New ginger species from the Democratic Republic of Congo

Main report: New species of wild ginger discovered in DR Congo
Other Reporting: EurekAlert!, WCS News, ZME Science
Scientific Paper: Phytotaxa   
New Taxa: Aframomum ngamikkense
Species named for: proposed Ngamikka National Park in the Misotshi-Kabogo Massif.
Categories: New Species | Plants | Species Discovery

Scientists from WCS have discovered a new species of wild ginger, spicing up a wave of recent wildlife discoveries in the Kabobo Massif – a rugged, mountainous region in Democratic Republic of Congo.  This discovery adds to the growing list of 50-odd known species of ginger found throughout Africa including Madagascar.

“The rugged massif comprises of a chain of largely-unexplored mountains lying along the western shore of Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest freshwater lake bordering the DRC, Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia. Decades of civil unrest in the region had restricted scientific exploration until recently.  Now, researchers are undertaking expeditions that are uncovering species, some of which are new to science. These include four species of mammals, a bird and three plants, known only from these forests.  In fact, the Misotshi-Kabogo Massif has been identified as an area of high endemism — a landscape with several species unique to that region.”

The new species of wild ginger flowers during October to November. Photo by Andrew J Plumptre, from Fischer et al 2017.

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