2018 Regional Overview: Latin America

Central and South American rainforests are the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. From the world’s wettest rainforest in the Chocó region of Ecuador and Colombia to the spectacular cloud forests of Guatemala to the mighty Amazon, these ecosystems harbor immense amounts of life.

But they’re facing accelerating threats from logging, mining and agricultural expansion.

That’s why Rainforest Trust intensified efforts to strategically save the most important sites with endangered species, working alongside our locals partners in Latin America this year. Through this bottom-up approach, we’ve protected 619,799.6 acres — an area nearly five times the size of Ireland — at 25 critical reserves from Peru to Mexico.

In Peru, we worked with ten indigenous communities to protect over 500,000 acres. With the Costa Rican government we declared the country’s first shark sanctuary in Golfo Dulce. This marine protected zone safeguards the main birthing and nursing area for the endangered Scalloped Hammerhead.

Endangered Scalloped Hammerheads swim in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Photo by Olas David/Misión Tiburón.

Last year, Rainforest Trust purchased and protected a private reserve for the rediscovered Critically Endangered Blue-eyed Ground-dove. But this year, the state of Minas Gerais created the 86,708-acre Botumirim State Park around that reserve. So together, these lands shield a vital corner of Brazil’s threatened Cerrado ecosystem.

In Ecuador, we purchased 4,743.6 acres of private lands at risk of logging to strengthen a growing nature reserve network. These properties expanded the size of six existing protected areas, including the Tapichalaca and Dracula Reserves. But these achievements were only the latest of many years spent protecting Ecuador’s most important habitats in the world’s megadiverse Chocó and Andean biodiversity hotspots.

The Dracula Reserve in Ecuador. Photo by Tatiata Jaramillo.

We also expanded the Cerro Chucanti Nature Reserve in Panama and the Cerro Amay-Chimel Cloud Forest Preserve in Guatemala. In South America, we continued expanding both the Guapiacu Ecological Reserve in Brazil and the Selva de Ventanas Natural Reserve in Colombia.

But it wasn’t only species that benefited from these protections. In fact, three project sites in Latin America featured notable archaeological discoveries! At Cerro Chucanti in Panama, our partner uncovered pottery, likely from pre-Columbian settlements. The Selva Maya project in Guatemala also featured a remarkable find: A recent LiDAR study (laser scanning from low-flying airplanes) identified a sprawling network of Mayan ruins to demonstrate the site’s global cultural significance.

Rainforest Trust’s Latin America conservation team worked hard on the ground to coordinate a further 70 future land acquisitions and designations across the region to protect 8,872,595 acres — an area four times the size of Yellowstone National Park!

But our finished projects weren’t all we did this year. We also started on new projects in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and beyond.

Our diverse program from small purchases to creating massive indigenous reserves means we’ve protected so much in the hyper-diverse rainforests of Latin America this year.  But we know that despite our success, there are still many threats, known and unknown, to the species and the land.

Our continued success in Latin America is thanks to the ongoing support of people like you.  

All gifts to support our important conservation work are matched by the SAVES Challenge so you have double the impact. Please join us today to step up efforts now!

Blue-naped Chlorophonia in the El Dorado Bird Reserve, Colombia. Photo courtesy of Fundación ProAves.

2018 Regional Overview: Africa

Rainforest Trust knows the best way to make conservation projects a success is by involving the most important stakeholders — local communities. We embraced this tenet in Africa this year, where we protected a total of 869,812 acres through the support of community members living and working closest to the rainforest in 18 different countries.

Working with communities to establish protected areas and management plans is a long but critical process. A reserve Rainforest Trust helped to create in 2016 officially launched this September with a community-focused regional ceremony. Over 250 people — from clan chiefs to government representatives — came to celebrate the opening of Liberia’s Gola Forest National Park. The 219,609-acre reserve protects a critical portion of a West African biodiversity hotspot, safeguarding habitat for more than 60 species of conservation concern based on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. These species include the Critically Endangered Western Chimpanzee and the Endangered Pygmy Hippopotamus.

Endangered Pygmy Hippopotami. Photo by Michelle Bender.

In October, with the government of Cameroon, we announced the creation of the country’s first national park since 1932 — the Douala-Edea National Park. This Western Chimpanzee stronghold includes 350,000 acres of new protection for mangrove forests, wetlands and coastal habitats.

