A Scientific Treasure Trove
New Species Discovered From Cerro Chucantí
Preliminary field surveys of Cerro Chucantí by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the University of Panama, and biologists from around the world continue to reveal the presence of unique flora and fauna. Some of these species represent new records for the country of Panama, while other species are completely new to science. Of the brand new species, nearly half are have already been proposed to be critically endangered (CR) because of their drastically limited ranges – often as small as 4km.
We have acknowledged the presence of at least seven new amphibian taxa, four reptiles, and an uncounted number of invertebrates. Biologists are also discovering new species of plants at a rapid pace. Panamanian botanist Rodolfo Flores recently submitted a formal description for a plant species from Chucantí (Lauraceae) that is currently in review. Dr. Thomas Croat, a world authority from the Missouri Botonical Garden, recently reviewed other specimens from Chucanti and estimates that there are at least six other undescribed Araceae in this pristine cloud forest, waiting to be discovered and described.