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Search for Lost Species is the name of the largest campaign ever to find and protect species that have not been seen in the wild in decades or hundreds of years, according to the GWC.
The first phase of the project will seek alliances with local partners to send scientific expeditions to some of the most remote and unexplored wilderness areas on the planet.
In the list of the 25 most wanted animals is the Wondiwoi tree kangaroo, which was last seen in 1928 in Indonesia and is considered a "zoo-geographic mystery", according to the GWC; the hooded duck, last seen in 1949 in India; the Fernandina tortoise from Galapagos, whose last record dates from 1906 on that island; the hippocampus minotaur, a very rare bull-necked seahorse, which is from Australia and has never been seen in the wild; a colorful tree-climbing freshwater crab in the Guinea rainforest not seen since 1955, and a type of Indonesian bee not seen since 1981.
Collectively, those species have not been seen in more than 1,500 years, according to the GWC.
"Those species include quirky and charismatic animals and plants that also represent great conservation opportunities," said GWC biologist and Communications Director Robin Moore, in a statement.
“Rediscovering any of these elusive species will help unravel their mysteries and give us very valuable information to understand and improve their conservation, as well as to understand their habitat and the wildlife that shares that habitat. We don't know how many of these species we will be able to find, but for many of them it may be the last chance to save themselves from extinction, "added Moore.
The 25 species - which had to meet the requirement of not having been seen at least since 2007 - came from an initial list of 1,200 species that inhabit more than 160 countries made with the help of more than 100 scientists from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which was later compiled by the GWC.
The interesting thing is that this list of 1,200 lost species is also available to the public to propose new nominations and undertake the search for other species, or to share an observation about those animals in iNaturalist.