Also in Cameroon, we worked to save one of the continent’s most important locations for amphibians. The community-supported Mount Manengouba Herpetological Sanctuary is a 5,542-acre reserve, 6.5 times larger than Central Park, that protects 100 species of amphibians, 89 species of reptiles and 270 bird species. By working with communities, we are helping to build a conservation strategy that benefits wildlife and local people.

The 847-acre Onepone Endangered Species Refuge, which also protects vital populations of endemic amphibians, was designated in Ghana. The new refuge was named for the traditional moniker of the local people, who were integral in the official designation.

The Critically Endangered Togo Slippery Frog found in the Onepone Endangered Species Refuge. Photo by Herp Conservation Ghana.

One of the largest community-focused projects by Rainforest Trust is in Tsinjoarivo-Ambalaomby. This region is part of Madagascar’s eastern rainforest chain and home to Critically Endangered primates such as the Sibree’s Dwarf Lemur and Diademed Sifaka, in addition to two Critically Endangered endemic orchids.

Just last week, Rainforest Trust surpassed over 20 million acres of critical rainforests saved since its founding in 1988. This milestone came with the declaration of three new community reserves in the Democratic Republic of Congo!

Rainforest Trust had 27 new fellows and 44 new guardians join our Fellows and Guardians Programs in Africa this year. These programs recognize and support individuals working with our partners on the frontlines of managing our reserves and parks.

Rainforest Trust’s current work in Africa will protect an additional 9,590,180 acres in 2019. We urgently seek your support to continue this important work saving endangered species and the tropical habitats where they live. Please join us today to step up efforts now!

2018 Regional Overview: Asia and the Pacific

Rainforest Trust purchased and protected 74,206 acres in Asia and the Pacific this year, including a variety of unique habitats!

Some of these acres were home to small, endemic species found nowhere else in the world. On Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, Rainforest Trust added 72 acres to a now 47,328-acre protected network of coastal habitat. This area is a key nesting location for the Endangered Maleo, an iconic turkey-like bird. We also added five parcels of vital riparian habitat to the buffer zone of Nepal’s Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Here, we’ve protected 485 different bird species on 42,560 acres, including the Critically Endangered Bengal Florican.

A pair of Endangered Maleos nesting. Photo by WCS-Indonesia.

In a small but mighty declaration, we protected 20 acres in Fiji which includes a cave that is home to 95 percent of the global population of the Endangered Fijian Free-tailed Bat. The community hosted an elaborate dedication ceremony for the new Nakanacagi Cave Reserve that included traditional song, dance, and feasting.

Communities were also in support of ecological corridors for far-ranging charismatic species. In Malaysia, Rainforest Trust helped created and then expanded the new Kenyir State Park to 74,140 acres. This park permanently protects precious habitat for the Critically Endangered Malayan Tiger while overturning a major logging concession valued at $45 million in timber.

The emerging Lumbasumba Conservation Area will be the crucial link in a mosaic of protected areas across the Himalayas of southern China, Nepal and India. The corridor will ultimately unite 14 million acres – an area vital for Snow Leopards, Red Panda and other threatened species.

The Vulnerable Snow Leopard. Photo by Tambako the Jaguar.

Rainforest Trust continues to strengthen protective measures for our reserves and parks. For example, on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia we purchased a property and establishing a new ranger training facility while in Myanmar, we’re building a guard station at the Mahamyaing Wildlife Sanctuary.

From the Pacific islands of Palau, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia, to India, Cambodia and Vietnam, Rainforest Trust continues its work to protect at risk rainforests. And next year we start a major effort to assist new reserves in Papua, Laos and Thailand.

“Asia’s incredible biodiversity is threatened by the rate and scale of development in the region,” shared Angela Yang, Rainforest Trust Asia Conservation Director. “It is quite literally a race against time to create these critical protected areas to ensure the survival of globally threatened species and their habitats.”

Our in-country partners and Rainforest Trust’s Fellows and Guardians coordinate these projects on the ground. Seventeen Rainforest Trust Fellows joined our ranks in Asia and the Pacific this year, performing essential tasks to create new reserves and parks. Furthermore, 21 Rainforest Trust Guardians are on the frontlines of protecting endangered species and reserves across the region.

