“Lost City” in a Rainforest is Found to have a Treasure of Rare Species

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Red eyed tree frog
Red eyed tree frog found in the rainforest (Credits - Wikimedia Commons)

The ‘White City’: a fabled settlement hidden deep in the green rainforests of Honduras said to be all that now remains of a mysterious civilization that existed in Central America long before the Europeans came.

But this lost city has its non-believers. For much of the last century, doubts have raised around disputed archaeological ‘discoveries’ of this La Ciudad Blanca, but one thing is finally clear: this rich environment hosts a unique ecosystem of animal life.

To explore that so-called mystical land and research more about its surmised rich biodiversity, a team of scientists from Conservation International led by Trond Larsen went on a 3-week long expedition back in 2017. The destination for this expedition was Ciudad Blanca which is situated in the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve in Honduras.

So finally, the team which had went for the exploration revealed the results earlier this week which they had obtained in Ciudad de Jaguar (City of Jaguar), a region which is a part of the White city located in La Mosquitia rainforest. Their results have simply shown that this isolated part of the world is a treasure chest for unique species of animals and plants.

The reports of the research say, the team of biologists was able to find species of butterflies and moths in excess of 246, 30 bats, 198 bird species of which Great Green Macaw was a surprising discovery since it was supposedly extinct. Furthermore, 57 species of amphibians and reptiles were discovered. They also discovered 22 unique species of animals never found in Honduras. Apart from these laudable discoveries, there were numerous jaguars, puma, snakes, and a motley of plant species that were found by this team.

Pale-faced bat
Pale-faced bat (Phylloderma stenops). (Trond Larsen/Conservation International)

The most striking feature of this expedition was the rediscovery of three species of animals which were presumed to be locally extinct. One of those species of animals is a Pale-faced bat, another one was a False tree coral snake and the last one was a Tiger beetle, which was earlier believed to have existed only in Nicaragua.

The director of Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program Trond Larsen one who led this expedition, says that this pristine state of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem which is home to numerous species of flora and fauna makes it necessary to safeguard it from illegal practices like cattle ranching and deforestation. He also believes that this place locally known as “Lost city of Monkey God” is used for malpractices like drug trafficking.

Due to its rugged and steep terrain, this secluded region of Central American rainforests has been safe up till now. Moreover, due to the persistent efforts of the Honduran government and recently established the Kaha Kamasa Foundation especially for research, protection, and management of “Lost City”, we can be assured that we’ll get to know a lot more from this ecologically rich part of the earth.

Eyelash viper
Eyelash Viper (Bothriechis schlegelii). (Trond Larsen/Conservation International)

 

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