Expanding scientific knowledge of Tompotika’s species and habitats
While Sulawesi is considered one of the world’s highest priority “hotspots” for biodiversity conservation, it’s also woefully understudied. When investigators survey the island’s biologically rich and highly distinctive ecosystems, they routinely discover new species previously unknown to the scientific community. In turn, the Tompotika region is a kind of “hotspot within a hotspot,” with at least nine vertebrate species found only in the Tompotika region and nowhere else on the planet.
AlTo sponsors and participates in scientific surveys to learn more about the wondrous array of life with which we humans share the Tompotika region. Involving local people, who themselves have deep and varied knowledge about their wild neighbors, AlTo has been involved in recent surveys for amphibians and reptiles, butterflies, small mammals, bats, and tarsiers, and in so doing has helped facilitate the discovery of 9-15 new species, including a frog, Occidozyga tompotika, a gecko, Cyrtodactylus batik, and others. And that’s from just the few taxa we’ve surveyed! In the time ahead, look for new species being identified from Tompotika, and new local contributors to the world’s scientific knowledge.