New animal species discovered in Papua New Guinea

Australian scientists have uncovered several new species of mammals in the remote forests of Papua New Guinea.

Melbourne: Australian scientists have uncovered several new species of mammals in the remote forests of Papua New Guinea.

Euan Ritchie, an ecologist from Melbourne`s Deakin University, documented the rare animals in the Torricelli mountain range in the remote north-west of the country.

Around 40 cameras were installed to capture the first images of critically endangered tree kangaroos in the wild, but in the process three new species of previously unidentified mammals were also discovered, ABC reported.
"We certainly got an image of what we think is a new species of sort of small kangaroo, dorcopsulus wallaby. Think small dog-size wallaby if you like," Ritchie said.

"There`s also things like bandicoots and rodents that don`t appear to be in any of the books that we know about.

"To actually confirm that of course we`ll have to go back there one day and actually catch these animals and get them in the hand and take measurements and DNA samples, so that`s for further down the track," said Ritchie.

Ritchie said the discoveries show PNG has incredibly valuable forests and habitats and the region is a global biodiversity hot-spot.
"But there`s a whole range of species that are almost certain to be new to science and that are also new to that region," said Ritchie.

"There`s a whole range, probably hundreds and hundreds of species, not just in mammals but the birds, the insects, all sorts of species that are probably unknown to western science," he said.