Rainforest Trust Guardian Akshay Gawade in the proposed Prachitgad Community Reserve. Photo by Jayant Sarnaik.

But the work is far from over. Our current projects in Asia and the Pacific will protect an additional 1.6 million acres in 2019. Rainforest Trust urgently seeks your support to protect Critically Endangered species like the Philippine Eagle and Bornean Orangutan. All gifts are matched by the SAVES Challenge, doubling your impact. Please join us today to step up efforts now!

 

First Species from Rainforest Trust Auction Named to Fight Climate Change

The first species from Rainforest Trust’s Species Legacy Auction on December 8 has been named, to widespread news!

 

Screenshot of winning bidder’s announcement. Credit: EnviroBuild.

 

The sustainable building materials company EnviroBuild based in the UK purchased the naming rights to a caecilian in our historic Species Legacy Auction on December 8. Researchers discovered this worm-like, legless amphibian in a Rainforest Trust-supported reserve in Latin America earlier this year. EnviroBuild’s winning bid of $25,000 allows them to decide the species’ scientific name.

EnviroBuild wanted to use this opportunity to bring attention to climate change. So they decided to name this unusual creature “donaldtrumpi”, after the 45th US President.

“[The word] “caecilians” is taken from the Latin ‘caecus’ meaning ‘blind,’ and [they] have rudimentary eyes which can only detect light or dark,” shared Aiden Bell, co-founder of EnviroBuild. “Capable of seeing the world only in black and white, Donald Trump has claimed that climate change is a hoax.” Caecilians also spend their lives digging through soil in the rainforest, another feature that EnviroBuild sees as reminiscent of Trump’s approach to climate change. Bell writes that “burrowing its head underground helps Donald Trump when avoiding scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.” This comes in the wake of a late-November report from the President’s own administration that the negative effects of climate change can be felt across the country.

The Caecilian being named as donaldtrumpi.

But climate change is not relegated to one region, and has far reaching implications for the global ecosystem. As amphibians with sensitive, breathable skin, caecilians are especially susceptible to pollution and changes in climate. Their potential extinction would be a harbinger of ecological devastation yet to come. Rainforest Trust’s project is protecting donaldtrumpi’s habitat, but that doesn’t help the species escape the devastating world-wide effects of uncontrolled climate change.

“I encountered many Caecilians in the Colombian Andes while conducting fieldwork, and while not the most charismatic species, I can attest to their dependence on pristine rainforests and sensitivity to climatic conditions.” said Rainforest Trust CEO Paul Salaman. “Future local and global changes in the climate will potentially be devastating to this unique group of vertebrates. So no matter the chosen name, we’re excited that the $25,000 donated to name this species is being used to conserve its habitat in perpetuity.”

Rainforest Trust held the auction in honor of 30 years of conservation success. It featured 12 new-to-science species, with all proceeds going to the reserves in which the plants and animals were discovered. The caecilian garnered the highest bid of the evening.

Rainforest Trust Fellows & Guardians Programs’ Conservation Action

As part of Rainforest Trust’s mission to purchase and protect threatened tropical forests through innovative in-country partnerships, we support hundreds of people across the tropics who are working on our projects in various conservation capacities. We recently launched the Conservation Fellows and the Conservation Guardians programs to honor these unsung heroes of conservation in celebration of our 30th anniversary.

Conservation Fellows are managers and coordinators that perform the essential work necessary to implement our protected area projects on the ground. As the Fellows represent the variety of careers available within conservation, our goal is to inspire these dedicated professionals to continue to apply their skills to tropical forest conservation.

The Guardians team of the Southern Africa Tortoise Conservation Trust are devoted to the conservation of the Critically Endangered Geometric Tortoise (Psammobates geometricus), which is restricted only to the far south-western corner of the Western Cape Province, South Africa. By clearing invasive plant species, they’re creating an environment where these rare and beautiful tortoises can thrive. Photo credit: Jim Juvik

“The Conservation Fellows and Conservation Guardians programs are our most important initiatives since the SAVES Challenge,” said Rainforest Trust CEO Dr. Paul Salaman. “They represent our continuing efforts to recognize and support our partner conservationists.”

Carlos Mauricio Mazo has been working for more than 14 years to conserve critically endangered bird and tree species. In 2015, he founded the NGO Corporación SalvaMontes Colombia to initiate protection of the cloud forests in the north-central Colombian Andes and the numerous endemic and threatened species that live there. The conservation of biodiversity is his life’s work. Photo credit: Carlos Mauricio Mazo

By supporting Conservation Guardians, Rainforest Trust recognizes and assists reserve guards and rangers on the front lines of conservation monitoring. These are the integral members of the team responsible for safeguarding irreplaceable biodiversity and the crucial protected areas that we help establish.

The Conservation Fellows and Conservation Guardians programs have currently enrolled 137 men and women from 17 different countries and 23 partners. Profiles of all participating Fellows and Guardians are being featured on the Rainforest Trust website. We are busy enrolling more, and foresee the programs growing significantly over the next year.

Guardian Akshay Gawade, junior field researcher for AERF in the field. He specializes in the biodiversity of ants and moths (catalogued 150+ species of the latter), but is mainly now focusing on scat analysis to determine the dietary preferences of Indian ground pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) in the proposed Prachitgad Community Reserve. He is also involved in general biodiversity surveys. Photo credit: Jayant Sarnaik

“The Fellows and Guardians programs are an important way for Rainforest Trust to connect directly with the on-the-front-lines conservationists working for our partner organizations around the world,” said Mark Gruin, Director of Institutional Development & Partnerships. “Through these programs we can share knowledge and experiences, promote their accomplishments, and inspire others to pursue conservation as a career.”

Through these programs, we engage with passionate and hardworking individuals all over the world to help promote their work and improve their capacity for conservation success. These programs highlight people within our partner organizations as not only part of a global network of conservation professionals, but part of the Rainforest Trust family.

Kamala Rai, originally from Pawakhola, Nepal, is a social mobilizer at KTK BELT. She has more than eight years of experience as a social mobilizer in FECOFUN, while also working in a women empowerment program for 18 months and a natural resource conflict transformation program for six years. Kamala is most interested in documenting local culture, flora and fauna.

 

Mohan Pandey, an ecologist working for KTK-BELT in Nepal, specializes in research related to endangered plant species, use and harvesting patterns of wild plant resources, local ethnobotanical knowledge, impact study and management of invasive plant species, climate change and conservation. He is passionate about sharing his work with others, and is an active member of the Fellows Program with Rainforest Trust. Photo credit: Rajeev Goyal

Curt Vander Meer Receives Conservation Leader Award from Rainforest Trust

Rainforest Trust honored Curt Vander Meer with an award recognizing his leadership in conservation on December 8th as part of our 30th Anniversary Celebration and Species Legacy Auction. The award was given to celebrate his vision and commitment to global conservation.

Vander Meer accepting his award from Rainforest Trust CEO Paul Salaman, pictured with Lisa Vander Meer. Photo by Rainforest Trust.

Vander Meer is CEO of Indianapolis-based Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC), a premium fairtrade chocolate company that supports conservation efforts worldwide by “giving back” 10% of their profits annually. Under Curt’s leadership, in the past three years they have given $1.4 million to protect endangered species and habitats, with Rainforest Trust being one of their GiveBack partners. ESC became a supporter of Rainforest Trust in 2016, formalizing their participation in the Conservation Circle — our corporate giving sponsorship program — this year at the Chairman’s level. ESC has given over $500,000 towards Rainforest Trust projects thus far, saving rainforest land greater than the size of Indianapolis.

“We are indebted to Curt and Endangered Species Chocolate not just for their support of our important work, but also for their commitment and leadership in regards to sustainability,” said Rainforest Trust CEO Paul Salaman. “ESC walks the walk in regards to conservation, doing so much to save species at risk and care for our planet.”

The award given to Vander Meer recognizes his conservation leadership at ESC, but also his dedication to environmental sustainability writ large. Vander Meer is a passionate conservationist, and along with his wife Lisa, purchased the naming rights to a Colombian frog during our Species Legacy Auction. The event auctioned off the naming rights to 12 new to science species found in reserves created by Rainforest Trust and our local partners, and earned $182,500 total towards saving these species and their habitat.

“Endangered Species Chocolate has a 25 year history of supporting and generating awareness of conservation efforts. Our brand promise is to give back 10% of our annual net profits to organizations, such as Rainforest Trust, for the protection of species and habitats. I am honored to be receiving this recognition on behalf of the whole Endangered Species Team. Each of our employees are committed to the cause of conservation and making a difference in our world.”

