Species Discoveries Are Part of the Biodiversity Story

June 11, 2008

The headline-grabbing news about species tends to be gloomy, usually focusing on a few charismatic creatures on the verge of extinction. But another trend is occurring, as scientists beat the bushes looking for species not yet recognized. The tally for 2007? It's 16,969. That's according to the International Institute of Species Exploration at Arizona State University and its collaborators.

Among the newbies are colorful, strangely-shaped, or deadly snakes, rays, bats, frogs, millipedes, beetles, and mushrooms. A few of these discoveries might make a good story for a general audience, and specialized audiences might enjoy hearing about many more.

Along with the newly recognized species themselves, the members of the Institute emphasize many threads related to biodiversity. As part of that effort, they've made a YouTube video designed to make biodiversity accessible to a wider audience.

The Institute assembled the 2007 inventory in collaboration with the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the International Plant Names Index, and Thompson Scientific, publisher of Zoological Record.

Two related sites include: