Guyana’s Kaieteur National Park may have new species

World Wildlife Fund’s country manager, Aiesha Williams

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – More than 30 species of fish, plants and other creatures that may have been undiscovered until recently, have been found in Guyana’s Kaieteur National Park.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) made the disclosure last week as it launched its Kaieteur-Upper Potaro Biodiversity Assessment Survey Report, following the second in a series of three expeditions.

WWF’s Country Manager Aiesha Williams said the team “recorded more than 30 species likely new to science”, including six species of fish, three plants and 15 aquatic beetles and five odonates, which are large predatory aquatic insects.

“Analysis is being done to be sure that they are actually new,” she said. “This adds to the area’s enormous conservation value, and if new species are still being recorded, there could be more.”

Kaieteur National Park is already known to be home to more than half the birds, 40 percent of odonates, 30 percent of mammals and even 43 percent of amphibians known to be in Guyana.

Williams added that she expected the information gathered from the expedition to be used in a “positive manner to guide further research and to make informed decisions about land use, good environmental governance, freshwater management and sustainable management of the region’s natural resources”.