The recently discovered frog from Colombia that Vander Meer and the employees at Endangered Species Chocolate will name. Photo by SalvaMontes.

Conservation Basics: The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is a Coffee Snob

Title photo courtesy of Bird Conservation Society of Thailand.

Rainforest Trust’s work to protect habitats for threatened species is grounded in cutting-edge conservation science. But in this series, we explore the basics of conservation science and how they inform Rainforest Trust’s scientists.

“I’ll take a single origin, double-espresso, one decaf, almond milk latte with a splash of whole milk and a 70:20:10 mix of sugar, artificial sweetener and cocoa powder in a non-white porcelain mug washed with tepid water 45 seconds before pouring the first espresso but 23 seconds after steaming the milk,” said the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, before adding, “You know what, can you make two of those?”

“What’s the name?” asked the barista.

Calidris pygmaea,” said the Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

“Spelling?” asked the barista.

A Spoon-billed Sandpiper: A Critically Endangered species and a really picky coffee drinker. Photo by JJ Harrison/CC 3.0

I hate to anthropomorphize. But I’m trying to make a point here.

Before I explain why I’m being so hard on the colorful and Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper (a magnificent bird), let me ask that if you haven’t read my earlier piece on habitat, please go do so now. But assuming you have, I’ll get right to the point.

When you walk into a coffee shop, you might assume you can choose a few options such as a latte or a cold brew.

You would be wrong.

Coffee is brimming with possibilities. We can customize any variable, from the coffee tree seedling to the time you take a sip. Where did the beans grow? At what elevation? How were they roasted? When were they roasted? What’s the temperature of the water? How long is the brewing cycle? How much lactose do you want in your milk?

So many options!

The list could go on forever. But now, unlike a recent battle with an extended metaphor involving tortilla chips, I will break out of this extended metaphor involving coffee for good.

We might think habitat only comes in a few varieties such as grassland, rainforest, mountains or ocean.

But again, we would be wrong. Habitat comes in as many varieties as you could imagine.

Looking out the window here at Rainforest Trust headquarters in Virginia, I see trees. Hence, we’re in a forest. I can tell they are mainly deciduous trees, but some conifers dot the landscape. So our office is in a mostly deciduous forest.

Virginia is in a temperate climatic zone, making this space a temperate mostly deciduous forest. Besides that, we get periods of rain or snow year round, making it a seasonal temperate mostly deciduous forest.

A little further away, I can see a field of tall grass, a freshwater lake and a creek. So while this building might be in a mostly deciduous forest, this patch of land is a seasonal temperate mostly deciduous forest stand within a forest, grassland and freshwater mosaic. Add in the cow pasture next door and we’re in an agriculturally influenced forest, grassland and freshwater mosaic.

I wouldn’t know how to categorize this patch of land any further without detailed evaluations, but the specificity doesn’t stop there. Any variable you can measure or differentiate between two patches of land can be a differentiation in habitat.

A temperate, coniferous forest with freshwater patches at altitude.

You might think these minutiae are ridiculous. The Spoon-billed Sandpiper would disagree. Under the “Habitat and Ecology” section on the IUCN Red List’s description of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, it says the bird “has a very specialised breeding habitat, using only lagoon spits with crowberry-lichen vegetation or dwarf birch and willow sedges, together with adjacent estuary or mudflat habitats that are used as feeding sites by adults during nesting. The species has never been recorded breeding further than 5 km (and exceptionally once, 7 km) from the sea shore… During winter it prefers mixed sandy tidal mudflats with an uneven surface and very shallow water, mainly in the outermost parts of river deltas and outer islands, often with a higher sand content and thin mud layer on top.”

How’s that for a coffee order?

[Author Note: The fact that the the difference between 7 km and 5 km from the sea is described as “exceptional” is exceptional.]

I jest, but these specifics are tantamount to many species’ existence. That’s the wonder of biodiversity; through evolution, each species found a niche for itself, different from the niches of any other species. I dare say it’s poetic and inspiring.

