Little-known reef reveals wealth of unexpected riches, new species

The squarespot anthias, a typical inhabitant of the deeper reefs of Atauro Island, Timor-Leste. (© Conservation International/photo by Mark Erdmann) Editor’s note: This post is about the underwater discoveries of a recent species survey. Learn about this expedition’s terrestrial findings. Four years ago, after thoroughly surveying the reefs of Timor-Leste’s Nino Konis Santana National Park, I and a team of Conservation…

Snakes on mysterious island live in trees, impregnate themselves

This gecko spotted on a recent CI biodiversity survey on the island of Atauro, Timor-Leste, is thought to be found nowhere else on Earth. (© Conservation International/photo by David Emmett) Editor’s note: In June, Conservation International (CI) conducted a biodiversity survey on and around Timor-Leste’s little-studied island of Atauro. Mark Erdmann recently blogged about the expedition’s ocean findings; today, David Emmett reports on what…

Dispatch from Atauro: Search for Species Raises More Questions

This is the final post from David Emmett about a recent expedition searching for new species on the island of Atauro in the Southeast Asian country of Timor-Leste. Read previous blogs from the expedition. The Timor-Leste RAP team traveling between Atauro island and the Timorese capital of Dili. (photo courtesy of Timor-Leste RAP team) The final day of our survey somehow encapsulated everything that is wonderful about Timor and Atauro. We woke…

Dispatch from Atauro: Night Hikes, Bat Caves and a Trove of New Species

David Emmett is currently part of a team searching for new species on the island of Atauro in the Southeast Asian country of Timor-Leste. Read previous blogs from his expedition. The CI team sets up a live trap to capture a civet to see if Atauro’s population is different from that found on Timor-Leste’s mainland. (Photo courtesy of Timor-Leste Rapid Assessment Program team) In my last post, I noted how the water supply on Atauro

Dispatch from Atauro: On Arid Island, Life Hinges on Forest

Editor’s Note: David Emmett is currently part of a team searching for new species on the little-studied island of Atauro in the Southeast Asian country of Timor-Leste. Read previous blogs from this expedition. The CI team explores the forested hills of Atauro Island, Timor-Leste. Besides sheltering unique wildlife, these trees help maintain the island’s limited drinking water supply. (© Conservation International/photo by David Emmett )…

Expedition draws world’s attention to new crown jewel of marine life

A humphead wrasse swims near Atauro Island, Timor-Leste. This is one of hundreds of reef fish species spotted on Conservation International’s recent species survey around the island. (© Gerry Allen) An island off the coast of the tiny nation of Timor-Leste may have the most species-rich waters in the world. As we reported last month, a team of Conservation International’s (CI) researchers recently surveyed 10 sites around the island of…

On a Tiny Island, Searching for a Spitting Cobra

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of dispatches from David Emmett, senior vice president for CI’s Asia Pacific field division, as he sets out to the island of Atauro, Timor-Leste, in search of undiscovered species. Read other posts in this series. Timor-Leste’s Atauro Island, where CI scientist David Emmett is currently part of a team conducting the island’s first biological survey. The goal of the survey — in addition…

In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world

Coral reef on Atauro Island, Timor Leste. (© Conservation International/photo by Paul Hilton) Editor’s note: News about conservation and the environment is made every day, but some of it can fly under the radar. In a recurring feature , Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about. Scientists discover giant deep-sea coral reef off Atlantic coast An 85-mile reef was discovered off the coast of South Carolina…

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