Scientists have reported four new species found during an unprecedented top-to-bottom rainforest study at Penang Hill, Malaysia. The recent two-week “BioBlitz” saw 117 scientists and students from Malaysia and around the world join forces to thoroughly document the area’s flora and fauna, from the treetops to beneath the soil.
“We exceeded our expectations,” says expedition leader Dr Meg Lowman, the Lindsay chair of botany at the California Academy of Sciences, which partnered with The Habitat Penang Hill, an eco-park, for the October study. “We had double the participants we had hoped for – 60 per cent of them women. We achieved the world’s first whole-forest biodiversity survey, meaning we discovered creatures at the tops of the trees as well as in the soil.”