Some species don’t have the same stringent requirements. Unlike the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, the White-tailed Deer has its requirements met “in practically every ecological type including grasslands, prairies and plains, mountains, hardwoods, coniferous and tropical forests, deserts, and even in woodlots associated with farmland.” That’s equivalent to walking into a coffee shop and saying “Give me something liquid.”

The White-tailed Deer’s coffee order.

Differences in habitat preference specificity mean that some species are at a higher risk of extinction than others. Spoon-billed Sandpipers occupy such a narrow range of habitat types that when one bit of habitat disappears, it can be a major blow to the species. In fact, the Red List notes that “throughout its migratory and wintering ranges, tidal flats are being reclaimed for coastal development (industry, leisure, infrastructure, aquaculture and agriculture) and are becoming increasingly polluted.” There are so few areas of habitat available that it’s easy to eradicate most of it. To do the same with the White-tailed Deer’s habitat you would need to pave most of the North American continent.

Here at Rainforest Trust, we protect habitat for endangered and critically endangered species. Often, part of the reason these species are Endangered or Critically Endangered is because most of the rest of their habitat is already gone. I can’t overstate habitat’s importance; many experts agree that habitat loss is the leading cause of extinction worldwide.

What lives in your habitat?

We look at the state of a species’ habitat — how much remains, protected status, decline rate — and use that information to help protect them. But habitat isn’t just for the wonks and researchers. You can see habitat. Look outside your window, no matter if you’re in a big city or on a farm or in the suburbs or in the woods. What is living around you? Eastern Grey Squirrels and American Robins? Giraffes? White Pelicans? Elephant Seals? Monarch Butterflies? Maple Trees? What else is living around you? I promise that no matter where you are, you’re bound to discover something in your habitat that surprises you.

So go forth! Explore! Help the future of conservation by learning more about your backyard. You can even take along a cup of coffee (no matter how you take it).

Species of Ant Discovered in Rainforest Trust Reserve Described First by New Technology

Scientists across the world have a new way to examine insects in three dimensions without the need for a physical specimen. Researchers in Germany have created the DISC3D, a new device that combines automated digitization, extended depth of field and multi-view imaging to produce hundreds of sharp images from insects, allowing to generate detailed 3D-models of these small animal — think of a Star Trek hologram, but way more scientifically accurate and useful! A newly discovered trap-jaw ant species is the first insect being described through this innovative technology. Part of the Odontomachus genus of ants, this new-to-science species was discovered in a reserve established by Rainforest Trust and local partner Jocotoco in Ecuador, and it is the featured insect species in our Species Legacy Auction, running now.

DISC3D photo of trap-jaw ant. Photo by the Department of Biology at the TU Darmstadt.

Images recorded with DISC3D can be used to produce models with accurate morphology, coloration, and photographic texture, serving as a digital twin of the holotype. A holotype is a single physical example of an organism used when a species is first scientifically described. Digital holotypes of animals like the Odontomachus ant are especially useful as habitat degradation threatens the existence of endangered and endemic species, and digital versions of these unique creatures can be studied in lieu of trapped specimens. This technology will help with digitizing natural history collections, which is a major challenge in studying and archiving biodiversity.

The new DISC3D. Photo by the Department of Biology at the TU Darmstadt.

“As you can imagine, it can be problematic to get access to certain specimens, especially if there are only very few collections,” said Philipp Hönle, one of the entomologists describing the new trap-jaw ant. “Through our species description, every scientist around the world will be able to download the 3D-model of the new trap-jaw ant and can look at it from his computer!”

The ant species may be imaged from virtually any view, calibrated in real color and texture. Models created via DISC3Dprovide morphometric data in three dimensions, opening new opportunities for research in taxonomy and phylogeny (species naming and relatedness) and functional ecology.

“We developed DISC3D for two general purposes: First, we wanted to automatically digitize insects from multiple viewing angles with extended depth-of-field. These images can be made available online and be used to analyze features of the specimens without physical handling. Second, these images can be used to calculate 3D-models of insects, allowing to visualize, inspect, and measure the specimen in three dimensions,’ said Michael Heethoff, one of the developers of DISC3D.

The opportunity to pre-bid on naming the new Odontomachus trap-jaw ant is available now. The winning bidder’s chosen name will be highlighted in scientific literature describing the ant with the new DISC3D technology.

 

New species of trap-jaw ant featured in Rainforest Trust’s Species Legacy Auction. Photo by Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco.