Lost Land of the Volcano

Lost land of the volcano Last night on BBC television in the UK was the first of three programmes of the BBC’s jungle expedition, natural history discovery programmes “Lost Land of the ….” in this Volcano. This time the series, was filmed in the forests of the remote tropical island of New Guinea, primarily exploring the area around the giant extinct volcano – Mount Bosavi. (Pictured Steve Backsall – copyright BBC).

The aims of this programme were to explore and catalogue the species of this seldom studied region, ultimately with the hope to have the forest designated as protected to save it from logging.

An international team of scientists, cavers and wildlife filmmakers during the expedition (28th January – 4th March 2009), catalogued the species of this area using a variety of camera techniques (live, remote, miniature, movement activated), traps, tracking skills and waiting around in hides. In all the team managed to catalogue thousands of species (see report pdf), including 40 potentially new species to science. These included at least 16 new species of frog, two new species of lizards, three new species of fish, one new species of bat, and an undescribed, endemic subspecies of the Silky Cuscus (a marsupial). Personally, I would love to see the insect list (missing from the report), if anyone finds this, please post the link in comments.    

I have also attempted below to add the websites of the expedition team (names are link highlighted, also additional site links are provided).

Dr Allen Allison: Reptile expert from the Bishop Museum, Hawaii.
Steve Backsall: Naturalist and climber.
Gordon Buchanan: Wildlife cameraman with 20 years experience and on Twitter
Dr Jack Dumbacher: Bird expert from the California Academy of Sciences, and his blog about the trip
Dr Kristofer Helgen: Mammal expert from the Smithsonian Institution, Washington.
Bulisa Iova: Biologist from the Papua New Guinea National Museum.
Ulla Lohmann: Photographer.
Alanna Maltby: Bat specialist from the Zoological Society of London.
Dr George McGavin: Insect expert from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. More BBC videos
Muse Opiang: Mammal specialist from the Papua New Guinea Institute for Biological Research.
Dr Phil Shearman: Remote sensing expert from the University of Papua New Guinea.
Kwiwan Sibu: Naturalist and guide with specialism in birds
Dr Philip Willink: Fish expert from the Chicago Field Museum.

If you have access to the BBC I would recommend watching this show, especially in HD. It does flit back and forth between the different experts and what they find, which might be good for some viewers, however I personally would have liked a show about each of the experts and the species that they found, but then there is always the excellent programme websites for that – yes two of them here and here.

This is another great show from the BBC, and one I am happy to pay the licence fee for. I have also added this to the top of my birthday wishlist of DVDs.

Some readers might remember I also covered the second series in a previous post.

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