Humans have caused so much damage to the environment that at some point is even irreversible, and not to mention the fact that as a result of that numerous plant and animal species have become endangered. If things go at this rate many species will be extinct and the balance in nature utterly disturbed. Hence, we need immediately to do something to save our planet and the species that thrive on it as we are not the only species on Earth.
Yet, there is still a beak of hope and that is the discovery in 2017 of great biodiversity in a previously unexplored area of the rainforest in Honduras. Namely, the researchers discovered an amazing ecosystem in the ancient ruins deep within the Mosquitia forest, known as the lost city of the monkey god”, or “the white city”. The ancestors of the indigenous Pech people left this city millennia ago and since then it remained untouched.
The researchers from the Conservation International wanted to explore the site and went on a three-week research expedition. In that period they have found a thriving ecosystem with a great variety of rare and unique species, some of them have never been before discovered and some were believed to be extinct.
In the City of the Jaguar, they have discovered at least three species that were considered extinct, then a wide range of amphibians and mammals that are endangered species and one previously undocumented fish.
Among the lost species were the false tree coral snake, which had not been seen in Honduras since 1965, the pale-faced bat, and the tiger beetle that had been only recorded in Nicaragua. Researchers in their reports stated that that many of these species are rare or uncommon in other parts “due to habitat loss, degradation, hunting and other pressures.”
The expedition was a success and the researchers documented 180 plant species, 56 species of amphibians and reptiles, 198 species of birds, 94 of butterflies, 40 of small mammals, and 30 of large mammals. It goes without saying that this report is of great value for the scientific world.
Trond Larsen, Director of Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program, (RAP), sated:
“Our team of scientists was shocked at the discovery of tremendously rich biodiversity, including many rare and threatened species. The ‘White City’ is one of the few areas remaining in Central America where ecological and evolutionary processes remain intact.”
The Mosquitia rainforest is a protected area in Latin America north of the Amazon, but Larsen still thinks that this is not enough, as it is “very difficult to enforce protection.”
He said that often, “this illegal activity is being driven tangentially by drug trafficking, so it’s driven by powerful people with money.”
Dr John Polisar, a member of the RAP expedition team, stated:
“We have been doing field work in the indigenous territories of La Mosquitia for 14 years, and this site stood out as being simply gorgeous. Because of its presently intact forests and fauna the area is of exceptionally high conservation value. It merits energetic and vigilant protection so its beauty and wildlife persist into the future.”
Biodiversity in nature is very important as it offers sustainability for all species thriving in the area, including ours. The wildlife is essential part on our planet and we depend on it as well. The ecosystems offer pollinations, soil fertility, freshwater, food, medicine, and stability. Namely, 40% of the world’s economy is derived from biological resources, and the survival of the poorest communities very much depends on the biodiversity of the area.
The protection of nature and the conservation of the biodiversity is a powerful tool against the climate change.
The Conservation International considers the latest findings to be a great assistance in the protection of the region from deforestation.
“Overall, our findings demonstrate that the area is of global environmental as well as archaeological significance. Armed with this knowledge, stakeholders can now begin to design and implement conservation strategies to protect this critical ecosystem.”