iTunes — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!