Monday, March 05, 2012

New species - for a cause

NZ Environmentalists hope to block mine

Environmentalists in New Zealand - an army of 150 of them, under miserable conditions - are scouring the Dennison Plateau for new species.  Their hope is that such discoveries will cause a court or government agency to shut down a proposed mine until new animals can be studied.
Without taking a position on the mine issues, since I know almost nothing of them, this is the first time I've heard of looking for new species with that specific goal. Looking for endangered/known species is more common.  Here in Colorado we've had anti-development activists looking for the threatened Preble's Jumping Mouse (our local news columnist says "named for the famous Native American zoologist Joe Jumping Mouse") to stop development, mid rumors (never proven, to my knowledge) that some of the found specimens might be planted.
Whatever the bigger issues, the finding of new species is always a good thing.  So far in NZ, researchers think they have a possible new gecko, a snail, and several species of insects. 

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